Acclimating to a New Work Setting

Many of you are looking for new jobs and since we like speaking things into existence - what happens when you get that new job? Acclimating to your new work setting is just as important as the search to find the new job and your performance that keeps you in that job. It's important to set yourself up right and get on the good foot!

I am currently getting acclimated, not to a new job but in a new role, so I am living this right now. I have found a few things that have been extremely helpful for me, what better than to share with my readers :). Online you can find a great deal of resources on getting used to a new work setting, I prefer to highlight a few of the unsaid tricks of the trade.

1) Learn the lingo - Every industry and company has its own vocabulary, or lingo of sorts. I work in healthcare, and we have enough acronyms to start canning our own alphabet soup. From PSN, EPR, to HSCRC - trust me, the letter's go on and on, it's very easy to get lost in conversation, comprehension and moving along projects, if one doesn't learn the language quickly. If you're starting with a new company/organization, don't hesitate to ask your hiring manager if they can provide you with a list of commonly used words or acronyms within the workplace. 1) It never hurts to ask and 2) even if the list is short, it gives you a head start to get ahead. Also don't hesitate to ask questions as you go on and keep your own list/dictionary as you go on, trust me it will come in helpful!

2) Get to know your administrative/support staff - starting a new job in a new environment comes with a host of many new-news for the newbie! New location, new people, new tasks, and most importantly new dynamics that can take weeks, months and sometimes longer to master. The key to successful leaders and powerful workers is knowing who to go to in order to get what you need done! In a new setting the best folks to help you identify your resources is your support/administrative staff. Often times people dismiss the support staff, when they are in the best position to orient you to office dynamics, the who's who and all the how-to's. The same way they were the best source to help you get that interview is the same way they're the best source to help you be successful in your job.

3) Keeping lists - You should start any career, and might I offer job (there is a difference) with a goal. Whether it's to change the way a system is operating for the better or just to be the best at what you do, you must see your end point and goal from the beginning. Therefore it behooves you to keep yourself on track to achieving that goal from Day 1. The obsessive planner in me is gushing right now as I type this - you all know my love for lists! But seriously, I have found in my recent experience that keeping lists of your to-do's from the beginning help to keep you on track for your goal or goals.

4) Schedule/Set "me" time from the beginning - If you are in a position where you manage your own time, it is important to ensure that you maintain "me" time, personal time to actually get work done. Moving from meeting to meeting, and call to call, leaves very little time to process information, follow up or send out emails. This also makes it easy to fall behind in project timelines. Setting aside time in your schedule for 30 minutes to an hour will ensure you a few moments to catch up on things, gain your composure and/or just think things through. You have to make sure you guarantee your own self time, otherwise others will be sure to grab every moment you allow them.

5) Know what you're being held accountable for - Do you know what is expected of you at work? Its very surprising to me when I talk to others who have no idea what they are really expected to do within their job. They feel disconnected from what they actually do day-to-day from what they are actually being evaluated. If you ask me, no wonder so many people are ready to go postal in their jobs - they see their job differently from how their manager sees the job and what they expect from the employee. If that isn't a recipe for disaster, I am not sure what else is! Confusion about work expectations can easily be resolved from the beginning by simply asking the person hiring you - what am I expected to do within this job? What am I expected to change or impact within this job? What results do you want to see within 6 months/1 year of my holding this position? I would recommend that this is information everyone should know from day 1 of starting a new position, and do hesitate to constantly ask this to make sure the expectations haven't changed.

6) Observe, observe, observe!!! - Yogi Berra once said "you can observe a lot by just watching," and he was certainly on to something. Observation is a tactic I think that's easily dismissed by many but teaches one so much. Take time to observe your new work setting, and if possible even before you take on the position. Observe the people, the dynamics, observe at different times - you'll be surprised how useful these observations may become down the line!

Those are my tips, do any of you have tips you want to include?


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