4 Ways To Deal With A Learning Curve In A New Job
In moving from Taiwan to Tokyo, I have had to make both big and little adjustments from adjusting to the public transportation system, to figuring out when the trash is collected (since Tokyo has a very strict set of rules), to not being able to buy a giant bubble tea with tapioca pearls for around $1 US.
Perhaps the biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is my job. Yes, some skills are transferrable. But each in each job there is a learning curve, no matter how much experience you may have to your credit.
You have to learn what is expected of you, what the culture of the institution is like, what your audience wants, and how to deliver it, among other things. That’s a lot. You will inevitably encounter a learning curve in your job. Here are some things that I’m doing in order to adjust to mine.
4 Ways To Deal With A Learning Curve In A New Job
Ask for Help and Advice from Others
When you are adjusting to a new job, you are bound to make mistakes or encounter something that confuses you. While questions and confusion are a natural part of a new job, staying stagnant shouldn’t be. Ask your superiors and co-workers questions if they come up.
Chances are that they will be more than willing to help you and offer advice. I am lucky that many of my co-workers and superiors have already offered help.
Observing what your more seasoned colleagues do and how they conduct themselves can also be extremely useful. This is not to say that you should become that person’s clone, but rather, take the things that you like about what they do and adapt it to fit you. Asking your colleagues questions allows you to tap into their knowledge.
Right after I started my current position, a colleague of mine showed me that she color-coded her students’ notes and suggested that I do the same.
I liked the idea, so I took her suggestion. So, I began color-coding my notes using different colors, which made it easier for my students to understand what we had learned. I have continued to utilize this practice and it has served me well.
Asking questions and taking advice from others can be immensely helpful in a new job. You do not have to take every piece of advice that you are given; rather, adapt and find what works best for you.
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Be Open To Feedback
At the start of a new job, you are bound to make mistakes and people are most likely going to give you a lot of feedback. It can be easy to get defensive. But refraining from being accusatory can also give you the opportunity to be proactive.
Shortly after I started my current position, I received some negative feedback, which definitely didn’t make me feel good. However, I spoke to my co-worker and we came up with a plan of action and she suggested several little things that I could do.
Use being new to your advantage. It is much easier to take criticism and adjust early on in the learning curve than wait until you have established a routine and try to change habits that you have firmly integrated into your work routine.
Do Your Best
This should go without saying, but doing your best every day, especially in a new position is important. Doing something half-heartedly reflects badly. Not only on you, but also on the company you work for, especially as a new hire. If you do your best every day you show up to work, there is nothing more that your superiors can ask of you.
Additionally, your efforts will translate to the people around you, customers and co-workers alike. Little things like being on time and doing your best go a long way in helping you to create a positive impression.
As one of my favorite athletes said, “9 days out of 10, you may doubt yourself and you may not feel good but you have to show up and keep putting in the work. Ultimately over time, that shows itself.”
Wise words, Sasha Cohen. Effort and work do indeed show themselves, especially when you are starting a new job and adjusting to a learning curve.
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Find Support From Within Your Company
In addition to utilizing the knowledge of your superiors and co-workers, finding support from within your company can be very helpful, especially if you are hoping to grow within the company.
Dealing with a learning curve in a new position is never easy. However, adjusting to a new job isn’t impossible; even the most experienced person in the company had to start somewhere. The adjustment period is an inevitable part of the process.