30 September 2007

The new job

It is exciting when you get that phone call to tell you that you were selected for the job you applied for. There is a lot of work that goes into preparing for the interview and to know that you were successful is a great feeling. But I also find it can be a bit scarey because I am starting over again and I need to prove myself as I go through the probationary period. I am leaving familiar surroundings and will be meeting new people and starting new working relationships. Here are some things you can think about as you either consider leaving your old position or are starting in a brand new job.

"I was the type to stay in a job forever until a couple of years ago. The job I was in had become so mundane that I found myself wondering just how much longer I could stand it – and then I wondered "why was I even putting up with it". I was not being challenged and I was losing the skills that I had worked so hard at. I had to move on…

I wasn't going to jump into the first job that came along though, "The grass isn't always greener on the other side". I went on one interview only to find out at the end of it that it was not something I wanted to do, so I let them know I was not interested. I ended up getting the next job I applied for and was excited to start – although a bit apprehensive at the same time.

One of the hardest things I find about starting a new job is that dreaded "probationary period" and having to prove myself all over again. Even though you probably have been doing this type of work for years, it is a new position, in a new location with new policies and procedures to learn, and you are dealing with new people. It is easy to second-guess your abilities, especially when you think people are watching your every move. I have found you just have to dig in and get down to the new tasks in front of you, and not concentrate on that. Here are a few things I do when I start a new job:

  • I start a Secretarial Manual! Every time I learn something new, I write it in the manual, ie. how to use the fax machine, information about the phone system, where the photocopier is located, who my contacts are in this position, who I can call for help, etc. If I write it down the first time, I probably won't have to ask again (which your new co-workers will appreciate).
  • I set up my workstation in a way that will be convenient for me.
  • I look over the filing system and become familiar with that.

  • When I first open my computer I set up my Word toolbar in the way I am familiar and I do the same with Outlook.

  • I try to meet with my new boss and get familiar with what projects are coming up and what will be expected of me."

Submitted by Lynn, Admin Assistant

I hope these tips will help you make the transition into your new position. But remember, they did choose you because they thought you were the best candidate. So be yourself and go and meet the challenges of the new position and enjoy the new people you will be working with.

Here is an article1 from the website about.com: Career Planning that gives good advice on starting a new job.

1 Rosenberg-McKay, Dawn, Starting a New Job, http://careerplanning.about.com/cs/firstjob/a/new_job.htm, (accessed September 30, 2007)

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