20.09.2022
7 min read

Challenges of Starting a New Job: How to Handle Them?

A blog for those who have just started or are about to start working in a new team.
Starting a new job is like trying something new in life: the desire is great, but you don’t know anything about the consequences. 
Most of them easily adapt to the new environment due to their sociable nature, many of them overcome great and difficult trials and sometimes they need someone’s support.
In any case, having problems, or difficulties when starting a new job is, in fact, a normal phenomenon, it is a different matter how each of us perceives the situation and the issues that arise.
Today we are going to talk about the main problems that arise when we start working in a new team, and their solutions.

Adapt to the team

Problem։ When trying to figure out how to become a part of a new work culture, it can sometimes be frustrating. The working style and approaches to issues do not match. Relationships with teammates at some point reach a barrier or don’t even work.
Even taking a break can cause a problem: you are used to cooking at home and eating it, but the team, for example, likes to order fast food.
Solution։ Get to know your colleagues by working on team projects. This promotes common interests, builds trust and allies. Ask questions if you don’t understand something. Be friendly and respectful. Your good attitude, manners and work habits will show that you are a professional.
It takes time to gain the trust of colleagues to adapt to your ideas: first listen and observe, then start suggesting changes based on their habits.
Solution by teammates։ When a new person joins the team, remember that they have 90 days to reach their limit. 
Research (details below) shows that 30% of employees quit within the first 3 months, which is a critical length of the new hire’s probationary period. This means that new starters have 90 days to reach the drop point. But at this stage, the company needs the support of the employee as much as the employee needs the support of the company.
As teammates, show attention, care, and patience for the new employee to build a good and productive relationship with him/her.
Correctly understand and distribute the received information
Problem։ One of the hardest parts of starting a new job is that you have to quickly catch up with the rest of your team, especially if you’re replacing someone. While good managers understand and expect that there is a learning curve, the business cannot stand still for too long, so it is important to define a specific period of time to learn the information and apply it on the job. Therefore, new employees are often faced with large amounts of information and find themselves in a hopeless situation.
Solution։ On the first days of work, talk thoroughly with the teammate who is transferring the work to you. Ask them to provide you with a complete document, where all your functions and the methods of their implementation will be indicated. Be sure to make notes about what tools you need when doing what work, which teammate you should work with when doing a given task. Be sure to talk to the whole team and let them know that you need 2 weeks to understand, analyze and implement all the information. Ask them not to provide you with additional information at that time, because it will be ineffective.
Solution by teammates։ When a new employee joins the team, it is just as difficult for the existing team. Leaving personal relations aside, the team has a hard time adjusting to the rhythm of the new person, because he/she, not having all the information and execution processes, works slower than the former teammate (even if he is flexible and does everything very quickly).
In such a situation, it is necessary to help the teammate in receiving the information from the right person, correctly understanding and distributing it, making necessary notes from the received information. Everyone in their turn should realize that the new teammate cannot do everything at once. Collect and start to give him the information he needs little by little.

Division of workload

Problem։ Whether you’re an intern or a full-time employee, you’re going to have extremely busy days and completely free days in the beginning. This can cause a situation where you begin to misunderstand the work and the time required for it.
Solution։ Every situation can be used to your advantage. If you have very little work, you can get to know the employees, ask questions and ask someone to teach you something in your spare time. There will come a time when you will have a lot of work to do and you will have to learn a lot of new things quickly. Then you will apply the information learned in your free time and start to communicate comfortably with other employees and do the work at hand quickly and qualitatively.
Solution by teammates։ When you notice that a new teammate is overwhelmed and unable to do the proper division of work, support him in matters of proper distribution and management of tasks and time. Give examples of previous situations and their solutions. Give advice, approach the situation with awareness and listen to the new teammate’s opinion on all matters.
These and a number of other problems usually arise during the first 90 days of employment. During that time, it is necessary to give the best to the work and spare nothing, but you should not neglect the work-personal life balance. In addition to the 3 main problems mentioned above and the ways to solve them, follow these few simple rules that will help you when starting a new job, even if you don’t have any problems.

  • Clarify expectations. Create a list of tasks and responsibilities with your boss and set a schedule for achieving them. Ask for feedback to make sure you’re on the right track.
  • Find a work model. An experienced team member can provide newcomers with insight into office protocol and performance expectations. Ask your manager or a more experienced employee for reporting and communication questions.
  • Follow, listen and learn. Every organization has its own unwritten rules. Watch how an experienced employee approaches problems and try to emulate their behavior.
  • Go out for coffee or lunch. Get to know your colleagues in informal settings to build relationships.
  • Travel for various reasons. Use methods to connect with employees in other departments. You will learn the company’s culture, operating practices and values.
  • Ask questions. Not asking enough questions is a major mistake new teammates make when starting out. When in doubt about a matter, seek clarification.
  • Maintain balance. Be confident, but don’t reveal everything. Take in all the information before you make a decision and make an offer. 

Read the article again when you’re about to start a new job.

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