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5 obstacles you’ll face as a new starter and how to overcome them

By Becky Postlethwaite on 31.08.17 in Your Career

Most us experience nerves before starting at a new company, even those who have been a part of the working world for decades. Nerves are necessary to help you perform at your peak and in this instance are a positive force for making sure you're fully prepared and alert on your first day.

Most of the obstacles you'll encounter at your new job will in some way relate to time management. Your biggest quandary, and the one that feeds most into the below five points, is how to effectively balance learning as much as possible with getting stuck in and showing your new colleagues your worth. By addressing the specific obstacles listed below, I've broken down how you should manage your time; making sure you're adequately prepared to not just survive in your first few months, but thrive.

1.The first impression

There are some quick, easy wins to help you make a positive first impression. These include introducing yourself to as many people as possible, memorising their names and even bringing in a batch of donuts for your new colleagues.

Most people will form a fairly stubborn opinion of you within the first few minutes of meeting you - some studies even say as little as seven seconds - so make sure you're in rude health on your first day! That means getting a good night's sleep, being fully prepared with all the information you require and, therefore, feeling positive and confident.

2. The tools and technology

Each company has it's own processes, ways of working and internal systems. Making friends with the IT team as soon as possible is always a wise move as, whether it's Slack, Citrix or a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, the techies will be more able and willing to lend a hand, saving you time and sparing your blushes.

There's an unwritten rule in most workplaces that new joiners have a 1-2 month grace period where they can ask as many silly questions as possible, so don't be afraid to be inquisitive.

3. The new culture

Just as each office has it's own software technology, each also has their own individual workplace culture. It might not be the culture you were acclimatised to in your last role, but remind yourself that it takes time to build trust with colleagues so if you don't getitstraight away then don't panic. Get around the business as much as possible, meeting as many people as possible, and you're bound to align yourself with the right movers and shakers with a similar attitude to yourself.

It's imperative when a new starter to put your hand up for everything, whether it's for the office five-a-side team or volunteering to become the charity rep - you can't know how well you really enjoy a place unless you fully immerse yourself in it.

4. The role

Hopefully your role was made crystal clear during the interview process, but it's important to have regular catch-ups with your line-manager during your first month - when you should have ample spare time - to define your niche within the business. By this I mean the specific projects you'll be working on, the team you'll be working with and the skill-set that will help you become known within the business.

Have a game plan laid out from day one, whether it's formed in conjunction with your manager or not, as this will establish a clear path of direction to follow from the start.

If you do find yourself with a fair amount of spare time in your first few weeks then don't feel it beneath you to get stuck in with odd-jobs and pieces of admin. These are great opportunities to meet people from around the business, while also showing that you're not afraid to get stuck in and graft.

5. The grass always being greener

You might not ease seamlessly into your new job straight away, but stick in there - you won't be able to make a clear judgement on whether it's for you or not until at least four or five months into the role. It often seems like the grass is greener on the other side but remind yourself: you made a change for the reason.

This is where the game plan that I mentioned in the previous point comes in useful. It's both motivating and reassuring to know that you've got a clear direction of travel and, while you might be making mistakes and finding your feet right now, there's a bigger picture here.

Try and avoid making black and white comparisons between your new job and your old, there will be too many moving parts to make a blunt comparison between the two.