I just joined my company for 3 months but I am seeing a lot of challenges at the workplace. I am thinking of leaving but I am unsure if that is the best thing to do. Please advise me ~ Joyce, Accounting and Finance Officer
Entering a new job is never easy. It is like entering a whole new world where you have to relearn the work, the workplace culture, the people and their work styles. Thus, the first 100 days of your new job promises to be full of surprises. While most people are able to transit smoothly into the new job, there are some like Joyce who want to move after a short stint.
So, what could make or break your first 100 days?
The first 100 days - possible challenges
Going into a new job in a new company, there are possible challenges that may arise out of one or more hybrid factors below.
Work Pace and Volume
The new workplace may be working at a faster or slower pace than what you are used to. The volume of work given further intensifies the experience of your first 100 days. Either way, a faster or slower pace and volume may not work out for you.
Unfamiliar with Tasks
Besides being unfamiliar with the accounts, the partners, the history behind the work, even simple tasks such as using the office printer and complying with data records filing, IT system administration process may make the routine work become torturous and time consuming.
Person to Work Fit
What you have done in the past may not be what you like to do in future. If you are not enjoying what you did in your last job, doing it again in your new job will make the misfit more obvious, given that you no longer have the comfort of task and environment familiarity.
Workplace Work Culture
The workplace is a hive of people coming together to broker, negotiate, help, persuade, perform tasks together. There is an ethos or culture that binds and defines how people work with each other. Whether the culture is healthy or not, being unfamiliar and unaccepting of the new work culture could make you stick out and become unhappy.
Boss Working Style
As the boss dictates the direction and manner of which work is to be done, it is important to be able to align yourself with his or her work methods and habits. Some bosses may not have the patience to deal with new hires as they may view the time needed to learn and adapt to the new job as incompetence and time wasting which affects the company.
Relationships with Colleagues
Your co-workers are critical to your first 100 days. Having colleagues who are helpful in guiding and advising you in the pitfalls of office processes and politics can make your first 100 days much more bearable. The reverse is also true as the absence of helpful colleagues will make you feel so alone and question yourself why did you leave your last job.
Transitioning with confidence
Jumping out of a job within the first 3 months is never a good thing, unless it is for good reason relating to your physical or psychological safety. While some may argue that leaving the job earlier could allow you to omit the employment record from your resume, there could be other consequences to deal with, such as failure to disclose accurate employment information and explaining to your next employer about how you spent your last 3 months. Leaving too soon may also leave a doubt in your mind about your capability and decision making and create more anxiety and fears when making future career decisions.
So instead of thinking of a way out, consider these recommendations to help you transit into your new job role with confidence.
Stay calm and be objective about your situation
Every transition is difficult, no matter how similar or different the role is. Reflect objectively to see if you have been too hard on yourself to perform and impress even as you navigate the challenges of the first 100 days. Remember that the struggles that you face in transiting should not define how you see yourself. Your past work experiences, track record and past transition experiences is definitely something that you should use to remind yourself of who you are and what you are capable of.
Give yourself time, set a timeline
Remind yourself that in any transition, time is required. So give yourself some time to adapt and to fit in. Speak to your colleagues (especially those who just joined within the last 12 months) on how long they took to adapt and what they did to help them transit smoothly. Set a realistic timeline for yourself, with some key activities or areas of work that you hope to adapt to over time.
The conventional wisdom behind the time required to move from transitioning to performance is 2 years. The first year is spent on familiarising with the work and understanding the work culture and context. The second year is where you are expected to do the work well and perform.
Set Professional and Personal Targets and Thresholds
For your first year, identify the professional and personal targets you hope to achieve. Professional targets refer to work achievements whilst personal targets refer to personal development and growth in areas of skill acquisition or skills mastery. Be realistic about this and not aim to achieve too many things. Your advice from your colleagues would be invaluable here too.
Defining thresholds is equally important. Thresholds are the worst case indicators that you set for yourself so that you know what you are compromising as a result of your transition. For example, not working more than 12 hour days on weekends may be a threshold for you if you value your family and personal time. Setting these indicators require you to be clear about your work values (whats important to you). They will help you stay objective when you reflect on tough situations which may come.
Speak to your superiors for feedback and advice
Nothing beats getting feedback from your superiors as it helps you align your work to their expectations and also identify areas to improve, blindspots to take note of. Seek to speak to your superiors once every 6 months, be prepared to facilitate the discussion towards getting inputs on your work performance and areas of improvement. This regular conversation will allow you to build a better work relationship with your superiors instead of bringing everything up during year end performance appraisals.
Transitioning into new jobs is never easy so give yourself time to objectively consider your situation and options instead of opting to move out of your job right away.
At AVODAH People Solutions, we provide career guidance services to people who are considering career changes, making a job change or currently in a transition to find a job. Share your career situation with us so that we can support you.