Getting a new job is a major accomplishment, and one should be proud of themselves for being among the chosen few after clearing multiple rounds of interviews. However, the real challenge begins after starting the new job.
Once the initial euphoria of landing a new job has somewhat subsided, one has to start learning the ropes of the new job. And it could take a while before one has become completely comfortable with what they are supposed to do.
Learning a new job could take time, depending on several factors. However, learning and settling for a new job could take three to six months. You should be fine if it takes longer, but you should put your heart and soul into picking up the new skills that will help you learn better.
If you work in a very competitive environment, you will have to do everything in your power to learn the job as quickly as possible. It will not only help you stay ahead of your coworkers but will also help you during promotions.
Over time, you will figure out what works for you and will be able to come up with new methods that help you with your work. Picking up new tools and techniques along the way will only make your task more manageable, and as you keep upgrading, you will start learning more quickly.
Factors That Determine How Soon You Can Learn a New Job
While much depends on the personal abilities of an employee, several factors determine how soon they will learn a new job. Here are some of them.
1. Your Skills
As a new employee, you must understand how far your existing skill set will take you in your new job. Of course, you have specific skills, which is why your recruiters chose you.
However, any new job requires you to make the best use of your existing skills and upgrade them over time. As soon as you join your new job, you will gradually start forming an idea of the skills required to get through your tasks.
While you can accomplish some tasks with your existing skills, other tasks might require some new ones. And you will gradually start learning about them as you settle into your new job.
While you will learn some new skills while on the job, you might require additional skills that you can learn through online courses without hindering your job.
In the process, you will learn about new tools and techniques to help you perform better. Combining all these skills will determine how soon you can learn the new job.
2. Years of Experience
The duration of your previous work experience is a determining factor for how long it might take for you to learn a new job.
For example, if you have already spent five years in the industry as a software programmer, you will be able to learn your new job in the same designation.
You might have to understand the client requirements at your new company, but the years of experience will help you settle in quickly enough.
On the other hand, if you are starting and have just completed your internship, it could take a while to learn about your new job.
Not only will you have to learn the roles and responsibilities of your new job, but you also have to acclimatize yourself to the workplace, and it will determine how soon you can settle in and start performing to your optimum capacity.
3. Industry and Field
Another factor determining how quickly you will learn the new job is which industry you have worked in previously. If you have worked in the same field or industry before, you have a reasonably good idea of how things are done.
However, the entire process could be new if you have changed industries for your new job. Your employers might have recruited you considering your potential and your past performances, but if you have switched to a new field, you have to prove your efficiency all over again.
In such circumstances, it could take a while before you learn entirely about all the aspects of your new job.
4. Theoretical Knowledge
Your theoretical knowledge about your new job will also determine how long it will take for you to learn it. Many individuals are sure about the career they want to build from a young age, and likewise, they pursue their higher education in that field.
When they finally land their job, they usually know the basics and learn the rest on the job. The previous knowledge helps them learn the job quickly.
However, if you have no theoretical knowledge, you may have to do some groundwork and start from the basics. That may take some additional time before you learn your job.
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5. Your Mentors
You will have to rely on your mentors if you learn your job quickly. The presence of good mentors or a training program can significantly increase your chances of learning the job quickly.
Try to learn as much from them during the first few months. You might make mistakes, but your mentors should be able to see you through them and make the journey easier for you. One day, you will be in a position to mentor trainees of your own.
How to Ensure That You Will Learn Your New Job Quickly?
While it will take some time to settle down in your new job, here are some ways in which you can speed up your learning process and learn the new job as quickly as possible. Here is how.
1. Follow Your Trainer
Try to follow your trainer or mentor in the first few weeks as much as possible. You might also know a thing or two about the job, especially if you have a few years of work experience.
However, you must remember that every company has requirements and understand them before experimenting. Your mentors have years of expertise, and listening to them will help you navigate better at your new job.
2. Ask Questions
Whenever you have a doubt about something, make sure you ask questions and clear your queries. Always ask questions for fear of coming across as incompetent in front of other coworkers.
If you ask pertinent questions, your mentors will understand that you are trying to learn and appreciate this quality. Your coworkers will be impressed by your confidence as well.
3. Master the Basics
Before you move on to something more challenging, try to master the basics first. Depending on your level of expertise, it could take a few days or weeks.
Follow a step-by-step method to make the most of the learning period so that you get everything, and that will also help you improve your skills as you practice more.
4. Take Time to Relax
Joining a new job can be stressful, so you need to relax. You must take time to unwind to avoid feeling overwhelmed, which will soon cause burnout.
Take some time to retrospect and review what you have learned from time to time so that you also have time to examine yourself. If you feel something is lacking, you can go back to the drawing board again.
At the end of the day, take your mind off work by engaging in something close to your heart.
5. Ask for Feedback
One of the best ways to monitor your progress is to ask for feedback from your superiors. While there will be performance reviews from time to time, you can ask them for their opinion from time to time in a more informal setting.
So ask if you are doing everything right while having coffee or lunch, and you will be amazed by the tips and tricks you end up getting.
6. Make Notes
It would be best if you made notes during the first few months of your training. You will be amazed at how many of the simple things you tend to forget in the long run, but they can be helpful while handling several tasks in the future.
So whenever you interact with your superiors or attend a meeting, please make notes and visit them from time to time. This will help you stay on track and learn faster.
7. Organize Your Schedule
During the first few weeks of joining, you already have a lot on your plate with the new tasks and training. A busy schedule will make things even more difficult.
Have a clear schedule and make to-do lists to help you organize your day better. That way, you won’t have to worry about missing tasks or training sessions, and you can put your total concentration on the learning process.
8. Always Volunteer
During the first few months of joining a new job, take the opportunity to learn new things. Remember that every new thing you know will serve you at some point. After all, knowledge never goes to waste.
So try to volunteer for projects and take up new tasks yourself. The more you involve yourself in different work, the better you learn. You will get to interact with more people while working on these projects, which will also bring you new perspectives.
The interaction will be significant to your advantage. Besides, this will be a splendid opportunity to grow your circle through networking.
How Long Does Training Take for A New Job?
Training for a new job can take a few weeks and months. It depends on the position and designation you have been assigned to. It also includes factors like whether you would have to be engaged in physical labor or learn how to work with new machinery.
Or do you have to learn about new tools and techniques used exclusively by the company you have joined? Your mentors will tell you all about it when you start work.
Is It Normal to be Slow at a New Job?
Yes, it is all right if you are a little slow when you start your new job. After all, the job is new, and so is the workplace, and there are quite a few things you will have to get used to.
It is okay to take things slow and be careful about what you are doing rather than being hasty and making mistakes along the way.
How Long Does New Job Anxiety Last, and How to Reduce It?
If you are naturally anxious, your anxiety may last slightly longer than the others. However, you can reduce your anxiety by choosing some calming techniques. Take deep breaths whenever you feel anxious or overwhelmed while working.
You can also leave your desk for a couple of minutes and walk outside in the corridor. Listen to relaxing music on your earphones during breaks to take your mind off work. Stop worrying about what others might think and concentrate on improving yourself.
How Long Does it Take to Adjust to a New Job and Feel Confident About it?
Adjusting to a new job should take at most four to five weeks. By then, you have come to know most of your coworkers and started your training.
You have a reasonably good idea of what is expected of you, and you are slowly getting an idea of how things are done.
By this time, you should feel confident, and your team members and mentors will help you with any queries you may have. Being accepted into the team is a huge confidence booster, and it can take about five to six weeks to happen, perhaps less.
Learning a new job should be a fun and fulfilling experience. With each passing day, you will feel more confident about the job you are supposed to do. Only some days will go well, and you may initially struggle for a few days.
However, remember that you were chosen for a reason, and believe in your potential. A good company has all the tools and techniques needed to help its employees, and you can make the best use of them with the help of your mentors.
Once you have mastered your job, you will thrive in your new workplace, and it will be the beginning of the next phase of your career.