New job, new problems?

By Elaeshah Shallow-Campbell

Fellow and Features Writer


Congratulations! You’ve transitioned into a new job, but, you’re feeling overwhelmed. The bad news is that there may be a few reasons you feel that way. The great news is that you’re not alone. Let me guess, you’ve found yourself thinking…

“I feel like I’m being watched!”

I hate to break it to you but, you are. Most positions now have a probationary period which usually lasts about 3 months. During that time, your manager is keeping an eye on you to see if the way you do your job and conduct yourself match up to the things you wrote on your CV. Not to worry (too much) all this means is that you should begin your job as you mean to go on. There’s no point in starting off well and letting your performance slip after your probationary period, we all know how that will end and it’s not pretty.

Remember: Showing desirable employee/colleague qualities will keep you on track to pass your probation.


“I don’t think I fit in!”

You were given the position because your employer thinks that you do fit in. You are qualified enough to be there, all you need to do now is make an effort to get along with your colleagues. Doing small things like asking about their weekend or bringing up things that interest you will give you an idea of what you have in common. You can take it up a notch and be proactive by suggesting a team outing.

Remember: Small talk can be a useful way to gauge people’s interests. Use it to find social pockets that you can be a part of.


“I’m scared to ask for help!”

Asking for help is okay. It’s not necessarily a sign that you don’t listen. If you’re unsure of something it’s always better to ask than to risk making a mistake that could have a bad impact on you, others or the company. Take notes when you are shown or told something that you may need later. It will save you from feeling like you need help further down the line.

Remember: Don’t suffer in silence, asking questions shows an eagerness to learn and develop. That’s exactly the type of enthusiasm your employer wants to see!


“I’m experiencing difficulties in the workplace!”

Wherever you’re working, respect is a standard. Every company has a Human Resources department, contact them if you feel uncomfortable in any way and do not want to confront anyone directly. If you’re being made to feel uncomfortable, you have the right to make a formal record of the incident with HR. This is especially true if it happens on more than one occasion. Incidents involving customers or visitors should also be formally logged.

Remember: The HR department is independent of the company. They represent you as an employee and are legally bound to act in your best interest. You can find more information about HR in your employee handbook.

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