how long should it take a new hire to get up to speed?

by Ask a Manager on July 13, 2010

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A reader writes:

I’m a former academic mathematician who left academia, because…well…suffice it to say that I didn’t go to college for nine years to become a glorified babysitter. After a job offer from a Very Large Government Agency fell through, I found myself severely underemployed. While slowly crawling out of the deep, dark depression in which I found myself, I started slowly picking up some extra skills so that I could start a new career (and no, I found myself unable to go back to academia, as the thought of entering the classroom again literally sent me into panic attacks). That all of this happened was bad enough; that all of this happened as the economy started circling the bowl made things even worse.

Finally, after two years, I have a job as a Data Analyst for an advertising company, with slightly over two weeks from the recruiter saying “Hi, I passed your resume to the hiring manager, and he’d like to talk to you…” to the job offer, with two phone interviews, an online programming exam, a personality profile, and a problem that the hiring manager gave me to see how I thought on my feet in between (there might have been a partridge in a pear tree in there somewhere, too :P ). The interview advice on your blog was invaluable, especially for the phone interviews. I think I impressed the hiring manager with my questions, especially “What differentiates a good employee in this position from a great employee?”

The work environment is great, and the people are awesome–not to mention the pay and benefits! However, I find myself in a completely new industry doing work I’ve never done before, and despite the fact that I’ve only been here less than two weeks, I’m taking longer in getting up to speed than I would like. I recognize that I’m putting a significant amount of this pressure on myself–as the old saying goes, I am my own harshest critic. I have received many assurances from my manager that he’s confident in my ability to catch up, and he proactively suggested weekly meetings to keep track of my progress. However, I want to make certain that I stay on task and don’t fall behind, especially as this is a contract to hire position.

So, my question is this: What, generally speaking, is a reasonable amount of time for a new hire that is talented but inexperienced to get up to speed?

I think this varies widely from job to job, and also depends on factors like how well the company trains you, exposes you to resources, etc.  However, based just on watching people over the years, I’d say that there’s often a moment of clarity that occurs about four to eight weeks in — when suddenly all the pieces start to fit together in a way that makes more intuitive sense, and all of a sudden you don’t feel quite as much like you’re treading water. I’m not talking about mastering the job — that takes way longer. I’m talking just about getting that sense that you’re no longer in a foreign and mysterious land.

Again, this really varies depending on the job. But you’ve only been there two weeks? There’s a good chance that you’re putting unrealistic pressure on yourself, as you seem to recognize.

Now, another good question is whether there are things you can do to help yourself acclimate faster.  To answer that, I’d want to know whether there are specific things that you know you’re struggling to learn, or is it more a general feeling of being overwhelmed?  If there are specific things, can you ask a colleague to walk you through them again? It’s very, very hard to retain all the information that’s thrown at you in your first few days on a job — so if most of your training happened early on, you might find that you can retain it better now. Also, if possible to do diplomatically, you might even seek someone different than whoever taught you the first time; different people teach things in different ways, and you might get someone who presents it in a way that resonates more for you.

If it’s more a general feeling of being overwhelmed, the weekly meetings with your manager are going to help. Make sure you prepare for these ahead of time so you’re getting as much as possible out of them. For the next few weeks, it might be useful to send him a list ahead of the meeting — here’s what I accomplished this week, here’s what I’m planning to do next week, here’s what I have on my longer-term to-do list — to ensure it lines up with his thinking and to catch any areas where you’re out of alignment.

Also, ask your manager what he’d like you to have achieved by the end of your second month and by the end of your first six months. If you have a very concrete sense of where you need to be headed, it’s easier to figure out what you need to do to get there.

While we’re on the subject of getting new hires acclimated, one thing that I like to do is to give each new hire an outline of all the things they’ll need to learn about to really know the job. This includes everything from the basics of how to do the job, to who key internal and external figures are, to what they do and don’t have authority for, and on and on. To be clear, this is just an outline of topics, not fully fleshed out information on each (they’ll get that in face-to-face conversations with the various people participating in their training). I’ve found it can be really helpful for them to have a written list like that to consult a couple of weeks in — because it can make you think, “Oh, I vaguely remember a mention of Topic X on my second day, when it made no sense to me and I didn’t retain it. So let me seek out information on it again now, when it’ll make more sense.” Or you might realize that no one talked to you about Topic X at all, and then you can proactively ask your boss about it.  It can also just help to get your arms around the breadth of the job if you see each aspect outlined like that.

You may not have that exactly, but do you have any other written materials you can review — department manuals, etc.? I’ve found people often don’t take advantage of those things after the initial read, even though reading them again a few weeks into the job can be a lot more useful than the first read was.

I suspect you’re going to do just fine. You sound like you’re having normal first-few-weeks-on-the-job jitters. You also sound like you’ve landed in a really great situation. So congratulations, and good luck!

{ 36 comments }

Anonymous July 13, 2010 at 5:27 am

Without naming where I work, we expect new hires who are new to the industry (which is sort of your case) to take up to 6 months to really get ramped up to full speed.

Beth July 13, 2010 at 11:04 am

I agree with the 6 month mark. I see it and I've experienced it. The 6 month mark may be more from the perception of the hire who suddenly feels like they have a good handle on things and aren't exhausted at the end of every night. From the perspective of the manager, it probably appears they've caught on to everything faster. Learning a new culture is exhausting, even when it's only a new company culture. Be prepared to feel a whole lot better after 6 months.

Lisa July 13, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I may be off the mark here but there's a bit of an undertone to me that the poster expected working in the private sector to be a breeze after being an academic mathematician and is now panicking because his/her new job requires some slightly different skillsets, tools, and techniques to what they're used to, and they're not the instant expert they were expecting to be. Which is fine! Two weeks is just about long enough to start getting a handle on where the tea and biscuits are kept, to me.

I would suggest that the poster think about why they're being so hard on themselves and perhaps rearrange their expectations about what their capabilities should be, given their particular experience, and take some time to understand what the new job needs and how they need to adapt their current skills to fit.

Anonymous July 13, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Geez, after two weeks at my last FT job I was only just able to find the cafeteria by myself. Cut yourself a break!

Mary Sue July 13, 2010 at 8:39 pm

I'm the person who onboards and trains new employees within my department. We expect new hires in my specific department, irregardless of industry or job experience, to take no fewer than 6 months to get up to speed, and a full year for them to feel fully proficient. We have to deal with an ever-changing array of law (federal, state, and local) and policies that I tell new employees, "This is the deep end. We're throwing you in. But don't freak out, I'm your life preserver."

I spent the ten years before I stepped into this position as a contract employee; by the end of two weeks of those assignments I could be counted on to know which desk was mine and which person was my supervisor… and that's about it.

Anonymous July 14, 2010 at 1:04 am

If the employer has a probationary period, I think that is a good indicator of how long it should take you be able to operate independently (not synonymous with expert level).

Anonymous July 14, 2010 at 3:19 am

I'm the OP. First of all, thank you for posting my question so quickly.

To tell the truth, there are both particular things that I'm learning one step at a time, and I've also had a general sense of feeling overwhelmed. In particular, I've had to learn a new relational database management system and to write SQL code that's far more detailed than what I did while learning the language by myself.

However, yesterday I was given a particular task to work on–up to that point, I was basically told to "dig in and explore" without any more direction than that, and I've actually produced some code that can be used to reach a solution. Granted, it would take a lot less time for someone else on the team to solve this problem, but I'm already learning a lot about this particular dialect of SQL and the structure of the data warehouse.

Today, I managed to refine my code (in the amount of time I had that wasn't eaten up by meetings), and this time, I (mostly) rebuilt the program from the ground up to be more efficient and to get at more of what I want. In comparison to yesterday, when I was flailing and panicking, today I was more relaxed, and for a few fleeting moments, I could visualize the data. Things flowed somewhat. (To be continued….stupid character limit…)

Anonymous July 14, 2010 at 3:20 am

(Part 2 of 2)

Both yesterday and today, just before leaving the office, I sent an e-mail to the lead person on my subteam–cced to my manager–with an explanation of what I was doing, and attached the code. The fact that I'm able to produce SOMETHING–even if it's only a baby step or two–makes me feel a lot better.

These reports will definitely help with my weekly progress meetings, and I'll bring a tentative to-do list as well. I haven't asked what he wants to see accomplished by X date; during our first meeting last week, I tried to get a rough deadline out of him as to when he would expect me to get up to speed. Upon reflection, your approach is much more sensible, and I'll give it a try during my meeting later on this week.

I think part of what contributed to this feeling of being overwhelmed is that since I'm in a contract to hire position, I wasn't eligible for the three day orientation, during which one is given a rundown of every branch of the company, what they do, etc, etc. I've been given some brief overviews in the form of meetings, but it's still left me with the feeling of being thrown to the wolves–friendly and supportive wolves, but wolves nonetheless.

There is a company wiki–some pages of which are better written than others–that I've perused fairly thoroughly. The absolute meatiest things, though–including the documentation for the database management system–is given in the form of hundreds of pages of power point slides, which are of limited use as reading material.

@anon 1:27, Beth, Mary Sue, and anon 9:04: Thank you for your input. From the research that I did before getting this position, it seems as though six months is a fairly standard contract term. However, my contract period is actually for 90 days (with the possibility of being brought in before the 90 day period is up). Being new to contract to hire positions in general, I don't know first hand what the significance of the 90 day contract period is (as opposed to six months), but a few people that I've talked to have indicated that it's a good thing.

@Lisa: I have no idea what gave you the impression that I "expected working in the private sector to be a breeze" or that I expected to be an "instant expert."

Quite frankly, I'm sick and tired of the assumption that all academics are lazy. Throughout my years in the ivory tower, I spent many a 60 hour workweek juggling several tasks at once, including keeping to an extremely active program of scholarly research.

I'm not panicking because my new job requires new skill sets, tools, etc. I welcome that challenge. I was expressing concern about whether or not I could advance these new skills quickly enough to thrive in my new career. Given the recent developments (see above), that is now far less of a concern than it was.

So, as the kids nowadays would say, the tl;dr version is that yes, you're off the mark.

@anon 1:33: LOL. I was merely after a reality check. Thank you for providing it.

Karl Sakas July 14, 2010 at 3:30 am

To pick up lingo and current trends, I suggest skimming a few industry publications and websites on a regular basis. For example: Advertising Age, Seth Godin's blog, Marketing Sherpa, Marketing Profs, and American Marketing Association (AMA) newsletters.

Your new coworkers can make recommendations specific to your subfield. I blog about marketing, too, but you might want to start with the big ones first. Good luck!

Cassie July 14, 2010 at 3:57 am

Six months seems like a good starting point for new hires to get a good feel for their job. Well, for more technical/detailed stuff. For a new receptionist, developing basic customer service skills shouldn't take that long.

I like the idea of giving new hires pertinent information that they will need (or may need). We've had several new employees over the past couple of years and they don't really get much of an orientation. They do get some training (depending on their position, some get more training than others). One staffer didn't know she had a mailbox in the mailroom. There's a new executive assistant in our dept and she hasn't really been introduced (except by email). Obviously, she's the person sitting in the office that wasn't there before, but I remember the days when they would walk the new hire around to offices and cubicles and introduce them. Another staffer, who is in a supervisor position, gets mistaken for a temp because the vast majority of people don't know who she is or what she does.

I can only imagine what it's like to be a new hire in our dept.

Lisa July 14, 2010 at 1:00 pm

My apologies to the OP – I didn't mean to imply that academics are lazy or that academia is anything other than a time-consuming and challenging area of work. My post was based on its seeming to me very strange that anyone would expect to be up to speed in a new industry in less than two weeks. Evidently, my extrapolation as to why that might be was wrong and I'm happy that you've come back to update readers and that things are going well.

renoir-girl July 14, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Fabulus, fabulous post with great ideas. I'm about to start a new position and will take the advice!

Rebecca July 14, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Think of this, too, if you start to worry that your employer thinks you're terrible:
- They know what skills you have and what skills you don't have, if they were competent at all during the hiring process.
- They trust that you'll be able to learn the skills you don't have. If they didn't, they wouldn't have hired you.

Use those weekly meetings (and it's mega awesome that your boss cares enough that he's willing to have weekly meetings — lots of bosses would consider it a waste of time) and keep rollin'. You'll be fine.

Anonymous July 14, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Two important things for the OP to think about:

1) Try not to read so much into people's responses.
Apparently the academia thing is a sore point – Lisa's response seemed genuinely positive and constructive, but even if someone WAS slamming academics – so what? Being defensive like that isn't going to change someone's mind, and in this case made you appear MUCH more disgruntled than you (hopefully) really are.

2) Practice brevity.
Seriously. I mean, holy cow – you're obviously extremely articulate, but it's bordering on loquaciousness. This isn't a slam on academia, but look at the difference between a CV and a resume. If I remember correctly, a CV can be many pages and should list tons of detail, whereas a resume should be one page – two at the ABSOLUTE MOST – regardless of how much experience a person has. A resume isn't supposed to include every detail, it's just supposed to include enough to generate interest and get you in the door so an interviewer can ask for the details they're interested in.

It'll likely take a year or two to really get the hang of it, but this is something that will actually have a tangible impact on your career. If your e-mails are short, sweet, and to the point, they're much more likely to be paid attention to, and if anyone wants to know more details, they'll ask. I know that seems less efficient than just including all the details up front, but trust me when I say that when you do that, many people will just give up reading part-way through (sort of like how some people have already done with this post…)

Note: Brevity should not to be confused with checking the done box, management lobotomy, or death by PowerPoint.

Anonymous July 17, 2010 at 2:28 am

The timing of this post is impeccable! I am a week into a new job, and I also had the presumption my acclimation was taking too long. Upon reading AAM's response and the others, especially finding the cafeteria, I feel a lot better!

Speaking for myself, I am hard on myself because of the economic climate. You could say I feel guilty having a job, when so many are searching for one. Furthermore, because of the economic situation, I know my employer does not have to be generously patient. At least, that was my concern. Reading the answers and comments have eased that primary concern.

Anonymous October 5, 2010 at 5:57 pm

….I started a new job I was there 2 weeks and the office manager comes in to my office to tell me that things just are not working out and sent me home, now mind you I have NEVER!!! done this type of work before, I had no prior knowledge or training and the person who hired me knew this and I was also reassured that eventually I will catch on, well evidently not fast enough for what they wanted and to top it off I was shown what to do by a person that supposedly is the best and that there is no comparing her to anyone else within the company this is what was told to me on my first day! I was blown away I could not believe that I was actually supposed to know everything about this position and the tasks that are involved and there is ALOT!!! IN LESS THEN 2 WEEKS. I just find this to be unfair and there should be a law against such nonsense.

Anonymous November 24, 2013 at 9:02 am

I just went through the same scenario but they gave me a month. The first week I was expected to learn the new software system and complete the 15 projects they gave me in the first week. No training! No one told me where files were kept. The CFO then would raise her voice and ask why the project was not complete yet. Then, when they let me go, I got a complex thinking it was me…really!?

Vanessa April 3, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Glad to have found this site. I am in the third week – two weeks and two days, to be exact – of my new job, and am feeling the stress of the learning curve. The exact duties of the job are old hat – I’ve been doing them a long time – but learning the ins and outs of a completely new department, culture and scope of work are challenging. Everyone seems pleased with my work so far, and I’ve worked very hard to get up to speed and learn the puzzle pieces, so to speak. I get a strong sense that the head guy either doesnt’ like me, or has a management style I’m unaccustomed to, and that is adding to my stress, as I’m used to people being straightforward and telling me what they like and want, or vice versa. I’ll see how it goes, but thanks to all the other posters on this forum who have made me feel better that I’m not 100% up to speed after only 2.5 weeks. Good luck to all of you in your new and ongoing endeavors!

Ron R. August 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm

I was just let go at a new job after 6 days! They expected me to be pretty totally functional after just a few days. Everyone I tell about this thinks the place is crazy. They didn’t even have my payroll and timesheet software set up until 2 hours before I was dismissed. What an experience!!!

Kim March 7, 2013 at 9:23 am

I was hired beginning of Feb. at a great National company with excellent perks, insurance, etc… They have a 6 wk. TRAINING program for their new hires in their call center for sales/service. I had 13 days of training in our class of new hires and was released yesterday due to not retaining info and learning a new software program quickly enough for their taste, 3 Chapters of new information a day. Employer expected me to be able to maneuver in the new software process correctly the first time without hesitation. This trainer started to speak to me on day 8 about being concerned…he stated I had a great personality, always early, never missed training, professional attitude, said I always have a smile on my face everyday, well liked by all co-workers, enthusiastic, …but was concerned. ( I thought these were conversations). These I found out were later documented as warnings and verbals, before my release yesterday. The paperwork that was written was so blown out of proportion that my mind is still wondering where this came from. When he stated he would try to have me work one on one with him, or one of the other two trainers, that was a joke. They may have worked with me one time each and for a max 20 mins. this wasn’t training, coaching, nor it was a person writing every screen I went to that was wrong. (Even though I performed and had the same end result it wasn’t step by step the way THEY do it) . I have worked with software programs for 30 years, this trainer made me feel stupid and inadequate to say the least. Needless to say at the beginning of training they tell you; if you miss one day your first 90 days there will be no questions, FIRED immediately, especially during the training period. FALSE; I had 8 people in our group that missed up to 5 days and are still there!! But I was fired???? Sorry had to vent, so upset with this process, I understand right to work States, but this is crazy.

Pam March 7, 2013 at 10:07 am

Obviously they had another agenda that didn’t include you. Office politics, budget cuts, whatever. Someone had a relative that needed a job. It’s not fair but just move on and forget it. Luckily, you will forget it soon enough, or at least when you get another lousy job with its own problems. Remember the line from The Who song: “Meet your new boss. Same as the old boss?” It’s true. They are all the same.

Ron R. August 29, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Let me know if anyone else thinks this was an unreasonable amount of time.

Ron R. August 30, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Like I said, I was let go after 6 days! I would go home at nights and feel like I was drunk. Just soooooooo much new info. They said was too slow to learn. I’ve never been told that in any other job. I still feel so very low!!!

Joseph January 23, 2013 at 12:39 pm

For others who read this story…

1 year later…I’m just off the blocks. I guess it depends on the level of difficulty. If the pay/benefits are excellent, I’d expect the position is mentally stressful (those are the worst). I suggest taking one big bite at a time and thoroughly chewing threw it all day/night before attempting another spoon full. Keep your plate clear or food will gather and spoil! Recover on Sundays and go find God…you’ll need him. ;)

Pam January 25, 2013 at 9:56 pm

I loved reading this. I just started a new job 3 weeks ago and it’s completely different than anything I’ve ever done. I am being trained and certified in two different areas. I passed the first certification on the 10th day and I am frustrated with my progress on learning the 2nd certification, but the material is massive. I.too. need to give myself a break. I love the company and my new co-workers, but today I drove home crying from the pressure. It’s good to know it’s normal. I’m going to plug away. OP- an update please?

Pam March 7, 2013 at 10:02 am

Update on my situation: I was basically humiliated and pressured into quitting. The bottom line was that they interviewed someone who was already certified with the second certification and had experience, but couldn’t afford both of us, so instead of being honest and telling me they wanted to let me go so they could have her, they called me into an office with the owner, and my supervisor, who had always had continuous support & enthusiasm for me and my work, and questioned whether I thought I was “getting it.” Even though it was obvious I was. My supervisors silence was like a knife in the heart. She sat there like stone, when she knew I had been doing well. That didn’t fire me or ask me to quit, but overwhelmed me, upped the anty and told me I basically needed to bass the second certification in less than 7 days, and also was expected to wine and dine clients for 3 of those 7 days, during festive office parties. I said forget it. If it looks like it’s too good to be true, it probably is. If it looks like it’s crap, it’s crap.

matt March 9, 2013 at 11:06 pm

I just transfered to a new role within my company. Its really different, first week in and i have been working with a seasoned engineer. I have learned so much from this guy. Since its a big company management loves stuff like this.. team work. My manager also said within 6 months to a year to grasp the technology fully.. And years to become a master. Mind you i work in a very technical field so… I just got back from two months of training and my brain felt like i smoked bowls the entire time. Just smoked out, but after a week of re-inforcement and self study.

Starting a new job is more then 9-5 if you want to be successful, i spend a few hours today thinking about services cases and wil study more tmw. But if you have a shitty ass manager with expectations that are stupid then.. yea you will fail.

Mark March 11, 2013 at 3:32 pm

I am 6 days into a new job and feeling the same pressures the OP described. I am a software developer (we used to just call ourselves programmers back when I started, 23 years ago).
On the 5th day we went out for lunch as a team. They told me that they had interviewed for 6 months before finding me, and that I was the only one who answered the questions and completed the practical tests adequately. That made me feel better, for a short while, but then I realized what expectations they must have. I mean, if they wanted someone who could grow into the role, they didn’t need them to be able to answer the questions. Well, perhaps the questions were testing basic ability, but then it’s hard to think like that when you have a nervous disposition and are self-critical, isn’t it?
And in programming, experience only counts so much. The field evolves so rapidly that you need to be learning constantly, unless you find a job where the pace is fairly slow, like a big corporation, where you can coast. Of course, experienced programmers tend to be stronger than new ones, in general, as with anything, but only up to a point.
The thing is, the actual job role has me using a lot of technologies that are new to me, and that were not tested in the interview process. So now I feel like I’m taking far too long to produce. I know it’s only been 6 days, but I need to have a basic system completed within the next 4, and I haven’t got all the details yet.
I know what it’s like to feel inadequate, and it’s horrible! I’m not supposed to be a stupid guy, I am a card carrying Mensa member, but I sure feel like an idiot at the moment.
Thank you to everyone for the encouraging comments. I especially like the notion that two weeks is about long enough to know where the tea and biscuits are kept.

Jen May 19, 2013 at 9:32 pm

I began a new job 3 weeks ago. The training was week, almost non existent. After 2 and 1/2 weeks my supervisor told me if I don’t start producing I would be out the door. Everyday I go in thinking its the last. Not the best way to get the best from new hires!

d August 6, 2013 at 1:30 am

well the company I am at for the past 5 weeks are disappointed in how slow I am. (even tho it is highly detailed)-they know I have MPS and my brain fog will affect me learning. And most of the girls there said it took them 2-3 months to really feel comfortable. I have been having panic attacks too because I always can hear others talking about how slow I am. Been stressful-which does not help either. But they said I am too slow and let me go. Very frustrated with the lack of time given to learn. :/

Pam August 6, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Sorry to hear this, but life is too short to have a job that gives you panic attacks. I hope something better comes a long soon, and try to forget this place.

Lola August 19, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Hello,
I am going through the same thing and am super stressed out. The only difference is I am through a temp agency as a temp to perm hire. I have a 3 month probation period before they make me permanent. I have been here for almost two weeks and stepping into logistics from retail sales is a HUGE step. My manager has only been here for 3 months herself, and is still learning. Due to the heavy workload that there is, she hasn’t had time to properly train me because she hasn’t been fully trained herself. My other co worker has been here for a year and a half, and should be the manager, but doesn’t care for it. So because she’s the most knowledgeable one, we both look to her for answers. I think I overheard my manager asking for someone to replace me that she “doesn’t have to train”. I don’t feel like I’ve been given proper knowledge and this is my first corporate job and I want to keep it. I am going through a huge amount of anxiety. Please PLEASE HELP!

Deb B. September 5, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Horrifying to hear how poorly companies perform in on-boarding new employees. This is a huge problem everywhere — companies want to hire people they don’t need to train. But technology demands constant training, not just for new hires, but for the entire workforce. I work at a small company that does employee training specific to our industry. It is the one part of our business that NEVER sees a downturn. So knowing how many firms mangle the hiring process with unreasonable expectations and terrible-to-non-existant orientation and training is just stomach-churning. My sympathies to everyone posting here about bad experiences. Try to stay positive and best of luck in your future job searches.

Olivia September 24, 2013 at 9:39 pm

I feel so much better after reading this post! I just started my first “you’re a real adult now with responsibilities and a salary” job just over a month ago and I came here because I was worried I wasn’t catching on fast enough. Until this point, I’ve only held part-time student worker positions where the responsibilities are minimal to non-existent. I got hired through a contact I had, was brought in to interview and hired the next day but I’ve been concerned that I can’t hack it. The person in the position before me was able to train me for 3 days before her 2 weeks notice was up and I’ve been asking questions ever since!

I’ve gotten to the point where I can do the normal tasks on my own (there are quite a few “special-case” tasks with my company) but lately I feel like I’ve been asking too many questions. I’m glad to know now that it is rare to be completely acclimated after only a month. That doesn’t mean that I won’t work as hard toward trying to answer as many of my own questions as I can but I do feel better knowing that I might be putting a little too much pressure on myself to have all the answers at this point. Along with the pressure to succeed in my position is also the pressure not to show my age (I’m constantly told how young I am and it gets to be patronizing after a while, not to mention is not too comforting for clients to know). It’s nice to see that at least part of my need to ask questions is not necessarily linked to my age or level of competence but is just part of being new to any company.

laura December 28, 2013 at 6:21 pm

I just started a new job 10 days ago ish I love it but the boss expects me to know everything so instant. Yesterday I cried just because it is overwhelming being on a new job and doing different things and tasks. like the one person said the probation period is the time you should know some what of the job I guess. So I will go by that. Thank you for everybody’s input. I will just keep trying until I get the hang of the job. I was a certified nurses aid now I am a medical assistant so these jobs even though they are in the medical field totally different.

Scott January 4, 2014 at 12:43 am

I’m just shy of 3 months into my new position. I went from a smaller company to a large company and it took a while for me to get my head around what goes where (the tea and biscuits idea). It’s like a roller coaster. Some days I feel like I’m getting it and some days I realize I’m falling short. All things I know I’m capable of doing, but just so much information to process at once. I’m feeling better and was told it would take 6 months to adjust. I just pray that I will continue to adjust and improve. I didn’t realize/remember how wearing starting a new position would be.

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