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Dealing with New Work Overwhelm

While starting a new job can be exciting it can also be overwhelming learning the new processes and getting caught up to speed. When you’re stressed and the workload seems like more than you’re able to handle, it’s easy to lead you to question if the new job is the right fit. Know that this is completely normal and give yourself time to settle in. Below are a few additional tips to help you during this transition period…


Get Clarity on What You Need to Learn

When starting a new job, some of the overwhelm can be due to not knowing the company processes and a clear definition of the job requirements. Schedule meetings with your manager and ask what tools and procedures you need to learn to be successful in your role. There may be trainings you should attend or courses you could take and your manager will be the best one to guide you so ask them for any clarity. In an article on Forbes, they recommend, “Skills and expertise in your field are just two learning objectives. In addition, you need to understand how your new employer works, including how your manager likes to work. Hopefully, when you onboarded as a new employee, HR, IT or some other welcome resource helped you with the foundational systems (e.g., email, voicemail, knowledge management systems you’ll need for your job). However, there may be role-specific or department-specific software or information where your manager or colleagues need to lead the training. As you look through your list of responsibilities and projects (from step 1), identify the technology and information you’ll be using, as well as the reporting or whatever finished product you need to deliver. It could be that you need academic-like training (e.g., learning SQL to download your own data), or perhaps your manager or a colleague can train you on-the job. Finally, don’t forget communication and leadership skills that might be front-and-center for this new career but weren’t as prominent in your previous career (e.g., your legal work was more behind-the-scenes and now your audit work is client-facing).”


Reach Out for Help

While you might want to try and do everything yourself to prove that you were a good hire, don’t feel ashamed to ask for help. Your new co-workers who have been at the company for a while will know the processes and be able to provide guidance so you can do your job more efficiently and thoroughly. In an article on Indeed, they write, “Talk to your colleagues about your problem and ask for suggestions on ways to resolve them. They may know a better way to complete tasks you’ve been struggling with so you can work more efficiently. Everyone needs help, no matter what stage of their career they’re in at the time, and requesting support from your colleagues can help the team collaborate more effectively. You might also offer support to your colleagues to learn more about their role and how it contributes to the team’s goals, and to build professional connections.”


Don’t Try and Accomplish it All Now

If you start a new role with a list of tasks to be accomplished, give yourself time to get to them. You may feel the need to work around the clock to prove you’re a hard worker but that will just leave you exhausted and resentful. Talk to your manager about realistic timelines and when tasks need to be accomplished. Having a schedule and goals in place will help you stay focused and on track without feeling frazzled.