Every company/organization has a certain probationary or training period. It comes with the job role. For complex work, it could be a year. It doesn’t matter if you are a fresh graduate at your first job or an experienced professional on a new role, there is a certain learning period for every job role.
One thing we all tend to do is rush the process. We want to create a great first impression as a quick learner/ great employee / team player / manager and so we end up trying to hurry and skim through the learning period. This does no good. So DON’T.
The first year at a new job role is crucial. It is time for you – not just to impress but to learn and adapt. Some jobs require less than a year. So work it out accordingly.
The Learning Phase / Probationary Period – Dos & Don’ts :
Take your time. Learn everything in detail as much as you can. Ask for tips and tricks that only seasoned seniors would know due to their vast experience in the job role.
Be a sponge. Observe, absorb, assimilate.
Keep notes. Maintain a learning journal or tracker. List the topics you want to learn more about and research.
Make mistakes and learn from them. (Avoid blunders – remember you are still a temp, so a blunder could cost your job.)
Don’t try to justify your mistakes. Admit your mistakes and let your boss/team know that you are willing to learn and improve.
Don’t give excuses for your inefficiency or lack of knowledge. Work on it. Action speaks louder.
Don’t exaggerate or show off your skills yet. Be humble. This a period for you to establish a good foundation and develop a rapport; your time to shine will come eventually.
Be open & honest about what you know and don’t know. This will allow you to ask questions to your colleagues and learn more in detail.
This is not only time for your boss, team and the organization to determine if you are right for the job but it is also the time for you to figure out if this is the right job role for you.
So, make full use of it. Trust the process. Don’t rush it. Enjoy your learning phase as you will have a lot to prove for years to come!
Be Ambitious. Be Consistent. Be Brave. ~Yuvathi ❤ 🙂
Arguments – an exchange of words that’s given a negative connotation because the result doesn’t always leave a good taste. A sort of conversation that I try my best to avoid and yet have had to get into one every now and then. It is quite nerve wracking to start a conversation at work knowing that it will lead to an argument. It is even more awfully scary when you know you will be against a lot of seasoned senior professionals. But sometimes, it is important that young professionals share their fresh ideas to bring a change, a tiny twist in the way of things at work.
When I first raised my hand to disagree with my entire team over an existing system – a practice that deemed successful for decades.. I was scared-to-death.
My train of thoughts consisted of a 100 what-if questions: “What if am wrong?” “What if they all disagree?” “What if I come out as an ignorant incompetent woman at work?” “What if they think am arrogant?” “What if am correct and become an outcast?” “What if they all end up disliking me?” “What if they agree and then I flop miserably during execution?” “What if my disagreement turn out to be disrespectful to all the seniors?” “What if my point is totally off-topic?” The list is an endless infinite loop.
All these are common questions that pop in our head every time we deny to conform to the common expected behavior/outcome. This is when we leave our comfort zone and take a minor risk although they may seem like a life or death situation to our inexperienced humble little brain.
It is very easy to nod our head, say yes to everything and everyone. It is easy to live a life of no-conflict. It is comfortable but definitely not satisfying.
Here’s what I learnt as I took those risks and left my comfort zone to question existing practices, legacy systems and unnecessarily time consuming processes:
Most of the questions that popped in my head turned out to be true every once in a while. Some times I failed miserably, sometimes I became an outcast because I was right, sometimes I was disliked by everyone because I looked arrogant/disrespectful.
With time, I learnt the art of negotiation. I learnt to question without offending anyone although it does rarely happen and I can’t help it.
Slowly, I was taken seriously by my team. Most people respected me for taking the risk and having the guts to state my points accurately.
There will always be someone who says NO to everything I suggest purely because they just don’t want to agree with me.
DATA & STATS – they are everything. It is always important to back a statement with facts and numbers as they can never be wrong.
Unless questioned, nobody will know that there is a different approach.
Most importantly : Comfort doesn’t always mean Satisfaction.
I know it is scary. I know it is tough but it is all worth it. Take small risks everyday. To argue your point you first need to know to ask the right questions in the right way. You will learn to ask right questions only if you try to raise your hand in the first place. Even if you fail miserably once, remember you are in this job because you earned it – which means you are capable of understanding and questioning the system. Next time, you will know a better approach to your team, a better choice of words and timing.
Few years down the lane, you will also be sitting in the same panel and a newbie would question your system with a better approach. What you do now and the skills you pick up as you grow will determine the path you pave for the future young professionals.
When I first started this blog, I had just turned twenty and I was a fresh college graduate. I had done some freelance jobs, but I hadn’t had any corporate experience. I stepped into the corporate world as an ambitious young girl – bubbling with excitement with a thirst to reach great heights in my career. I had no idea what this busy corporate world had in store for me.
Every blog post on the Internet gave the common insights – be professional, be punctual, wear these outfits, go the extra mile, learn something new and have it up your sleeve ready to be disposed at the right time and right place, don’t be the lazy-freeloader living off of other team members’ hard-work , don’t be this, don’t be that, do this and that..
But there were many practical things I wished someone had told me beforehand – some sort of guidance, warning and alert signals here and there would have been helpful. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any.
Now, I would like to bring this blog back to life and start sharing some of the simplest of things that I wished someone had told me. Things I share here may not be relatable for everyone, as they could differ from industry to industry , and of course from culture & people of one region to another! I will try my best to keep it as common and relatable as possible. If you could relate to it, please leave a comment. If it varies, please feel free to share your experiences too and it would be helpful for every other striving ambitious career woman on the planet!