Unfortunately, the transition from looking for a job to starting one rarely means a shedding of anxieties. In fact, you’re often trading one set of worries for another, as the stress that comes with proving yourself through cover letters and interviews morphs into the stress of proving yourself with the actual day-to-day responsibilities you campaigned hard to obtain.
There are ways to cope, though, and in a fabulous Bustle post titled “5 Tips For Succeeding At A New Job Even If You’re Totally Overwhelmed,” writer Marlen Komar pulls together expert advice from a wide range of sources. Her first suggestion is to “focus on your weaknesses” — something she picks up from The First 90 Days: Proven Strategies for Getting Up to Speed Faster and Smarter author Michael D. Watkins. The idea here is to step out of your comfort zone and avoid the temptation to stick to things you’re good at. This will make you a more well rounded and valuable employee.
Another way to grow in your new role is to “find a mentor,” a terrific tip Komar gets from Levo career writer Betsy Smith. This mentor should be someone in your position or even a level higher, and he or she will be able to use past experiences to steer you in the right direction. What’s more, when mentors take you under their wings, they’re likely to recommend you for future opportunities and generally have your back at the company, and that’s extremely valuable.
Next up, Komar suggests playing by your manager’s rules and prioritizing the way he or she prefers, even if your work habits are completely different. It’s about becoming “a little less strong willed,” and Watkins warns you shouldn’t try to change your boss. That said, if you have idea for how, say, processes might be streamlined or workloads might be better divvied up, feel free to share them a few months into your run — after you’ve established yourself as a team player.
Along the same lines, you should be open to new challenges and never “lock yourself in.” Komar knows about this firsthand, and she shares a story about how a boss once asked her to help plan an event, and how that led from her moving up the ladder from administrative assistant to marketing specialist. As Marie Claire marketing director Courtney Weinblatt tells Komar, “few career paths are straight.”
Finally, Komar takes a step back and urges everyone to remain focused on the big picture. “Keep your goals visible,” she writes, and she really does mean visible. Whether you took this new job with the goal of learning new skills or meeting important people, don’t forget why, exactly, you wake up every morning, turn the coffee machine on, and ultimately deal with the stress. “Write down what you want to achieve and keep it somewhere visible,” time-management expert Julie Morgenstern recently told the website Refinery 29, “so you’ll always be reminded of what you’re really working toward.”