How to adjust to a new job role (HRF Q1 2016)


Have you landed a new job, been assigned a new role, or been promoted within a given establishment but just do not seem to fit? Are you having a rough ride settling into your new role? Are you giving your new assignment the best shot but are still quite unable to meet targets and achieve as much as your work colleagues? Well, if your answer to any of the above-mentioned questions is in the affirmative, just keep calm; such a seemingly awkward experience is not unique to you. It is the lot of many so do not be too quick to consign yourself to the belief that you are ‘a square peg in a round hole.’ It is quite a natural phenomenon to experience difficulties in a new role, especially, over the course of the first few weeks.

I remember my experience while working with Vodafone Ghana as a Data Entry Specialist. The first two weeks were perhaps the toughest as we were exposed to new concepts and systems. A few of my colleagues caught some of the concepts quite fast but others like me did not, especially, when it came to practising in real work settings. One of our colleagues called it quits after the first few days of training. I must admit, I thought of quitting but hung in there. For a few days, I struggled to adjust and was unable to meet my daily targets. But the situation was soon to change: What eventually became obvious was that the more I practiced, the better I became at what I did.


Worth-noting is the fact that there are simple, yet potent measures you can take that will make your ride much smoother, perhaps, shortening your rough ride season – adjusting to your new role and optimizing your productivity. Below are a few suggestions to aid you in this direction:


Maintain the right attitude. Zig Ziglar, a world-renowned corporate trainer, public speaker and best-selling author, makes a remarkable point in his book, “Over the top,” when he states, “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” It is important to note that this quote does not by any stretch of the imagination seek to downplay the value of aptitude. Aptitude is very essential in the corporate world and should never be glossed over. However, aptitude accomplishes far more when it is exerted with the right attitude. The right attitude will compel an employee to work on honing his or her skill-set, competences and aptitude.


Approach your new job with the right attitude and stick with it. An attitude that says, “You are capable,” will challenge you but that notwithstanding, it is what will eventually win the day, for in the heat of the pressure, you will maintain a positive outlook and will be willing to do whatever it takes to excel at your new role or job.


Commit yourself to continuous learning. It was Brian Tracy, a top sales trainer and prolific author, who once noted: “You can learn anything you need to learn to achieve any goal you can set for yourself; there are no limits.” In this age of phenomenal technological advancement, valuable information is just a click of a button away. Vast amounts of relevant information may be accessed on the internet. Worthy of note is the fact that these volumes of information are not limited to e-reading materials; there are huge collections of audio and audio-visual tutorials on the internet. Some can be accessed for free and others for a fee. Make the most of these great learning opportunities; invest in these materials to increase your knowledge base and to hone your skills for optimal performance in your new role or job. Be a reader and researcher by choice. Learn as much as you can from your superiors and also your colleagues; feel free to ask questions where you need some clarification or tutelage. Be observant and pay attention to details. These are all valuable learning opportunities; latch on to them while you can.


Keep practicing. We are accustomed to the adage, “Practice makes perfect.” Some have also introduced a newer version which states, “Perfect practice makes perfect.” However, one may choose to state that the value of practice cannot be over-emphasized. A routine eventually becomes habitual. The more one does a thing, the better that individual becomes at executing that task; significant progress is made and you adjust safely into your new role.


Elbert Hubbard was right when he quipped, “A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.” The fact that you are having a rough ride settling into your new role does not mean you should throw your arms up in despair and call it quits. If you put in the necessary work, overtime, you will be the better for it. You will certainly begin to reap the dividends of patiently persisting in the discharge of your duties, however challenging it might be.


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