Newbie

Welcome on-board and once again- congratulations on your new role. Be it a promotion at work, a switch of careers or organizations or you are kick-starting your career. While this can be a very exciting experience, it comes with a lot of anxiety and uncertainties and here’s why…

  1. You will have moments of immense self-doubt.

Between figuring out your new role and getting to master it, there will be moments of unadulterated self-doubt.  On one hand, you want to be the ‘wow’ newbie and on the other hand you are starting to realize that eeerm, green is what you feel: majorly because there is a whole lot of learning, unlearning and relearning ahead of you. You find yourself constantly trading between trying to demonstrate that you are up to the task and figuring out what you are meant to do, how best to do it and how to create your space within the system.

One day you feel like you have it all figured out, the next day you are telling Jesus to take the wheel because you are either experiencing a mental block or PHD levels of amnesia when it comes to your new role because of information overload *Hugs. (But the lord is your shepherd, thou shall not fear ).

On a serious note though, remember that you were hired because your employer believes in your abilities, and so should you!

2. You will (and must) invest extra hours in the first couple of weeks- or months (depending).  

You have moved from a point where you were pretty comfortable with what you did and how you did it. You most probably had a library of hacks and could easily find your way around whatever challenge came. Then boom! New systems, a 360 degrees turn in the way of doing things and unfamiliar types of tasks. What came naturally in your previous roles may not, the hacks that you had mastered over the years may not even be relevant now…

You will look around at people going about their daily work as though that is precisely what they were born for and ask yourself how much longer it will take you to get there. (The answer is soon).

You may inevitably catch yourself putting in extra hours to keep up with the changes.  The first one or two months introduce you to what the men of old called ‘burning the midnight oil’.  But those are struggles you don’t want to put out here or publicly confess because you are in the business of making your achievements appear effortless. And judiciously so because the general principle is to be a duck>>> remain calm on the surface and paddle like hell underneath.

3. You will bear more weight/responsibility.

Expected, no? Every promotion comes more responsibility and risk. That said, be ready to stretch out of your comfort zone, make decisions, demonstrate a can-do demeanor and ace whatever challenge your new role throws at you.  As you grow into the role, feel free to hold a small ceremony to marry your knowledge and your experience (and rename yourself ‘expert’ if you are the type that likes to change names

4. You will need to remind yourself who you were- every now and then

When my boss recently asked me what was in my balance sheet, I thought that he was taking this accounting vibe a little too seriously.

“I mean, what are your strengths, weaknesses, traits, habits and competencies…. and to throw a spanner to the works, how can existing items in your balance sheet help you from current to ideal state” he added…

The conversation made me take a step back and rethink my life in a more holistic manner- beyond the 8.00 -5.00 radius. To revisit my own strengths (assets) and areas I struggle with (liabilities) and chart a way to strike a balance. (As we speak, I am still trying to balance the balance sheet 😁)

5. Attitude is everything

Often said, your talent determines what you can do, your motivation determines how much you are willing to do, and your attitude determines how well you do it. Now, go right ahead and break the glass cealing, will you? #unlimited

Ps… I have been reading the first 90 days by Michael Watkin which is an incredible read for anyone in a new role. You may want to get a copy 😊

11 thoughts on “Newbie

  1. This motivates me every day. It’s actually my phone screen saver
    “If you quit now, you’ll end up right where you first began. And when you first began, you were desperate to be where you are right now. Keep going!”

    Like

  2. Lovely read. Reminds me of one of my most encouraging quotes in the face of newness and anxiety “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin”

    Like

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