Notes to myself on starting a new job

Today I start my new job, and it will be challenging. Which is good – it’s what I wanted. But I know myself well enough to know that the biggest danger ahead is that I will have too high expectations of what I can do. So I will try to remember that:

  1. There will be no time in this job when I will know everything I need to know. So I will have to ask.
  2. There is no way that I will be able to absorb everything that people tell me first time round. So I will have to ask again. And again, if necessary.
  3. There is no way that I will ever be able to speak Spanish like a native speaker. So I will have to be patient with my mistakes, extra cautious about possible misunderstandings. And I will try to recognise that people around me will value the effort I am making far more than an ability to speak and write perfectly.
  4. I will forget things, and do things wrong. And the quickest way to deal with this is to be very upfront about it and get on with sorting out the problem. The longer I try to kid myself that things are OK, the longer it will take to sort out.
  5. Some decisions will be difficult – I will not have enough information to make the choices I need to make, and often the two alternatives will be difficult. So I will try to remember that sometimes taking no decision, or deciding too late, is a worse alternative than making the wrong choice. Sometimes someone has to make a choice. And often that person will be me.
  6. I cannot be more than I am. So I will just be myself and do the job as myself. And nobody, not even myself, has the right to expect more from me than that.

4 responses to “Notes to myself on starting a new job

  1. Your list almost exactly coincides with what we tell new people at my workplace (a law enforcement dispatch center). There are so many seldom used tidbits of knowledge that completely training someone is impossible. We operate on the Just Ask philosophy. There are also many situations that we can’t anticipate. In that case you have to rely on your own judgement and common sense and just do what you think is right.

    Incidently, I came here from Mark Vernon’s site., where I saw your comment on the Being Atheist article. I’m glad I made some sense to you. I frequently finish a comment and am not sure it makes sense to me, much less anyone else.

  2. That sounds like excellent advice you’ve worked out, Lirone! Good luck in your new job!

  3. Pingback: After the storm… « Words that sing

  4. I am starting a new job this week and was surfing the internet to find people that shared the same frustrations or anxiety I am feeling. Reading this took the words out of my mouth. Its wonderful advice and written beautifully. I will try to remember these points as well.

    Thanks and Good Luck

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