Five things to do if you’re struggling in your new job

You’ve just started a new job.  You’re excited to be working in your chosen field.  But already you feel overwhelmed by your tasks and find yourself struggling through the day, longing to get out of the office and forget work/

Here are 5 things to do if you find yourself struggling in a new job.

Breathe

It’s perfectly normal to struggle in a new role or to struggle in a role at all.  Jobs are supposed to a challenge.  They’re supposed to push you, especially if it’s your very first job in your chosen field.  Or your first proper job at all.  You’ve gone from a student lifestyle to a 9-5 corporate job –  that’s going to take an adjustment.

It’s almost like you’re the new kid at school.  Everybody will be in their little cliques and you may feel left out at first.

What’s important is you don’t develop a self-fulfilling prophecy.  In the short-term, if you feel that you’re a complete failure in your job, you may begin believing that in the long-term too.  And this will negatively impact your work.  Stay motivated and remember it’s normal to make mistakes.

Reflect

If you’re serious about your new job, you’ll be serious about improving. It’s going to hurt, but you need to look at the areas where you’re failing and think about how you’re going to improve. It’s fine if you make mistakes, but you need to learn from them.

For example, if you’re struggling to write press releases or meaningfully contribute to brand campaigns, do some research.  Look through some of your company’s archived press releases.  Browse PR agencies for their old campaigns.  Identify what you like about them and why you think they work.  Apply that to your own work.

Talk

The worst thing you can do is suffer in silence. Don’t forget that you’re providing a service to this company.  They want you to do your job properly, as that’ll help them make more money.  Any good manager will make the time to listen to you.  After all, nobody starts as a manager.  We all began somewhere.

Be honest with them and see if they have any advice. They know you’re new and you’re not used to this.  After all, 60% of managers and almost half of new starters say that learning the ropes is the toughest part of a new job.

And if you feel you can’t talk to your manager, speak to your company’s HR department.  Listen to what they advise and take it on board.  Remember, they want you to succeed as much as you do.

Manage your time 

If you’re failing at your new job, you might feel tempted to work doubly hard to improve.  You might be tempted to start early and stay late.  While this positive, can-do attitude is great to have, be careful not to burn out.

Obviously struggling in a new job is very stressful.  But be careful that doesn’t affect your work/life balance.

Sure, you might have to sacrifice the odd night out to improve your performance but be careful not to do this too often.  If your work is stopping you from seeing your family and friends, this will only add to your stress.

You need time to relax and recharge your batteries and you won’t get that by living in the office.

Quit

Quitting should be your last resort.  But if all else fails, don’t be afraid to do so.  You might not be in the right job and that’s absolutely fine. If you’ve taken the above advice and things are still going wrong, then it might be time to look for a new job.  And quitting of your own accord will definitely look better than being fired.

Just remember don’t burn your bridges too quickly.  If you have a two-week notice period, then keep working your hardest for those two weeks.  Don’t slack off.  And under no circumstances, do not go slagging off your boss or your company on social media.  This will not help you get a good reference.

But the most important thing to remember is that it’s perfectly normal to struggle in a new job.  Everybody’s been in your position.  And if you feel that your job isn’t right for you, remember there might be something better just around the corner.

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