You just got a new job and are excited to see what the first day brings. But once there, you realize that things aren’t as organized as you thought they’d be. You were introduced to your team, but then your manager just started to assign things to you. You didn’t get any formal training on how the company works or how to use certain programs or devices. What do you do?
Unfortunately, this situation is all too common. Although companies should have new employee onboarding to train new hires on how the company and their position works, there isn’t always time set aside for that. Some companies just throw you in the deep end and hope you learn how to swim. Here’s how to find your way without a life preserver.
- Review Any Materials You’ve Been Given
Although your employer didn’t provide any formal training, did they give you any manuals or other materials? If they did, make sure to read those cover to cover. You might be able to find a few explanations for how things work.
- Take Notes (and Initiative)
If no one is taking the time to formally train you, there might be an expectation that you learn things on your own. Taking copious notes can help you with that. “Take notes on what?” you might ask. Everything. Ask your manager if you can follow them into certain meetings, or if you can shadow them for a day. If the only way to get training is to make it up yourself, you’ll have to take initiative to learn new things.
Take a bit of time at the end of the day to go through all of your assignments and notes to make sense of this job and what your responsibilities are.
- Make Friends
You likely weren’t the only person to go through this no-training training. Your co-workers experienced the same thing. So, try to make friends as soon as you can. These will be the folks to go to when you have questions about how the job works, what passwords are, etc. They probably won’t have the time to train you in every little thing but can nonetheless be a great resource.
- Don’t Fear Mistakes
If your company takes the “train-yourself” approach, they probably don’t expect everything you do to be perfect. After all, nobody told you how to do things in the first place! So, go in each day with a plan to learn more and do more, but not necessarily do every little thing perfectly. You’re new, you’re still learning, and your manager and co-workers should understand that.
Have you every been thrown into the deep end with little to know training? How did things turn out? Let us know in the comments section below!