How To Manage the Learning Curve of Your New Job

How To Manage the Learning Curve of Your New Job

Every new job comes with a learning job. Even if you’ve been in an industry for 20 years, you won’t be familiar with the way every company operates. You will spend some time adjusting to the new people, processes, and expectations. If you want to be successful in your new job, you need to know how to handle the learning curve.

Know the Four Stages a New Employee Goes Through

As a new employee, you can expect to experience a few stages of employment. To truly understand how to manage the learning curve, you need to know more about those stages.

First, you will have unconscious incompetence. This occurs when you first start a new job. Typically, new hires feel a sense of excitement. They know very little of the upcoming struggle but are excited to embark on a new journey. Secondly, there’s unconscious incompetence. At this stage, you start realizing the more complex parts of your position. You know the challenges facing you, which can be quite intimidating.

The third stage is conscious competence. In this stage, you can begin to do your job at an acceptable level. However, you still have frequent obstacles and challenges waiting for you. Depending on your situation, you may be aware of your strengths and use them to overcome challenges. After this stage, you reach unconscious competence. You can do your job well without too many unexpected challenges. Each day, your duties feel more natural and you can focus on accomplishing your goals.

Figure Out How You Learn

Everyone has their own style of learning. If you don’t know how you learn, you’re likely to struggle with your new job. It's important to know how you learn best so you can help your managers train you quickly and effectively. Here's a closer look at the different learning styles:

Visual Learner

This type of learner can process things by looking at them. If you learn well with charts, maps, and diagrams, you could be a visual learner.

Auditory Learner

People who are auditory learners can listen to a speaker and know what to do. Typically, these learners respond well to oral instructions, podcasts, and other spoken words.

Kinesthetic Learners

You may need to learn by doing things, which would make you a kinesthetic learner. For this type of learner, it's necessary to do a task to understand the process. You may need to participate in the action to fully grasp what you need to do.

Social Learner

Does it take you to work with a team of people to comprehend a process? If so, you could be a social learner.

Solitary Learner

Some people learn best on their own. If you'd rather teach yourself how to do something, you fall under this category. You might be very self-motivated and have great self-management abilities.

Tips for Learning Quicker

Once you know your learning style, you can use the following tips to reduce the learning curve and succeed in your new job:

Find a Support System

When you start a new job, look for coworkers and managers who are willing to help you. Ask for help when you need it, but ask the right people to help you. Every workplace has at least a few people who are willing to give you support when you need it. In addition to helping you learn the new job, the support system can make you feel more welcome.

Don't Be Afraid to Ask

If you're afraid to ask questions, you'll never fully understand your role. Your employer expects you to have questions during your first few months on the job, so don't bite your tongue. When you ask questions, take notes and learn the proper process and procedures. Doing so could save you from future embarrassment.

Find Examples

As you try to understand a new process, look for examples. Ask your manager to give you direct examples or to show you finished products. When you sew examples, you can be clear on what the company expects from you.

Ask for Feedback

Most people shy away from criticism. But there’s no better time to ask for feedback than when you first start a new job. Because you’re not familiar with the company or the procedures, you don’t need to worry about judgment.

Be Open to New Techniques

If you’re too set in your old ways, you won’t learn and grow. Your new employer could have different and better ways of doing things. Instead of immediately discounting a new method, try it out for yourself. You could find that the new way is more efficient than the old.

Have Measurable Goals

Create a list of specific goals and use numbers to quantify those goals. As you learn and progress, you have something to work towards. Without goals, you might fall into a pattern of mediocrity. When you meet your goals, you develop a feeling of accomplishment that boosts your confidence.

Communicate Well

In a new job, communication is key. You should be open with how you’re settling in and be receptive to communication from co-workers and management. If you focus on communication, you can eliminate misunderstandings and misconceptions.

Pay Attention

When you attend meetings, pay close attention to everything. You might not understand every topic, but you should take notes and ask questions. As you try to navigate your new job, the information you gather from the meetings could lead you to success.

Related: 11 Meeting Etiquette Rules

Have a Notebook

Starting on day one of your new job, you should make notes in a notebook about your duties, projects, and more. Record everything because you never know when you’ll need to refer back to your notes.

Take Advantage of Opportunities

Finally, you should be on the lookout for learning opportunities. If someone asks for help on a project, offer your assistance. When the company has free training, make sure you attend. The more you take advantage of opportunities, the more you learn and the more you succeed.

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