Starting a New Job

How To Succeed Independently in a New Career

April 26, 2021

Employee training is often one of the most powerful tools a business can leverage for success. High-quality training can increase overall productivity, improve team reliability and consistency and help minimize staff turnover. Because training can be so important, various challenges may arise in its absence. In this article, we highlight some common challenges that you may encounter when training is omitted in a new job, and how you can successfully overcome those challenges and achieve your own career goals.

Common challenges of proper training in a new job

Whether you are starting a new job at a well-established organization or have a startup company, it can be useful to receive appropriate training. Sometimes, employers may provide less training than a new team member may prefer. Here are some common challenges that you may encounter in this situation:

Communication

Training can often be one tool team leaders use to establish and encourage clear, open communication in the workplace. This may be especially true when the industry or company requires particular communication channels or workflows. Depending on your situation, you may need to seek this information out independently. Consider asking specific questions about preferred modes of communication on your team. You might also leverage active listening strategies, which can be a useful communication skill in most settings.

Related: The Importance of Good Listening and How To Listen Effectively

Leadership onboarding

Training employees who are promoted to roles with more responsibility can help them quickly become as productive as possible. Sometimes, you might feel that you receive less training than you may prefer after receiving a promotion. To overcome this challenge, you might establish a positive working relationship with another company leader or trusted mentor. Asking targeted questions about your role and the skills you need to succeed. You may even develop a plan to inspire or implement a new training program at your organization.

Related: What Are the Different Types of Workplace Training?

Growth and development

Successful career training often helps cultivate your individual skills and clarify the extent of achievements that you can make in your role. Establishing a clear understanding of your potential can help motivate and inspire new and existing employees alike. Try initiating this conversation with your managers through the appropriate channels. Doing so may also help create a workplace culture that is centered on advancement and communication.

Related: How To Make a Career Plan in 8 Steps

How to succeed independently in a new job

As a new employee, you are often one of your company's biggest assets. Your skills are probably vital for the organization's growth and success. If you are in a situation that requires independent learning at a new job, here are some steps you can use:

1. Establish your goals

Developing goals can help you succeed in your new role. Try using the SMART goal framework, meaning goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. Here are some ideas to inspire your goals in your new role:

  • Maximize productivity
  • Enjoy workplace satisfaction
  • Perform consistently
  • Develop positive workplace relationships
  • Provide excellent customer service
  • Master a specific area of expertise

Related: How To Write SMART Goals (With Examples)

2. Seek mentorship

Next, consider who in your organization may be able to provide mentorship as you transition into your new role. Try meeting with company leaders or management to get a sense for who might be available to provide you with guidance. Be sure to pay attention to their particular expertise and their communication style, because these details might affect their effectiveness as a coach for your new job duties. Prepare your ideas thoughtfully before asking an individual to serve as a mentor for your role, as well.

3. Make team connections

When you are finding a mentor for your new job, try to establish connections with your team as well. Organization members who have been with the company longer than you have might have a wealth of knowledge that can support your own success in your career. Developing positive workplace relationships can support your learning, and might also provide an enjoyable work experience which may also help you learn and succeed more quickly.

Related: The Importance of Training Employees: 11 Benefits

4. Ask quality questions

During and after making your mentorship and team connections, be sure to ask questions that will help you succeed in your new role. Try to integrate your own awareness of your responsibilities into the questions you ask. Try to leverage your problem-solving skills to pair the answers you receive with information and abilities that are already in your skill set. Be sure to follow up with additional clarifying questions if an answer is ever less clear.

Related: What Are Clarifying Questions and When Should You Ask Them?

5. Solicit feedback

Consider requesting feedback from your mentor and supervisors, because this can help shape your further learning and career growth. Try performing a self-assessment prior to meeting for a feedback session, and include specific examples of successes and challenges they may be able to either celebrate or address. If your organization has a specific feedback protocol, leverage the information you receive through that process to shape the questions you ask and the resources you seek. Consider requesting informal feedback sessions to supplement any formal review processes your organization might use.

6. Reflect and continue learning

As you learn and develop in your role, try to pause periodically to reflect on your new skills and abilities. Return to the goals you set at the beginning of your time with your company, and try to measure your success relative to those objectives. Remember that it is normal for goals to change over time, and you are likely to find new objectives to work toward as you progress in your career.

When you reflect on your progress in the context of your goals, try to identify ways that you can continue learning and filling any development gaps as well. For instance, you might join professional organizations, attend industry conferences or complete online learning modules to enhance your understanding of your role.

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