The Learning Curve

By Megan Reilly

I just started a new job the first week of March and it has already been a whirlwind. Meeting new colleagues, introducing myself over and over again, going through hours of training, dealing with IT to get all the access I need set up, trying to just get my head above water my first week. Overwhelmed does not begin to describe it, even though I’m a very go with the flow kind of person. I love meeting new people and I love learning new things, but doing those two things nonstop for 8 hours a day – it catches up with you. Luckily I got a snow day on Thursday, so I had a little time to regroup and recognize that in only three days, I had already started to build relationships, learn processes, and even start setting goals for things to improve and fix.

What I love about my new job is that learning doesn’t have to be a passive process. I have already started doing some of the tasks that will become routine for me. Right now they are taking longer than they should because I’m doing every step slowly and deliberately, but I love that I am in an environment that trusts me and knows that doing is the best way of learning.

Here’s an example of the jump-right-in space I just entered. Earlier this week, my kind co-worker who is training me (who I will eventually co-supervise, which is a whole other confusing, new dynamic for me) pointed out a meeting on my calendar. I asked if that is a recurring meeting that I will be regularly attending and he informed me that it’s a weekly meeting that I actually will be running starting next week. I’m not even sure what the meeting is about yet, but I guess I’m going to learn!

The first few weeks in any new job environment are going to feel foreign and a little scary. The first few months even are all about learning everything you can and starting to contribute in whatever ways you can. I expected that. I expected to be overwhelmed. What I didn’t expect was how happy, fulfilling, and exciting it can be to be completely be thrown head-first into a whole new world and told to swim. Because although I feel at particular moments like I’m drowning, I have a lot of confidence in the fact that I’ll be swimming along just fine pretty soon.

Follow Megan on Twitter at @MReilly90!

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