Career Kickstarted … here comes the pay cheque!

Written by Anne-Marie Jennings

I finally got my first pay cheque in my new job this week. I feel like a real person once again

Starting a new job is a humbling experience. You don’t know what the people you will be working with are like. You have no understanding of the policies and procedures of your new workplace.
And in this day and age of heightened security, you probably can’t even get into the building. You are completely out of your element, and almost feel as if nothing will feel right again.
But if you’re lucky (like I was), your new co-workers will just be glad to have someone in the position. They were pleasant; they were welcoming; they were helpful; and they made that first day that much more enjoyable.
It will still take me some time to adjust to my new surroundings, and I am forced to constantly remind myself that this is a learning process, and that I will not know everything right off the bat (no matter how convinced I am).
I am sure any of you reading this now remember the early days of a job when you felt completely lost. You remember the additional stress and anxiety associated with simply trying to find your way as quickly and painlessly as possible for everyone involved when coming in to a new position.
For me, I tend to want to learn things by actually doing them on my own. In some cases, that can be an asset, but this trait can also be a negative. The learning process in just about any discipline requires you to ask questions if need be – not necessarily proceeding as you see fit because you don’t fully understand what you’re doing.
I will admit that this attitude has got me into a little bit of a bind already in my new position, but nothing that could not be remedied with patience, honesty, and a genuine desire to learn a better way of working.
Someone once told me that in most cases, a new employee will not feel completely comfortable in a new position for at least six months. This can appear to a large amount of time to some – especially in today’s high-paced world – but in many ways it is but the blink of an eye. The basic issue becomes that no employee can be perfect immediately, and new employers have to take that into account.
New employees must also take this into account when they feel as if they are not living up to expectations in a new job. Not everything comes to us immediately (or even easily), but we must see each new challenge as a learning experience. I have to keep reminding myself that it is not for what I don’t know that I was hired, but for what I do know. It is the knowledge and experiences I gained in my past jobs that my present employer hired me, and it is that which I must remember.
The fact is that every experience we take on is a learning experience. If we are to keep growing and progressing in our chosen profession and/or career, the learning cannot be allowed to stop completely. Learning is the one thing that keeps us interested in our jobs, and the one thing that can only serve to make our working life that much more enjoyable.
As for me, I am still learning – and I still enjoy learning. Although I have learned never to be complacent simply because a job could be seen as being permanent (or at least a long-term commitment), I am more than willing to put in the work to get the most benefit out of the work.
Because one never knows where the road upon which you find yourself will take you….
After more than 20 years of real world experience, Anne-Marie Jennings could write just about anything – and probably has. Whether Anne-Marie was working as the sole employee of a bimonthly publication in the Arctic, as a Sports editor who also developed black & white film, or even as a Compliance Officer for Canada Post Corporation, Anne-Marie’s jobs have all involved the written word.

Now firmly entrenched among the under-employed, Anne-Marie will provide an unique perspective on finding your true career path – from the viewpoint of someone on that very search for herself. As she provides her insight through her contributions to the site, Anne-Marie is excited to begin the journey – and perhaps in doing so, finding her own way.

To find out more about Anne-Marie and her life in the Canadian North check out her blog
If you want to know more about Anne-Marie's career journey you might enjoy one of her previous articles
If you would like to see more articles about settling into new roles or following Anne-Marie, please let us know below
© 2011 Churchill Brook International
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