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How to Survive a New Job, a Learning Curve, and Grad School

Updated: Jan 23, 2018

This school year, I started a new job (a job I love by the way—it’s been such a great year!). It’s been a great year, but it’s also been challenging. In previous programs, I was working a job that I could do blindfolded, and I was in a master’s program—which meant less class time. This time around is different because I have a huge learning curve at work, and I’m still taking classes (I would’ve been done by now if this wasn't a doctoral program).  I know I'm not the only person in this situation, so I thought I'd give a few helpful survival tips that will benefit all of us!

#1: Be honest about your capacity.  Be honest about what you can and cannot realistically do!  More importantly, maintain that conversation with your colleagues, principal, director, supervisor, etc.  This doesn't mean that you should flat out refuse to do things, but simply honest about what you can get done.  For example, you may need an extra few days to knock out a task, or you may need to lean on a colleague for support.  Just be honest about this--otherwise you may end up doing yourself more harm than good.

#2: Ask for help.  Guess what, people don't mind helping a new colleague or an old one!  I’ve found that people will help you if you reach out.  Sometimes I reach out to former colleagues, while other times I reach out to my current colleagues.  I’ve also found that people bring perspectives that can help you accomplish your task more efficiently.

#3: Accept your ability. I tend to be very Type A with many things—grad school is one of them. My new position and learning curve just did not allow for that this time around. I had to realize that a “B” won’t kill me or that sometimes you may turn something in late—but it’s not the end of the world. I had to accept what I could realistically do and move on.

#4: Don’t lose yourself. You still have to make time to do the things that you love. When someone asked me what I did in my spare time—the answer was work and school. I wasn’t even able to record videos and blog for the past few months! You have to maintain those activities that are cathartic and bring you joy. If you don’t, you’ll burn yourself out.

Yeah, I could write here, use Google Calendar, create To Do Lists, etc, but you’ll do those things. What you really want to do is put yourself in a position where you feel happy and fulfilled, and you aren’t burning yourself out. If you remain honest and realistic about your capacity, while maintaining activities that help you maintain some semblance of self, you’ll live to tell the story!

If you would like to watch the video for this blog, CLICK HERE!

#career #newjob #learningcurve #gradschool

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