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Switching Jobs? 5 Tips to Help You Adjust

Starting a new job can be an exciting, exhilarating experience. It can also be a nerve-wracking one. When you begin a new role, you have to learn the ropes all over again, and in many cases, it means coming in knowing no one and having to learn to coexist with a new boss. With that in mind, here are a few tips that can help make your transition to a new job just a bit easier.

1. Set reasonable expectations for yourself

When you're first starting out in a new role, it's natural to want to learn everything quickly. The sooner you do, the more comfortable you'll feel. That said, you can't expect to understand the ins and out of your role, know your way around the office building, and learn everyone's name on your team the first day or two on the job. These things take time, so grant yourself that leeway by setting realistic expectations. The less pressure you put on yourself, the easier that adjustment period will be.

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2. Ask for homework

You may have an easier time getting up to speed on certain aspects of your job at your own pace, especially when meetings and team gatherings interrupt your workflow during the day. It therefore pays to ask your manager to guide you on ways to ramp up during your own time. That way, you'll be less stressed at the office, and it'll also show that you're willing to make the effort to excel in your new role.

3. Clear your social calendar for a bit

When you're first starting out at a new job, you may end up working some late nights to get up to speed -- and you don't need the pressure of being late for dinner plans thrown into the mix. That's why it's wise to free up your schedule during those first few weeks. Once you're feeling more comfortable and in control, you can slowly but surely make more time for social gatherings.

4. Find a mentor

You're apt to have an easier time adjusting to a new job when there's someone more seasoned than you at the office guiding you along. That's why it pays to get yourself a mentor, even if your company doesn't have an official mentoring program in place. All you need to do is find someone you seem to click with who knows a thing or two more than you, and spend some time picking that person's brain early on. And if you're worried about being a burden, fear not -- chances are, the person you identify will remember what it's like to be a newbie and will be eager to be of assistance. And you can always show your appreciation by picking up the tab for lunch or simply saying thank-you.

5. Speak up if you need help

If, despite your best efforts, you are having a difficult time learning the ropes at your new job, don't bottle that up. Your boss and colleagues can't help you if you don't let on that you're feeling overwhelmed. Instead, be honest, and explain what you need to get over that hump. Maybe you could use a little one-on-one training to learn your company's internal software program. Or maybe you don't quite understand how your data team organizes its findings. No matter the specifics, be open about it so the people around you know to step up.

It takes time to get used to a new job. Employ these tips, though, and that transition should go more smoothly.

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