At a large company, there will likely be orientations, HR meetings, client introductions, week-long training. But in startup companies, you'll be expected to jump right in and manage your own learning. Regardless, the first few months on the job are often about learning exactly how to fit into the big picture of the organization.
At KDCI, you get training and one-on-ones. But training, or no training, the period of adjustment can certainly make you feel uncomfortable. Are you learning fast enough? Are you falling behind expectations? It really is up to you to figure out what you need to do every day. And learning is not always easy. If you need a little boost in your learning stage in the office, then follow our advice.
TIP #1 Shadow those in the know
If you're starting in a small company, there's unlikely a training program. You'll perhaps need to set up time with a nearby colleague, a new team member or your manager. A quick walk through of what you need to do can get you started and comfortable with the process. It also builds trust with someone who has a little bit of confidence with how things work.
TIP #2 Take advantage of your one-on-ones
Ideally, your boss would pull you in for one-on-one meetings during your training period. And that is the perfect time to ask your questions, whether it's about the process, your boss' expectations, your performance. Take notes and follow the process. The same thing, you can also ask questions from your colleagues (but remember to not bother them with one question after the other!).
TIP #3 Tinker your way around
In tinkering with your new job, responsibilities, applications, or codes, we find ourselves learning by the structure upon which something is built. The value is that you can teach yourself through trial-and-error. Learning through experimentation, you may build a more comprehensive understanding, and you will be positioned to break down concepts to the fundamentals when it comes to teaching others
TIP #4 Talk things out
Some people learn the best by endlessly ranting and talking out the way things work and construct. Similar to the "question-asker" mindset, this method of learning may have to do less with being informed of how things are done and more about the process of walking through a problem in your own time. As you talk out your new roles and challenges, you can get feedback, or visualize your own way through to the end.
TIP #5 Trial learning
Perhaps many of us feel this method of learning (and teaching) is the approach far too often. Being handed a problem and left to our own devices can be scary, especially on day one. Still, sometimes being forced to learn under fire can be just the motivation we need. This is often the way of early-stage startups. No one knows how to do the thing, so no one can teach you. You try, you test, you fail (many times). You try again, and refine, and learn.
The most important thing about learning on the job job is how it affects what you are trying to do. Some companies will have modules, infrastructures that are available to help you through your work. Others will trust your talent and skills to be able to figure out moving along your job. But at KDCI, communicating the ways you learn will help your growth in a new role, while also adding to the culture of the environment in which you're part of. And with that clear picture of where you are and where you need to be, you can be sure you’re on the path to success.