5 Things to Do When Struggling In Your New Job

  | 5 min read
new job

Starting a new job can be tough, especially when things are not working out as you thought they would. The stress can take a toll on your mental and physical state, and adversely affect your productivity level. The anxiety can be exacerbated further by the fact that you are on probation and there is a need to prove yourself and bring your A game. You need to show them that they made the right decision, or at least that is the voice inside you saying. 

There are many reasons as to why one might struggle in their new job. It could be because of missing deadlines as one is trying to catch up with your new tasks. It could be because of not meeting the first months’ targets. It could spring from a challenging relationship with the boss or from the difficulty of fitting into the new organizational culture.

If this happens, there are things that you could do to deal with this problem. 

1. Identify the root cause

struggling new job identify root cause

You can get lost in the emotions and negative feelings and you could fail to see the actual cause of the problem. This might be because you are trying as hard as possible to fit in and deliver on the promises you made during the interview. So, take some time to reflect and identify the reason as to why you are struggling. This will enable you to put things into perspective and help you find the root cause of the problem. 

2. Speak to someone

Don’t be an island. Don’t lock yourself in your own struggle. Open up to someone that you can trust. This is why it is important to cultivate some meaningful friendships at your new job. During challenging moments, you could turn to this person and share your anxieties. However, make sure that you can trust this person. If you haven’t cultivated this type of relationship, you can try to reach out to your friend off work. Sharing helps you unload the stress and anxieties and enable you to let go of the bottled-up emotions. 

3. Create a Plan of Action

strugling new job create action plan

After identifying the root cause of the problem, come up with a plan of action to solve the problem. If it is not meeting the targets, then identify ways you could deal with it. Is there anyone that you need to reach out to in order to increase the number of leads. It could be a new system that is used in your new job that is making things difficult. Who can you reach out to for help? If you are struggling to cope with your new boss then can you get pointers from someone else who is reporting to him/her? Create a plan of action that can help you solve the problems that you are facing. 

4. Time Management is Key

The first weeks at work can be stressful because of the steep learning curve that you have to go through. You are running around during your onboarding trying to learn as much as possible about the different departments, people’s names and personalities, and the organizational culture and expectations. It might seem that the time is not yours. So try to have a checklist of things that you have to do on a daily basis. It will help you see if you are trying to do more than required. It will also help you see the value of the work that you are doing. Sometimes, it is easy to be critical of yourself, believing that you are not doing anything good. However, a number of crossed out items in your checklist will energize you. 

Remember to make time for your personal life, family, and friends. Don’t let the job suck the life out of you. Having a work-life balance will prevent burnout, stress and other unwanted stress that could affect your productivity. 

5. Positivity and Realistic Expectations 

struggling new job create positivity and realistic expectation

As you navigate the seemingly difficult first weeks at your new work, remember to stay positive by telling yourself that this is part of the ride that many others go through. You are not alone. There is always a learning curve that you need to go through. Stay positive by surrounding yourself with positive vibes and energy. Listen to uplifting voices in songs and other creative outlets. Read inspirational stories that will inspire you to get up every morning and give your best. 

As you stay positive, remember to set yourself realistic expectations in your first weeks at work. There is a tendency of wanting to do more because you believe it will show your new employer that they made the right decision. Don’t expect that you will move mountains in your first weeks at work. Take this time to learn about your new environment and acclimatize yourself with the work culture.  

The first weeks at work can be challenging. So, always remember to stay focused and positive. Find inspirations in things around you. Set realistic goals and cross out the things you accomplish to generate the excitement and inspiration to move forward. 

Stephen Swai
Stephen Swai is a Marketing Manager with a passion for using words to inspire, educate and transform.