The first days and weeks at a new job can be stressful, whether you are a freshly graduated nursing student or a seasoned professional making a career move. You’re suddenly surrounded by new supervisors, co-workers, and patients and need to learn new office policies and politics while integrating your personality into the dynamic of your new workplace.
Be open and friendly
Depending on your personality, it can be hard to be sociable and open up to your new coworkers. Go out of your way to introduce yourself and to get to know the people you will be working with on a daily basis, from supervisors to support staff. By developing a friendly relationship and showing interest in them personally, you will help to ease your transition into your new workplace and possibly develop some great new friendships.
Stay out of the fray
Every workplace, no matter how great, always has a conflict or two. It’s usually pretty easy to identify the office drama and its key players, so take care to avoid being caught in the middle. Find graceful ways to remove yourself from negative or awkward situations without causing additional conflict for yourself.
Pay attention to your trainer
It’s important to learn the ins and outs of how things are run within the new workplace setting. The office procedures may be significantly different from your last job or clinical assignment. Don’t assume that you know what to do and get ahead of your training. Soak in all of the information that your mentor is sharing and comply, even if you think you know a better way. There will be opportunities to suggest change once you’re more established.
Take copious notes
From physical notes about office policies and procedures to mental notes about co-worker and supervisor personalities and dynamics, note taking is one of the best things you can do to help yourself transition into a new workplace. Small details can be overlooked, creating a faux pas that might leave you ready to run for the door.
Know when to stay quiet
Whether it’s staying out of the morning coffee gossip session or spouting off your opinion on a particular reporting procedure, it’s important to know when to keep your mouth closed and your eyes open. You’ll create a better relationship with your coworkers and reputation for yourself by keeping certain opinions to yourself.
Give yourself some grace
In any new job, you’re going to make some mistakes. Admit your shortcomings, correct issues when you can, and forgive yourself when you do something wrong. Every mistake is a learning experience, so humble yourself, apologize for your error, and keep on moving!
While it sometimes can take a bit of time to settle into a new job, but in most cases, the transition period will be over quickly and you’ll be comfortable in your new routine before you know it. What experience have you had with starting a new nursing job? What are your best tips for making the transition a little easier?