Being the New Kid on the Block
Being new is a tough place to be, and it requires a lot of patience with yourself as well as with others. I am new to Cone Health, so I speak from experience. In order to ease into my new role, I have come up with four steps to help me transition smoothly.
Four Steps for a Smooth Transition
- Be Open – I do my best to share with my colleagues what is happening for me and how I am experiencing this new environment. I feel it is important for them to know where I am coming from and provide them with some insight as to my thought processes. At the same time, I have to be open to their ways of doing things. I need to listen and learn from those who are more experienced and who have worked here longer. It is important to understand how policies and procedures came into being before initiating any changes.
- Observe Others – As much as I want to be a part of the gang, I have to remember that I am a stranger. We all remember "Stranger Danger" from school, and it stuck with me all of these years for a reason. It is normal for people to be cautious around new people and situations. Observing how people function is key to determining your place within the relationship. If you rush in too soon, people will not see you as being genuine or authentic. Over-functioning can cause unintentional mistrust and create barriers instead of bridges.
- Take Your Time – I am eager to have everything be familiar. Unfortunately, that's not the reality of the situation. I need to pace myself and take my time. It is crucial for me to take time and ask questions. Now is when I need to engage people in open conversations about policies, procedures and plans for the future. If I am serious about working here, then I can afford to take my time and ease into the position.
- Give Yourself Grace – This is a big one! High achievers are hardest on themselves. I don't like making mistakes, forgetting things or misunderstanding directives. While I know that I am new to this position, I still hold myself to very high standards that don't often allow room for errors. This isn't helpful. In fact, it can be damaging. It is important for me to remember that being new affords me the ability to not know something and it be perfectly fine. Nobody expects me to know this position. The only expectation is that I show up and do my best. I know I can do that. When my best looks messy and confusing and overwhelming, that's OK because I am learning how to be at my best, in this new environment, every day.
While being new is tough, uncomfortable and exhausting, it is also exciting and invigorating. I am excited to be a new member of the Cone Health family. I know I am in the right place at the right time. I look forward to learning more about how Cone Health makes our community a better place.
About the Author
Jennifer Becker, MS, LPC, is a manager for the Cone Health Employee Assistance Counseling Program.