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Worried about what is expected of me in new job


Setebos

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Hello there. I've just started an entry-level job in science after leaving school (I'm eighteen). As such, I know nothing about the industry! This is also my first EVER job (never had anything part-time) and after only a couple of days I feel stressed. The lady who is training me is quite abrupt with me and I keep having to ask her to repeat things. I feel like I'm making myself look stupid. I am literally being inundated with information, and while they keep saying to me "don't worry about remembering it all, it's all written down" I'm actually finding it hard to even memorise WHERE to find these documents I can refer back to! They are in various paper formats, folders, and a plethora of confusing online databases. I have my own training file but only very specific documents can be placed inside - I've ended up having to place all the things that cannot go into my file inside my locker and they are getting all screwed up. I have no idea where anything is and I feel very disorganised. I hate feeling this way, I was ALWAYS on top of everything at school.

 

Another worry comes from the fact that I spoke to another girl earlier who has the same job title as me but she has a degree AND internship under her belt - I have neither, which is making me very concerned about my ability to do this job. :sad: Even the most basic tasks seem so difficult. Procedure has to be followed to the absolute letter and I feel like I will never ever learn it all.

 

They told me today that I was hired because the whole department has been severely overworked. They then proceeded to show me all the aspects of the department that I will be entirely responsible for after training - I am REALLY frightened by all these responsibilities as they expect me to take them on after such a short period of time. I can't even find a file on a computer yet they want me to be in charge of highly hazardous materials and extremely expensive equipment. I was so terrified earlier that I cried in front of my trainer, I felt so pathetic but I'm being bombarded with so much right now. I don't know how I'll be able to keep up or even cope. Does anyone have any advice?

 

Thank you for reading :smile:

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They hired you because they felt that you have the ability to do this. If they are overworked, then they are throwing a lot of things at you fast. It's a sink or swim situation for you. Take a deep breath and start sorting yourself out and getting organized. Most importantly believe in yourself. Nobody has ever stepped into a workplace and it was all perfect. Yes, you won't know where things are, you won't know where to find a file and forget sometimes even after you've been shown 5 times. This is normal for everyone. That's why you have coworkers, managers, etc. They are all there to help you even after your training is over.

 

People who are stressed and overworked will be short with you. Don't take it personally. It's not about you. Just be sure that when you don't know something, can't remember something, ask. Don't sit there and let yourself drown in silence. Ultimately, they are telling you don't worry about remembering it all, because they know that they are throwing a lot at you fast and do not even expect you, or anyone for that matter, to be capable of absorbing it all instantly. They already know that you will not remember most of it and ultimately it will take time for you to really grow into the position and get up to speed. So don't pressure yourself and don't beat yourself up with unreasonable expectations that you are creating in your own head.

 

Keep your chin up, focus, forge forward. You will be just fine.

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Welcome to ENA. See, I'll tell you something, having a degree is never a real measure of your ability. And most degrees in the world only give you a consolidated "IDEA" on whatever subject you are studying. What you really do in life never really connects what you studied, well parts of it maybe applicable but that's just it. So you don't need a degree to search on something on a computer or manage stuff or inventory.

 

I'll tell you something if it helps. When i first went for my Jazz drumming lessons, my tutor told me that, you are being given something like a big bus. It's difficult to control and don't attempt to control it all at once. Work on each part and slowly one day your hands will know which drum to hit before you even think. It's similar to this. Let go off the illusion of control. You don't have to do it all at once, nobody said that and even your tutor doesn't expect you to. Pick up step by step, remember things as much as you can. Edison never made the light bulb in a night haha... you'll get the hang of it. You'll slowly know what goes where and everything will fall into place.

 

Consider this a challenge and remember, everything is not as easy as getting grades in school. So this is getting a taste of the practical world. Good luck!

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This is completely normal. It take at least 3 month and usually more like 6 months to feel comfortable at a new job and to feel like you know what you are doing. Take a DEEP breath. You will get there.

 

Do you take notes when things are explained to you? That might be a good idea because then you could review them at home. Start by making general notes of where information is located and if anyone ask why you are taking notes just say it helps you remember (which is actually true. The act of writing something has been proven to help you remember it).

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Working in a field like science can be overwhelming at first. I have several lab notebooks, notebooks for general information, and logs for maintenance, protocols and projects. It gets meticulous. I highly recommend keeping a notebook and a calendar for day-to-day activities.

 

Part of being able to handle the work tasks and stress is time and experience. You are new to the job and that's a very good thing because you can get away with asking lots of questions and learning new things. So ask questions! If you don't understand, ask ask ask. Newbies are expected to ask questions and give feedback on how much they understand. Communication is the key. So don't be afraid to ask the people and the supervisor that are training you. Tell them this is how much you know, show them your notes. They won't know how well they're training you unless you give them feedback!

 

Also, keep a to-do list. Take advantage of calendar, and/or email with organizer features. Deep breath.

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Congrats on getting your science job! I realize it may not seem like much but most people who get science Bachelor degrees will have to take on a job like that unless they go to graduate school for their PhD or masters. The only thing a degree really gives you from my experience is 2+ years of background courses in your major. You learn very little hands on work and are lucky to learn any real job skills unless you work in an undergraduate lab.

 

Actually I'm interested in how you got your job and what kind of job it is. You don't have to tell me the company or anything personal. If you could tell me about it in a PM I'd appreciate it since I'm looking for a similar type of job after graduation.

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This is completely normal. It take at least 3 month and usually more like 6 months to feel comfortable at a new job and to feel like you know what you are doing. Take a DEEP breath. You will get there.

 

Do you take notes when things are explained to you? That might be a good idea because then you could review them at home. Start by making general notes of where information is located and if anyone ask why you are taking notes just say it helps you remember (which is actually true. The act of writing something has been proven to help you remember it).

 

 

 

I agree with this, good advice. When I start a new job I make sure I keep a journal so I can take notes and not have to ask a lot of questions. But that's why I always felt it's not time to celebrate once you get a job offer because you have to complete the probation period.

 

Hang in there OP you will be fine

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