DEAR HARRIET: The prospect of starting my new job is a little intimidating.
After years in a role with a lot of freedom and flexible management, I feel like I’m about to dive into a totally new environment. I am sure there will be rules and regulations that I will have to follow, and a clear authority structure. This is quite different from the relaxed approach I’m used to.
Maybe that’s a good thing; I can be forced to work hard and achieve more.
I think the big question is can I handle the change and make this work? How do I avoid being overwhelmed by the demands?
BEST NEW JOB: Read the employee handbook of your new company carefully. Also pay attention to the people who work there and what the standards are. It takes time to understand the culture of the company, but you can do it.
When in doubt, ask questions. Make alliances with people at all levels of your company. This will help you understand how the system works there. Be upfront with your boss about how you’ve worked in the past and what’s new for you here. Show your genuine interest in learning the expectations and practices at your new company.
Regularly check whether your work meets those expectations. Being proactive will help you learn and show your boss and team that you intend to be part of the culture.
DEAR HARRIET: I have a job that has seen a lot of layoffs and budget cuts in recent months. I myself had to agree to a substantial pay cut in order to keep my job.
Now, every time the bosses ask to meet me, I panic. I don’t know if we’re going to do our regular job or if they’re going to show me the door. I hate the tense feeling I have that things aren’t going to work out.
I like this company and the leadership. I don’t have time to look for a job either. We work with a bare team with all hands on deck. I barely have time to sleep let alone look for work.
Am I wrong to go all in for them instead of looking for ways to protect myself? What should I do?
DEAR LOYAL: Consider requesting a meeting with your bosses to get the situation under control now.
Express your commitment to the company and your concerns about the future. Be transparent with them. Tell them you want to give them everything, but every time they contact you you worry that it could be your last day. Ask them to tell you their intentions about you.
If they think you might be fired, ask them to do their best to give you some time to find another job. Admit that you don’t have time to look for a job while giving everything to them.
Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people achieve and activate their dreams. Inquiries may be sent to [email protected] or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.