Settling in to a new job – keep calm and carry on!

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Is there an exact science as to how long it takes someone to settle in to a new job? Usual probationary periods are between 3-6 months so it could be assumed that’s the perceived amount of time .. so what are the signs of feeling happy and settled in your job and why do you need to give it time to make sure it’s right for you?

As we speak to both clients and candidates, we are always intrigued to hear about how someone has made the transition from their old company to a new one. For some, it’s easy. They turn up on their first day with bags of confidence and raring to go. For others, it’s a much more gradual process and they are looking for an employer to understand that to deliver what they promised in an interview, they need to feel supported and given a chance to shine.

If you’ve taken the leap and left your old jo it can be a scary time! But you did it for a reason so don’t look back now and yearn for the comfort of your  familiar desk and routine. No one really likes being the “new person” but it doesn’t last for long and instead of feeling awkward, try and embrace a new challenge, a learning curve and a chance to push yourself a little.  You’ll also make new friends, enhance your social life and more than likely have better prospects!

In your first week you should be concerning yourself only with getting to know your new surroundings, how to access your computer and familiarising yourself with company procedures. Chatting to your new colleagues is a nice thing to do, after all, you’ll be seeing them a lot more than your own family! But make sure you don’t distract them from what they are doing or talk about anything unprofessional, keep your chats mainly work related and watch and learn from your peers.

During the next few weeks you should really be starting to learn the ropes. You will be assigned work to do, keep your focus on doing it accurately rather than speedily. The most important thing at this stage is you show your competency, speed is something that comes with time, learning new procedures will always be the longest part of any initiation in to a company. You may well be doing a job you already know but remember that with a new company comes different ways of doing things so ask lots of questions, don’t presume anything and if you aren’t sure- CHECK. By now you should be starting to feel a bit more at ease in your surroundings. You may well be overwhelmed by learning, tired from having to make an effort to get to know people and wondering if its all worth it some days but hang in there!! Anything new in life isn’t easy and starting a new job is daunting, especially if you’ve left somewhere you’ve been a long time.

After a couple of months you are likely to be starting to get in to the swing of things a bit more. You should feel comfortable approaching other members of the team or management for advice or discussing issues, be happy and content to work on your own and able to start doing some of the work as if it was second nature. You should be feeling excited by the role instead of daunted and your old job and creature comforts have hopefully left your thoughts!

It’s true that first impressions do count but it’s also really important not to jump ship immediately after starting a new job unless you are desperately unhappy. Sometimes it can just take a few weeks (or months!) to settle down, during our years in recruitment we’ve experienced many phone calls from candidates saying they don’t like somewhere after a week only to still be there 5 years later and perfectly happy! The same goes for clients, don’t write off a new employee who may not be outstanding in the first few weeks- it could just be their way of processing new things and they need that little extra time to get up to speed. It doesn’t make them a risk, support and encouragement will give them the time and security they need to know they’ve made the right decision.

If you’re interested in hearing about what vacancies we are currently working on, or, just would like us to keep an eye out for you for roles that come in, please drop us a line on or and we’d be happy to have a confidential chat!

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