What to do if you’re failing at your new job

After months of searching and more interviews than you’d like to count, you finally landed what you thought would be your dream job. Only instead of rocking your way through those early workweeks, you’re constantly struggling to understand what on earth is going on around you.

It’s not an unusual scenario to be in, but it’s a frustrating and nerve-wracking one nonetheless. Here’s how to cope if you feel that despite your best efforts, you’re just plain failing at your new gig.

1. Put Things in Perspective

Maybe you’re not getting the hang of things as quickly as you would’ve hoped — but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re falling down on the job, either. Before you beat yourself up for a job poorly done, ask your manager for a sit-down and get his or her input on your performance to date. You may come to find that in their mind, you’re meeting expectations given your fairly new status at the company.

Keep in mind that even if you come into a job with a strong knowledge base and skill set, every company works differently, and it takes time to learn the ropes. So rather than despair or stress over your performance, create a timeline by which you hope to achieve certain goals or milestones, whether it’s compiling your first major report or learning to navigate your company’s tricky content management system.

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2. Demand More Training

Maybe “demand” is a strong word, but when you’re in a new environment, you can only expect to learn so much without a decent amount of training. So if that’s something you feel you’re lacking, be open about it with your boss. Even if they don’t have the time to train you themselves, they might be able to point you toward some resources that will allow you to independently get up to speed.

Another option you might consider is signing up for a mentor within your company. Not all employers offer this option, but if yours has a mentorship program in place, pairing up with someone seasoned might help you overcome a lot of the knowledge gaps you’re facing early on.

3. Use Your Colleagues as Resources

Even if you and your colleagues are mostly on the same level, the fact that they’ve been at the company longer than you have automatically puts them at an advantage. So why not get a piece of their knowledge? Walk around, introduce yourself and ask questions when you’re curious or otherwise stumped. You can also attempt to shadow some colleagues to get a sense of what they do, as this might help you grasp the big picture of how your team or company operates.

Along these lines, if you find a coworker you get along with easily during those early weeks, admit that you’re struggling and ask for advice. That person, like your boss, might be able to share some resources that’ll help you catch up more quickly.

No matter where you are in your career, starting a new job can be challenging, and it’s natural to feel that you’re lost and behind. Just remember that you’re apt to get better at things with time, so don’t be too hard on yourself during those early weeks. Instead, stay positive, set goals, and focus on improving slowly but surely.

This article was originally published on The Motley Fool. It is reprinted with permission.

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