Like many people, I’ve always been resistant to change. Okay. Maybe apprehensive is a better word. Either way, change is usually a huge challenge for me. This year I find myself in an interesting position where I must embrace the change.
Unlike the beginning of other new years I’ll be starting a new instructional design contract. With a great opportunity to really start the New Year off right, I’ve decided to take the new change in stride.
For the past two years I’ve had multiple contracts lasting anywhere from 4-6 months, on average, but they’ve all been with the same company, which has made the transition fairly easy.
This new contract is the first in quite a while where I’m working with a different organization. This means I not only need to learn a new project but also learn a new culture, policies and procedures, etc. of a new organization. Quite a feat for this stubborn Taurus!
In preparation to begin this new adventure in the New Year I’ve kept a few things in mind to get me started on the right foot that I thought I’d share.
Be Ready to Absorb Everything!
With the first few weeks of any job there’s often a ton of information thrown your way, which you have to absorb and understand before getting started with your actual position. This usually includes getting equipment, knowing the facilities, reading employee handbooks, etc.
I’ve learned, as a contractor, that the ability to absorb information is magnified times 10. Those few weeks of learning new information usually needs to take place within the first few days as the project you’re assigned for is usually ready to go or already in full swing.
In this being the case I have to be ready to absorb everything as quickly as I can and, furthermore, understand all the information as it comes my way. To assist during this process I usually take TONS of notes and ask just as many questions.
I tend to catch on to things pretty quickly which is certainly a plus as a contract instructional designer; however, with any position, especially in the beginning, there is opportunity to feel overwhelmed in trying to understand so much information in such a short period of time.
In order to keep on top of everything and still keep my cool I’ve learned to be positive with every interaction; whether with all the people I’ll initially meet or even with inanimate objects like laptops or software systems. Keeping this outlook prevents me from being attacked by a snowball of negativity and allows me to hold my head high as I weave my way through the maze of the unknown.
I think this is probably one of the most important items to keep in mind. I’ve learned that you have to be open to everything thrown your way whether it’s something foreign or familiar, negative or positive.
I’ve witnessed employees new to an organization mention how they performed a task at their last employer, resistant to the new method. In my book this is an absolute no-no!
Chances are things will be different anywhere you go so you have to be open to new ways to do things. Generally, I’ll take everything in and then, after some time figuring out systems or processes, I’ll make a suggestion. But only after fully grasping the organization’s concepts first.
Although a tad bit nervous to begin something new, I’m leaving myself open to a new year of positivity and great opportunity for growth. I wish the same for all of those on the same path.