TEALEAVES is a tea company with the mission to make the world a little better and in May 2021, I joined their team as a creative intern. Joining a company as a new employee is like jumping on to moving train. You just have to jump on, find your seat, and help the train reach its destination. Every new job will have its own unique challenges, as well as plenty of learning opportunities.
My biggest advice is to be ready to adapt. For me, joining a company in the middle of a pandemic forced me to work from home. I had never worked from home before, and I typically thrive while working in social environments. However, I quickly learned that I had to adapt to this new situation and start producing content.
My first step was segmenting and balancing my time. I realized that my workday should not be longer than the typical eight hours and that I need to pursue other activities after this designated time. Personally, I balanced the day with going to the gym, playing volleyball, and seeing friends. By adding something to look forward to after work, I became more motivated to finish my tasks during the workday instead of procrastinating. I didn’t have all day to finish a task anymore—I only had until five. Not only did this increase my productivity, but it also pushed me to leave my house. It’s easy to feel stuck inside your own house when working from home, and this can make you feel really low. Especially during the summer, when the sun is out and everyone you know is most likely at the beach.
Another way of adaptation is learning new technology. After the initial and typical onboarding on the various project management software (such as Slack, Wrike, and Google Drive), I realized I needed to learn how to work with and create content for Shopify and WordPress; two services that I had not worked with before. Having a background in web design and front-end web development gave me an advantage, but the best learning opportunity I had in dealing with Shopify and WordPress (or any new skill and technology) was simply doing the work. This meant being assigned a task by my supervisor and figuring out the best way to accomplish it. The first few times you find yourself in this situation, you will most likely have twenty browser tabs open, ranging from YouTube videos to website documentation. A simple task will take you hours, and no matter how much you look you can’t find an answer to a problem. Once you get past this stage and become comfortable with the tools, not only are you able to complete tasks more efficiently, but you can also start proposing your own ideas. For instance, once I became comfortable with the ins and outs of Shopify, instead of waiting to be approached by my supervisors to create something, I approached them. It’s at this moment when you can bring something of great value to your team and create something you would be really proud of.
To conclude, the best way to succeed at a new job is to adapt. You are entering a new culture that functions in ways you are not familiar with. Unexpected circumstances may put you in positions you were not expecting, and new technologies might leave you confused. You need to be flexible and adaptable to these factors.