How Long Does It Take To Settle Into a New Job?

When you’re new in the workplace it can feel a bit overwhelming. There’s so much new information to absorb, from how to do tasks to your new colleagues’ names. It takes time to adapt to all this.

Depending on the position, and the learning curve, it takes usually 2 to 3 weeks to get your bearings on your new job, and about 2 to 3 months before you feel settled in. This period is shorter if you’re moving into a similar position while moving to a different function can prolong it to 6 months.

During this new job settling period, you may feel stressed out and out of place, but as you’re settling in, your stress levels will naturally come down, and you’ll feel much more comfortable as time goes on.

Starting a new job is never easy because your environment completely changes, your team changes, and your duties may change. But keep in mind that it’s only temporary, and there are things you can do to make the transition easier and become successful.

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It’s Normal to Feel Overwhelmed in a New Job

you got this sign next to laptop at work

Feeling lost and confused is the most natural thing when moving into a new job. Because of this, your stress levels will be elevated, and it may take some time to get familiar with everything.

The stress when starting a new job stems from the fact that you’re in a completely new environment and your brain is just trying to figure things out. You may also be stressed by not knowing to do your job, or making mistakes. It’s completely normal and will pass.

Some jobs are easier to get used to mentally, such as getting a retail pharmacy job. Others require high mental strength, or even high physical strength, such as working for the US postal service.

It takes time to feel comfortable, and if you’re thinking of quitting, just remember that the process may be the same on your new job so just try to give your new job a chance first.

How to Adapt at a New Job Easily

Here are some tips on what you can do to adapt to your new job quickly and easily, as the times go. I’ve broken it down in time, so you’ll know which things you can use to help you, and what you can expect as you’re settling into your new job. Leaders can have a hard time adapting as well, but here are some tips from MIT for leaders.

You can also make your transition easier with this book “The First 90 Days”. It has strategies to adapt faster and make your transition easier. One of the best books relating to this issue, highly recommended.

First day

The first thing to do in your new job is to dress appropriately and be at least a few minutes early. During the first day, take the initiative and try to meet your new coworkers, learn their names and something about them.

Pay attention to how people work, what they say, and just listen. Try to be friendly and polite, and just be yourself. It’s normal to be anxious.

First week

The first week at a new job will usually be the most difficult, hectic, and probably very emotional. A lot of people think they had a bad first week at a new job, but the truth is – it’s no worse than the average. 

To survive the first week of a new job, try to take notes of what people tell you, and it’s not a bad idea to write the names of people as well. Try to stay positive, and don’t take sides with anyone.

First month

The first month at a new job is going to consist of a lot of learning, getting to know your coworkers, and figuring things out. It’s always normal to ask questions, but at some point, you’ll want to start researching trying to figure things out by yourself.

A good tip is to ask coworkers to see how they do their job. People like talking about themselves and showing you stuff, so just pay attention and figure out what’s useful and what’s not.

First 3-6 months

As you start getting to know your job you’ll be more and more familiar with the processes, the people, and the environment. This is usually the period when most people feel like they’ve gotten the grasp of things, and are settling in.

There’s a great book calledThe First 90 Days”, with strategies to adapt faster and make your transition easier. It’s one of the most important books relating to this issue, and I genuinely suggest it.

The first 6 months at a new job usually consist of a lot of learning, adapting, and stressing out. Try not to be too hard on yourself, because it’s going to take time, especially if the company doesn’t have a good onboarding program. Just do your best, take breaks, and make sure to have some free time for yourself outside of work. It’s important to keep the balance right, or you may burn out.

How Long Does New Job Anxiety Last?

New job anxiety should subside after a few weeks. For some people, even a few days is enough, and some people feel anxious all the time. But for the most part, the new job jitters should go away within the first few weeks, as you get a hang of things.

How to reduce anxiety at a new job?

Here are a few things you can do to reduce anxiety at your new job:

  1. Don’t put too much pressure on situations. Don’t worry about mistakes so much. Admit the mistake and try to fix it. If you don’t know how, ask questions. The majority of your coworkers will try to help you.
  2. Be willing to learn. We’re all rookies at a new job, and it takes time to get a hang of it. Nobody’s expecting you to know everything at the start, just make sure to learn.
  3. Take your time to do tasks. Unless your job specifically requires you to rush through everything, take your time. Take breaks.
  4. The HR who hired you believe you can do this job. Why not believe them?
  5. Don’t let the mood of the office affect you. Let negative things slide. Lower your head and just do your job for the first month. Don’t let other people form your opinion for you.
  6. Try meditation. There’s a great app called Balance that I’ve been using. Give it a go. You’ll be surprised what a few minutes of deep breathing and reflection can do for you.
businessman at street with a bag

Started New Job and Struggling? Here Are the Tips!

Struggling at a new job is completely normal, and expected. Some struggle more than others, but there are many things you can do to help yourself. Check out some of the tips below on how to ease your transition into a new job.

My new job is too hard

The best advice for settling into a new job is to take notes and ask questions. Then, try to write a process of what you need to do, the sequencing of tasks. This will help you do the job more quickly and easily.

Another thing you can do is to ask a coworker to look at how they do a similar job you’re doing. This is one of the best ways to learn a new job, as you’ll see exactly what you need to do.

No direction at new job

There are both positives and negatives to this.

The positives are that you have the freedom to learn by yourself, make decisions and mistakes which will help you grow. You have the autonomy to work as you please, and control to decide when the task or the project is done. Nothing worse than being micromanaged.

On the other hand, the negatives could be a poorly managed team or the lack of projects. Talk to your manager about this. Explain that you feel like you need to do something useful and helpful, you need work.

I’m tired or depressed at my new job

There’s no easy fix for feeling tired and depressed, but here are the things that helped me with my depression that lasted for years. Try these:

  • eating healthy. Try it and see how your mood improves. It really works
  • getting exercise. Scientifically proven to improve mood, and reduces pain overall
  • take breaks from work and move around your desk
  • every day do things you enjoy for at least 30 minutes
  • get enough sleep. Sleep reduces toxins in brain, and 7 hours is a minimum
  • Try taking vitamins. I’ve heard stories of people thinking they suffer from depression, while all they suffered from was the lack of magnesium, Vitamin D or Omega 3s. Give it a try.

Scared of new job responsibilities

Number one thing you should know is that you’re not the only one. There are at least a few other people at your job that felt the same way when they started. They messed up a few times, made some mistakes, but now they’re fine. And you’ll be too.

Feeling nervous about a new job is a natural thing, and it takes time to get acclimated, so give it a few months. Try to keep learning, taking notes, and remember that making mistakes is sometimes the best way to learn and adapt.

How Long Does It Take To Learn a New Job?

Many factors determine how long should it take to learn a new job, but in general, you should grasp your new job in about 6 to 12 months.

Depending on your industry and the type of job, it can be perfectly normal to dislike your job for the first few days, or even weeks. This can simply be a reaction to how everything foreign and strange seems to you at first. It’s somewhat normal and will pass.

New job learning curve stress

Almost every new job position brings some element of stress. Maybe you didn’t get enough training, or the environment is depressing and difficult, or the onboarding is terrible.

To cope with stress, remember that you don’t need to know everything right at the start, and you shouldn’t pretend that you know something when you don’t. Be genuine and admit your mistakes or your ignorance, and know that you’ll eventually catch up. We all do.

How to learn a new job quickly?

 Here are a few tips to help your transition:

  • Take notes. Write down what you need to know
  • Read any relevant documentation and tips
  • Ask a coworker to see how they work in real-time
  • Know who’s who in the workplace and remember their names
  • Learn the sequencing of tasks. A, then B, then C, etc. This will help your brain do these things subconsciously, while your conscious part can deal with other thing

How to Act at a New Job?

Here are some things on how to act on your new job:

  • Dress well
  • say “hi” to everyone you meet and learn their names 
  • ask questions if you don’t know something
  • be friendly and polite to everyone
  • say “please” and “thank you” when appropriate
  • be consistent and hard-working
  • always show up on time, don’t gossip and try to be positive.

How Long Do You Give a New Job a Chance?

A smart answer would be to stay at your new job for at least a year before you start looking for a new job. Anything below a year could be considered a yellow flag on your resume.

However, even leaving after 6 months is only a yellow flag, assuming it happened once. If you decide to leave and on your next job interview the employer asks you “Why are you leaving your previous job after only 6 months?” You can always say “It just wasn’t a good fit.”

The real question is: was it a one-time bad fit (or once in 5 years), or do you leave every one of your jobs after 6-8 months? The latter could pose problems in your future employment.

Conclusion:

How long does it take to settle into a new job?

Depending on the job, it should take about 2 to 3 weeks to get your bearings and about 2 to 3 months for you to settle in. This period is shorter if you’re moving into a similar position, while moving to a different function can prolong it to 6 months, sometimes a year.

Author

  • Hi, I'm the founder of HowMonk.com! Having been in finance and tech for 10+ years, I was surprised at how hard it can be to find answers to common questions in finance, tech and business in general. Because of this, I decided to create this website to help others!