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New job or promotion? Here's how long it may take until you feel comfortable in your new role

New job or promotion? Here's how long it may take until you feel comfortable in your new role

Congratulations! You've landed that new job that will take you out of state to be closer to family or accepted that promotion you were hoping would be offered. While this is definitely an exciting step for you, it can also be filled with worry and anxiety. Anytime one begins a new job, there is going to be a new department or organization with which you need to become familiar. And what about meeting new co-workers and colleagues? You may be asking questions like, "How will I fit in?" or "Are they going to accept me as a member of their team?"

Thankfully, it is possible to finally feel comfortable in your new role at work. The only question is, how long will it take? The answer is not as clear-cut as you may think. There are many working parts that affect how soon you'll be comfortably chatting with colleagues, speaking up in meetings, or meeting up with your team after work. Let's take a look at what can affect this transition, as well as helpful tips for how to finally feel comfortable in your new role.

Common issues that can affect the transition to your new role

Multiple factors can influence whether or not you have a smooth transition to your new job. Personal issues like financial stress, family matters, and relationship challenges can definitely take their toll on how soon you feel comfortable in your newest professional role. Then there are career-related components like co-workers, company policies, and available or limited resources that can impact your transition:

  • A relocation to a new city or state with or without your family
  • Selection of a role in a completely new industry or remaining in your initial field of study
  • Friendly or distant attitudes of co-workers, colleagues, and bosses
  • The amount of training that is or is not available
  • Virtual or in-person work environments
  • The overall culture of your new workplace

How long can it take to feel truly comfortable in your new role?

When researching this topic, we found a wide range of answers beginning with the process taking three to six months or as long as 18 months. One main factor is responsible for this variation — each person and job is different. There are many unknown elements of starting a new job that can take this process much longer than anticipated or shorten it up so much that you feel like a member of the team within 30 days. 

Personalities and background also play a role in how soon you'll feel at ease in this new position. Those with outgoing and extroverted temperaments may find it easier to fit into the natural flow of their work environment, as they are often more willing to speak up and ask questions. Individuals with a more introverted or introspective nature may take a bit longer to get acclimated to their new workspace.

Overall, one thing we do know is that the first 90 days are essential for helping new staff find their professional and comfortable sweet spot. Whether you're an employee at a new company or you've been promoted within, the first 90 days is when you will learn the most about your position, begin to develop your own work processes and routines, and finally feel confident in your newly chosen professional role. 

"Overall, one thing we do know is that the first 90 days are essential for helping new staff find their professional and comfortable sweet spot."

Tips for becoming comfortable in your new role

No one can predict exactly how long it will take to become comfortable in your new role at work, but there are a few strategies you can take advantage of that may speed the process along.

Realize there will be change, and a lot of it

Preparing yourself for the inevitable changes to your daily routine can be quite beneficial. This way you won't be too surprised by any startling differences between your new career role and your previous one. It can be helpful to gain as much information as possible for your new position during the onboarding process. If there isn't much information available before your first day, remember that the more you are open and accepting of these new changes, the sooner you may feel comfortable at work.

Learn as much as you can about your new workplace

If you interviewed for your job via Zoom or phone, you may not have a chance to walk through your new office until your first day there. Don't let this stop you from learning all you can about this new-to-you work location. Most businesses have a website, Instagram profile, Facebook page, or similar online presence. Peruse these sites to get a good idea of the environment you'll be walking into. Researching the company on review sites like Yelp or Google will also give you a unique perspective of your new workplace.

Don't be afraid to ask questions

Learning all you can about the new organization you work for — its culture, philosophy, systems, and even traditions like "Birthday Fridays" — will give you a deeper understanding of how the business operates. This begins with asking questions. There's usually always someone willing to help out, especially because they've most likely been in your position at one time. 

Don't be shy about asking questions regarding your new role and responsibilities either. You may have 20-plus years of experience in a particular profession, but that doesn't mean that each organization operates the same way. It's important to understand what's expected of you, so you can become successful in your new role.

Get to know your co-workers and boss

Dare we say that building connections with co-workers and management should be your top priority when entering a new role at work? This step in the process can make all the difference in how well you're settling into your role. Introduce yourself to co-workers and employees who work in the same department as you do. Ask them questions about their professional experience and, if you feel appropriate, their family or personal interests. This could also be the beginning of a valuable work relationship.

Be yourself

The last thing you want to do when just starting in a new role is to be someone that you're not. Be your authentic self and don't try to change who you are just to fit in. Plus, people appreciate someone who's honest and genuine. If you feel comfortable being yourself around them, they may be more willing to be themselves around you.

At CareerBuilder.com, we're here to help you through each step of your career, including when you transition to a new role at your current place of employment or with a different company altogether. Take advantage of our free resources and create a profile today so you're always ready to make that next career growth move.

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Discover how to successfully ask your boss for a day off, a raise, or a promotion using methods that will cause them to think before they answer.