A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO JUMPING FENCES

Ah ha! I see you’ve  fallen for my tricky “click-bait” headline thinking you’ll be offered a “How To” on entering a fenced off restricted premises.

WRONG.

I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you another “Lauratorial” (you can find a cracking guide to using Canva here) which I too have found relevant in recent times  – jumping industry fences to kick start a new career.

You see, before I joined the Big Blue Digital family, I was slugging it out at Dubbo’s local newspaper, the Daily Liberal. I can’t thank the team there enough for taking me on, having just completed a Bachelor of Media and Communications at the University of New England and hunting for a start-out job.

After 18 months of writing the local news, it was by pure chance through mutual acquaintances that I found myself sitting down with Brendon and Leanne to discuss the idea of starting as a Communications Executive at Big Blue Digital.

Now here it comes. The fence
.
How the heck am I going to start working in a completely unfamiliar industry? Should I just stay where I am comfortable? Or should I take the leap?

Well ladies and gents, the leap was probably the best thing I have done for my career. But I wanted to share how I went about jumping the fence and certain points to remember for your first few months in a brand new, unfamiliar territory.

HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY

While you may want to use your interview as the chance to self promote yourself and your previous experience in roles – don’t over do it.
Relax. Take a breath and answer the questions thrown at you with thought and the necessary amount of detail.

While jumping the fence may be daunting, there’s nothing worse than being thrown in the deep end because you’ve said you’re capable of doing a task you have absolutely no idea about.

THE HONEYMOON PERIOD

Now depending on the time frame between your previous job and your new one, the first few weeks may seem a little slow and all over the shop.

Do not take advantage of this.

Little do you know, and little did I know until I was told, your managers have set this time aside to let you get a feel for the office, how the business operates,  the programs you may be using, and the general gist of the job.
Use this time to absorb as much as you can.

LISTEN TO YOUR MANAGER

Remember, your manager WANTS you there. You are not an inconvenience for not knowing certain things about the business.  You are there to learn.

If you’re struggling to adjust to the job requirements, perhaps suggest that you and your manager lock in a weekly catch-up, just to go over your tasks, your progress or even just for a general chit-chat.

And if there’s something you need during week, do not be afraid to ask. That’s what the learning process is all about!

SET REALISTIC GOALS

I am my own worst enemy in terms of performance critique. I seem to fall under the illusion that I am not human and I can learn anything at the drop of a hat and not make mistakes. Oh Laura.

While it’s always great to challenge yourself, it’s also important to remember your limits. Rome wasn’t built in a day after all. You will get there eventually.

BUILD RELATIONSHIPS IN THE OFFICE

Great companies with great cultures, such as Big Blue Digital welcome new employees to the fold. I remember on my first day I was blown away by the fact I was actually shown where the toilet was, which unfortunately trumps one of my previous employers.

As awesome as office culture is, you have to remember being at work still involves work, not just conversation. Be nice, be friendly, be yourself – but always remember that the best working relationships are based on respect and trust, and respect and trust are based on actions and performance, not just on words.

Prove yourself. Pitch in. Help out. Follow through. Meet every commitment. Earn the respect and trust of others and you will build truly great professional relationships.

BREATHE

Soon enough you’ll be on roll, taking control of your workload and any obstacles that might pop up. But remember, there’s always a bad day waiting in the shadows to throw you a curve ball and rock your confidence.

So all I can suggest with these days, is breathe. Take a moment to yourself either at your desk, grab a coffee or simply sit outside in the fresh air and reflect on those realistic goals you set yourself earlier.

So there you have it. These tips helped me settle in and I hope they help you if or when the time comes for you to jump the fence too.

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