Have you started your new job and feel complete lost? –> that’s normal
Do you feel like there is so much to know, to learn ? –> that’s normal
Do you feel like you know nothing? –> that’s normal
Do you already feel like quitting? –> that’s normal^
Do you feel overwhelmed? –> that’s normal
The company wants you to be up and running as early as possible so your first few weeks will probably be in meetings with people teaching you a whole bunch of stuff about the organization, your tasks, the people. Since everyone is busy, they will book your time as early as possible and since you aren’t that busy yet well your calendar is empty and will soon be booked.
You probably don’t know this but no one expects you to remember everything , really , NOOOOO ONE. The people talking to you have been in that company longer than you so it’s normal they sound like they know their sh*t. Do you really think that they expect you to know in a few days what took them years to learn?
They do expect you to pay attention, so make sure you write down notes. Figure out if it’s better for you to type it or handwrite it. Find a better way to take notes, would drawing images help and save you time? Review your notes after the meeting or at the end of the day and add the details then while it’s still fresh in your mind. While your at it, why don’t you add your impression of the person who talked, what else did you notice, what action items do you want to do, what other things do you need to learn?. You don’t have to write every single word being said to you, but you need to understand the big picture, ask questions. Feel free to tell the other person: “by the way, I’ll probably come back to you for more questions”. Guess what? 99% of the time, they will say “yes, feel free to ask”. So take a deep breather, listen to the other person, take some notes, review your notes later on.
When they are talking to you, double-check if they have expectations, that’s a big asterisk on your TO DO list. If a team member is complaining about something, take note and that’s for you RETROSPECTIVE list.
One big advice I strongly recommend is to take notes of what you are feeling in this first few weeks and regularly…You will notice that after a while, you feel less overwhelmed, you are understanding more, you are getting to know more people..Finally, it’s no longer the same feeling of being overwhelmed 🙂 Keep this notes or diary and read them next time you switch jobs and start feeling overwhelmed again. You’ll have proof that it’s normal and that it will get better with time.