If you’re older and have had a few jobs, perhaps this post will not be as meaningful to you. Or, perhaps it will help you see how you can mentor those with less experience.
I believe it takes at least a year to truly learn your “new” job.
I’ve had this view validate by several other experienced folks quite often lately which is why this topic has bubbled up to be a blog post. I’m not talking about the odd jobs you may do in high school or college, but rather those entry level and beyond jobs that make up a career.
Had I known that I wasn’t really expected to know how to do my job completely for such a long or longer period of time, I believe it would have changed how I approached my work.
I would have asked more questions early on, maybe not tried as hard to prove I was truly competent to my boss and co-workers, maybe also developed a relationship with a mentor knowing the feedback would help me more. My hindsight view asks, “What work did I perhaps rush to show my ability to do it, when instead I should have gone deeper in my thinking and analysis of the task, learning more along the way?”
Here’s another aspect of this topic: how much did your job resemble the original job description a year or two later? For most of us, our work is constantly changing. More importantly, it is the skills we have or develop along the way that can also influence the direction our work takes. I think for many careers, what one’s job ends up being is up to us. We can shape our job to perhaps a significant degree by our own interests and skills.
As a mentor or manager, coaching the individuals you work with to take a longer view about what their job truly means is a very healthy thing to do.