It is not at all uncommon to focus on proving your worth when you start a new job or enter a new environment.  However, we expect more than others.  We often make the mistake of thinking we are expected to know everything.  That is not the case.  In fact, we are rarely likely to know much in the early days of a new job.  That is why many companies have training and orientation programs for new hires.  While there is typically not the same formal process when we move to a new team, there are still the same needs.  It is a “rookie mistake” to think you are expected to hit the ground running at 100%.  Your best days are ahead of you, not those first days and weeks in a new position.

Proving Your Worth – You Did It Already

First and foremost, it is essential to note that you have already proved yourself on some level.  You landed that new position.  That means someone decided you are worthy of this opportunity.  While it is not uncommon to worry about being fired in the first week, that rarely happens.  As long as you did not lie heavily through the hiring process, you will still have a job at the end of the week.

The Lesson Learned

We see this mistake often with people new to a job.  However, it is rare to see someone tossed out due to a lack of skills or knowledge (at least not until a lot of time has passed).  Think about how you view someone new to a job.  You do not expect them to have supernatural knowledge of the team and insider discussions.  Thus, why would you worry that others would expect that of you?  Do not hesitate to ask questions sooner rather than later.  That is an excellent way of proving your worth through learning quickly rather than knowing things from the start.  Learning is a better skill than raw knowledge in almost every case.

If you like this season, you will probably like Scott Adams’ book, “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life.”

Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a longtime student of technology as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is the founder of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences as well as a few about becoming a better developer. In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although a few have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax.

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