Starting a new job is either exciting or terrifying.
It marks the beginning of a new opportunity and a path to financial security. But a new job also means learning complex processes and equipment.
For several weeks, or months, new hires are among the least experienced and least knowledgeable on the team which can be stressful.
In this post, we’re simplifying what to expect in week 1 through 52. When you know what to expect, the learning process is easier and you can be confident of the path you’re on and the time it will take to get comfortable on your new team.
The weeks listed below are what you may be able to loosely expect, but every job will be different.
Weeks 1-4: Training
Every employer has a different approach to training.
Some jobs start with several weeks of classroom training. Others will throw you right onto the equipment and train you on the fly. Still others have a hybrid training program where classroom training is mixed with hands-on training.
During your training period you may find an employer that pays your full wage while you’re getting trained. On the other hand, there are also employers who pay a reduced wage during the training period.
At Drylock, for example, we have a 4 week training plan that combines classroom learning with hands-on training. During the entire 4 weeks, employees get paid 100% of their hourly wage.
Weeks 5 – 17: Learn One Part Of The Process
Employers vary widely on the actual equipment you’ll be operating.
There may be one main machine that you’ll be working on or you may have to learn different parts of several complex machines.
The training period, above, is only a few weeks, but getting a deeper understanding of the machines and processes you’ll be working on takes more time.
Be patient with yourself and your employer as you learn different pieces of equipment that you’ll be responsible for operating.
Weeks 18-30: Learning Another Part Of The Process
Now that you’re comfortable on different machines, or parts of a machine, you’re able to work more independently.
You’ll likely be on a team, so you probably aren’t working completely independently. But now you no longer need a supervisor watching every move because you’ve developed the skills you need to succeed.
Since you’ve learned all of the steps, now you’re becoming faster and more accurate. You’re catching up with your teammates and they count on you to contribute to production goals.
Weeks 31-43: Machine Operation
As you get closer to having 1 year of experience under your belt, you may be given more responsibility within your job description.
You may be asked to run an entire machine, where in the past you just worked on one part of that machine. Or you may be asked to help at a higher level with training employees who are newer than you now that you are starting to be more experienced. Your teammates may also expect you to be more proactive in troubleshooting day to day situations.
All of these things are a sign that you are becoming more experienced and trusted in your current role.
1-2 Years: Begin To Lead A Team
Many people will stay in production positions for a long time. They pay well, and may be less stressful than coordinator or supervisor positions.
If you are interested in advancement, however, you may want to get a year of experience with the company and then start asking about opportunities.
Depending on the structure of your employer, there may be gradual advancement steps you can take. For example, you may find an opportunity to lead a small team of 3-5 employees and after you gain experience in that role, there may be higher level positions where you could supervise more people and oversee more pieces of equipment.
Higher roles pay more, but they also come with greater responsibility and potentially greater stress.
Think about your goals, your skillset, and your job interests as you consider the growth plan you hope to achieve. Be patient and take the time to learn how to do your job well before asking for a promotion. Hard work and a positive attitude will get noticed and may open you up to advancement opportunities.
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