Dear Experts, I started a new job two weeks ago and I already have a bad feeling about it. I don't like my boss and I don't like the people I work with. I can't leave because I had a hard enough time landing this job as it is. What advice do you have for coping with this sort of situation? Here is how our T.A.P. experts answered this question:Q#221 Put ur best foot forward & treat it as a learning experience. Continue your search! (@DebraWheatman) Q#221 Same thing happened to me a few years ago and it's tough. I coped by re-doubling my job-search efforts after hours. (@gradversity) Q#221 Attitude plays big part. Be positive, learn what you can while there. May get better. Start search again. (@dawnbugni) Q#221 Agree w/@Keppie_Careers. It hasn't been long enough to really judge. Explore the co. for positives. (@heatherhuhman) Q#221 Find what U DO like about job. Seek projects/work to propel career forward if possible. Give it time. (@Keppie_Careers) Q#221 Be honest w/boss. Tell 'em it's not a fit. Maybe you can work together on something. Why'd U even start? (@beneubanks) Q#221 Trust your gut & keep looking; meanwhile, look 4 what u can lrn, do your best work, focus on positive (@juliaerickson) Q#221 2 weeks isn't really long enough to judge; try to keep an open mind and give it a few months; you might be surprised (@AskAManager) Q#221 Put the job search you started before you got the position back in motion & try to gain new skills while you're there. Our Twitter Advice Project (T.A.P.) is no longer an active campaign. To find an answer to the above question, please use the "Search" box in the right-hand column of this website.
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You hate your job. You find yourself complaining about it daily to your family and friends. Every Sunday night, you tell yourself that you're finally going to quit and find a new job because you just can't take it anymore. But you don't.
Instead, you go to work, come home, complain, and start the whole cycle over again. You're completely miserable in your current job, but you're absolutely terrified to find a new job. Why?
You're Afraid Of The Unknown
Yes, starting a new job can be scary. You have to adapt to a new work environment, make new work friends, and even learn some new skills—and you don't know if you'll even like it after everything's said and done. What if it turns out to be worse than your last job? What if they don't like you? What if you don't fit in? What if you don't perform at the level they expected? It's similar to starting at a new school where you don't know anyone, where anything is, or how your teachers are going to be.
The truth is, starting a new job can be intimidating. You're walking into a new situation and you're not sure what to expect. The best thing you can do is get to know the company as much as you can before accepting a job offer there. Learn it inside and out, make an effort to get to know people you'd be working with over LinkedIn or coffee, and ask questions that can give you insight into the company culture.
You're Not Confident In What You Have To Offer
Don't feel like you've got what it takes to make it anywhere else? Afraid to find a new job because you don't want to look like an incompetent employee? If you think you're lacking the skills to succeed elsewhere, take an inventory of your skill sets. Then, compare them to the skill sets that are required for the jobs you're considering.
What are you missing? Where do you need to ramp up your skills? Do you have additional skills that could lend themselves to the job? Make a list of the skills you have and the ones you need to develop.
You're Not Really Sure What You Have To Offer
You need to understand what you have to offer so you can market yourself effectively to employers.
Again, go in and take a look at your skill sets. Think about past accomplishments at work. What have you achieved? What are you proud of? What problem do you solve at your current company? Make sure you quantify your work experience on your resume so employers know what you have to offer and can see the value you provide as a business-of-one.
You Don't Know What You Want To Do Next
You want to find a new job, but you have no idea what you want to do. All you know is that you hate your current job and you want out. If you're having trouble figuring out what you want to do next, you need to take some time to explore.
Research different jobs, industries, and companies. Talk to people about their work—why they like it, hate it, and what excites them about it. Take some time to figure out what interests you and what projects energize you.
You're Afraid Of The Financial Repercussions
What if you don't get the benefits you have at your current job? What if you have to take a pay cut? What if it takes too long to find a new job and you run out of money? Research competitive salary rates using Glassdoor's salary calculator before you look for a new job. Also, research the companies you're interested in to learn about what kinds of benefits they offer employees.
It's important to understand what your priorities and must-haves are in your new job. The last thing you want to do is accept a job knowing that it won't meet your needs because it will just result in you looking for a new job in a few months. However, understand that you might not necessarily make the same paycheck as your current job. Research so you know what to expect.
If you're terrified to find a new job, you're not alone. We hope that by identifying these fears and following the tips above, you'll have the confidence and courage to look for your next job. Remember: you'll never know what you can do until you try!
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.
To begin, what are the lean wastes?
TIM WOOD — Who Is This Guy?
Time — It’s Ticking In Your Head!
Do engineers waste time? NEVER!!! Are you sure? How long did it take you to look up a part number for your last project? Have you spent hours on the internet combing for the perfect transformer? Did you rework the drawing because it was missing information? All of these take time.
Time is an engineer’s best asset. With any project, more time is always preferred. Despite our best efforts, everything has a deadline, and you will be out of time. So why do things take so long to accomplish?
Much like production, everything an engineer does has a process—formally or informally. If your process requires you to do unnecessary tasks or wait in a queue for information, it all takes away from our time.
Review what it truly takes to complete a task versus the total time to complete an action. The difference is your opportunity. How can you make tweaks or eliminate wasteful tasks to improve your time?
Inventory — How Can Engineering Have Inventory?
In the classical sense, engineering typically does not have dozens of parts on their desks or stacks of products on the shelves.
How many projects are on your desk needing your attention? How many drawings need revisions from production markups and changes? Do you have software programs written for customers? How many documents need approval?
Each of these “soft” products is inventory. Thinking broader, any accumulation of work ahead of you is your inventory. The more projects, tasks, and activities on your desk, the higher the inventory for you as a worker. How do we deplete inventory?
For administrative tasks, plan a time every day to work through the tasks. Approvals in the ERP system are complete at 9 am each day. Drawing reviews are scheduled at 2 pm on Tuesday. Some days you may have five or more of these tasks, and other days you may have none. Scheduling your time to complete these tasks is essential.
Larger tasks can be managed the same way. Use large blocks of time with no meetings to eat the elephant one bite at a time. Make sure you take action weekly on these tasks to prevent overwhelming inventory numbers.
Finally, do you need to do this task at all? Delegate or eliminate the work. Is it necessary? Am I the right person to do it? If the answer is no, get rid of it!
The goal is to minimize your inventory and focus effort on where you add value.
Motion — Do I Need To Leave My Chair?
Unlike production where work may be completed in different physical locations, engineers typically work in their station and may even be sedentary. So how do I eliminate motion?
Do you walk to meetings twice a day in a different part of the building? Do you need to cross the room to use the copier? Are you required to deliver signed documents to another member of the team? Is your telephone or headset across the desk?
Motion is trickier in an office setting; however, with some creativity, you can eliminate the waste. Can my meetings be scheduled back to back to keep from leaving your office as often? Do I rearrange my desk for better optimization of my mouse, keyboard, phone, etc.? Think outside of just walking back and forth.
Waiting — Why Can’t I Get Any Answers?
How often do you need to wait for a customer to agree to a specification? Does accounting owe you a price for the transformer you are quoting? Is your boss sitting on the drawing approval needed to submit to the customer?
Each time an engineer waits for an answer or another process, this leads to waste. You cannot proceed without someone else’s action. You rely on someone’s actions to complete your own.
How do we eliminate waiting? It is inevitable to be waiting on someone. Can you send an email ahead of time asking for their help to approve the drawing? Could you call your customer asking for clarification versus sending an email? Could you walk something to the accounting department asking for their attention?
Find ways to eliminate or minimize wait times. Take proactive actions to ask for assistance. Ensure all the necessary information is available to the next person in the process. Look for those subtle little items that add up over time.
Overproduction & Overprocessing — Why Do More Than You Are Asked?
Both of these wastes involve doing more than what is expected. Throughout my career, I have been encouraged to under-promise and over-deliver. Why?
Of the wastes, I would say these two are the most difficult for engineering. We are expected to (over) produce products that exceed customer expectations.
Experience will tell an engineer when enough is enough. Over-designing a solution is a waste. Making more drawings than are necessary is a waste. Look for opportunities where you are handling the same item more than once. Can I do both tasks at the same time?
Be careful of the trap of tinkering with a project simply because you have time. If your work is complete, meets the need, and is robust, stop. Continuing to tweak is an example of overprocessing. Learn from your mentors what finished looks like!
Defects — I Hate Doing Something Twice…
Defects are an enormous opportunity for anyone to eliminate wastes! Who likes doing the same task twice because it was wrong? If an engineer needs to do rework, the results are wasted.
Similar to the goal of “zero” safety incidents, engineers need to strive for perfection. This goal is philosophically correct, and reality shows our human side. Mistakes will occur.
How do you eliminate these defects? If you make a mistake, begin by correcting it, and follow up with changes to keep the mistake from returning. Write a procedure, make a checklist, and educate yourself (and your team) to prevent the error. When you have “extra time,” check your work. We all get tunnel vision on projects, so taking another step to verify your efforts is valuable!
When mistakes occur, learn from them. Do not swipe them aside as a trivial element of your work. Take time to make improvements to eliminate the chance of error in the future. We all make mistakes… Some of us learn to keep from repeating them repeatedly.
Is TIM WOOD My Friend?
The concept of eliminating wastes is paramount to a lean journey or continuous improvement. Look around every aspect of life, and you will observe wastes. Knowing what wastes look like is the first step. Your best opportunity is to find ways to eliminate them from your work. Make something better, eliminate an unnecessary step, error-proof your processes, and make things better.
So is TIM WOOD my friend? For years, the answer was no. I had no time for him in engineering because he worked in production. Now that I see him clearly, I embrace him and use him to make me, my team, and my company stronger.
YES — TIM WOOD is my friend!