When you are beginning a new job, it can seem as if a whirlwind of information is coming at you—and to some extent, it is. If you are unable to process it correctly, it can start to snowball and create a fortress of anxiety! But there is one sure way to counteract it: taking notes!
No different than your days in school, taking notes will help you recall and retain information critical to your success. Moreover, it will give you a reliable reference for processes and tasks that you need to get up-to-speed on quickly. It will also keep you from asking the same questions over and over, which can frustrate coworkers and send the wrong signals to your supervisor.
I recently had the opportunity to share with my sister (who just started a new job) how taking notes early in my career helped me overcome anxieties that were bound to take me down if I did not get a handle on them. I was learning so much so fast that sometimes it would go in one ear and right out the other. Then, I would find myself asking for information again and again which began to erode my confidence. One day, someone suggested I get a notebook and start writing things down. As simple as it sounds, it was one of the best bits of career advice I’ve ever received. Things turned around for me quickly when I stopped forgetting small details and freezing up when the pressure was on. The neat part about it is that my sister took my advice and experienced a similar result: retained knowledge and renewed confidence. How rewarding it is to be able to share an experience that can help someone else!
If you find yourself in a new job, get yourself a small notebook and start jotting things down you learn along the way. It only takes a few minutes to take notes and you’ll be glad you did. When an overload of information threatens to sink you, that little notebook will become your life preserver!