College grads who land that coveted first job this spring or summer may find it will take some time to find a comfort level in their new work environment, a new national survey of employees reveals.
When asked how long it takes to fit in and feel comfortable at a new job, 40 percent of more than 1,000 U.S. adults polled by Everest College reported the time frame can be quite lengthy – more than eight weeks (cited by 18 percent) or five to eight weeks (22 percent). Another 34 percent replied two to four weeks.
“Starting a new job and career is an exhilarating, exciting experience, yet certainly can be stressful as well,” says Tim Dauber, regional vice president of operations at Everest College, which provides career-oriented diploma programs in the health care, skilled trades and business fields and has six Chicago-area campuses, including one in Skokie.
“New employees face all types of first-time situations, along with new responsibilities, procedures and co-workers,” Dauber adds. “It can take time – a number of weeks – to adapt, feel you ‘belong’ and contribute to the best of your ability, a reality many of those surveyed acknowledge.”
Yet, several tactics exist to help employees feel comfortable at their new position, according to survey respondents.
Nearly six in 10 (58 percent) said a personal mentor in their new workplace would be an asset. Other ways cited to ease the transition to a new job included more hands-on experience while in college (named by 46 percent) and an internship/externship prior to employment (43 percent). One-quarter (25 percent) said college instructors who have similar job experience would help achieve a comfort level. (Multiple responses were permitted.)
“Employers and colleges should take note of these findings and preferences,” says Dauber. “Mentors can be a major, positive influence to help the new employee acclimate. Colleges can provide similar assistance in a number of areas. For example, at Everest, all programs make hands-on learning a priority, and externships are a required part of curricula.”
A majority of respondents – 55 percent – said when they started their first job after college, they already had prior knowledge of the working environment and company culture of their new employer.
“Such knowledge certainly helps new employees attain a comfort level more quickly,” adds Dauber.
Everest poll results are based on the responses of 1,005 adults, ages 18 and
older and currently employed, with an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or higher
degree from a college or university. Respondents completed an online survey
February 27 through March 13, 2014.