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Started new job this week - really struggling

  • 06-05-2021 12:32pm
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    Hi there,

    I'm looking for some advice or tips from people who might have experienced something similar.

    I started a new job earlier this week ( Legal sector) in a big company but the team is relatively small. Its all remote at the moment so I haven't met anyone in real life so to speak. I think I'm OK either getting to grips with the technology - they use teams and share screens etc.

    My issue is that I started a few days ago and while I get people are busy I have basically spoken or been introduced to anyone outside of HR and IT. My manager scheduled a brief video call with me on my first morning and left her camera off which didn't really reassure me in itself as it didn't seem the friendliest thing to go. The call lasted about 5 mins and she didn't give me any overview of the team, systems etc just forwarded me on a technical legal piece of work while on the call and asked me to look at it. I said OK but tbh it's beyond my capabilities and particularly now given I haven't had any training yet, have no idea how they do things, store information and drafts etc. I haven't a clue! She asked me to link in with another team member for an intro chat who I have contacted but she's told me she is busy a the moment so I can only chase so many times for now. I put time in the diary with her today but she didn't join. There is another few team members whose names I don't even know so can't introduce myself and it feels terrible. I emailed my manager back last night to say that I didn't get the opportunity to look at the task yet as I was on with IT a lot of the day and getting set up and I just mentioned that it would be helpful to do an intro chat first and learn abut more about how they work etc. No response nearly a day later. I know there is always teething issues at the start of a new job but I am someone who is very much lacking in confidence suffers from anxiety (take a low dose anti-depressant). I am a capable person and well qualified but I'm not only worried about my technical ability or suitability for this role but also how the hell I'm going to survive. I'm sitting in my sitting room at the desk teary eyed already. I know I need to toughen up and assert myself but would love to hear any tips or advice from others. Thank you so much.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,978 ✭✭✭YellowLead

    This sounds like a bit of a toxic environment to have moved into - please don’t feel it’s any lacking on your side or that you have done anything wrong.

    Your manager sounds lazy and incompetent as a manager. I am shocked she left her camera off during your initial meeting! And has not responded to you reaching out to ask for help, fair play to you for doing that by the way. It must be so hard to start somewhere remotely and managers should be going the extra mile. At least when in the office it’s much easier to ask questions and suss out who the friendly faces are.

    Is there anybody else on the team who does the same work as you? Is there an internal system where you can look people up by team or department even though you don’t know their names? Is there any formal induction booked?

    All you can do is go back to your manager and tell her that the person they recommended you speak too has told you they are too busy and not met with you yet - therefore the piece of work you have been given is still on hold.

    Even the most competent person with tasks still needs to know how things are done in different companies - don’t let it knock your confidence.

  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    Thanks for your message. Honestly I'm completely deflated and a bit upset today and it's only my third day as, as you mentioned if this was an offic environment I could walk up to someone's desk etc.

    It's difficult, it's supposed to be nice team and company and I would be a mid senior employee on a decent enough salary so it's worth their while to show me the ropes as it's not like I'm an intern on work experience (not that an intern should be treated any differently). I cant really do much more for the moment. Tomorrow will be my 4th day so hopefully I will get to speak to people by then.

    Tbh I was a bit taken aback when the manager left her camera off for our into meeting. I completely get that she might be up the walls with something else at the moment but even a quick one line response would have been welcomed. At this point, I'm beginning to wonder if there's some big secret I dont know about. I turned down another role to take this one after after being let go during covid so I need it to work out and am thrilled to be back in the workforce.

    I think if I don't hear anything by tomorrow morning ill flick out another email to the two people I know of on the team (manager and person I've reached out to) and just say it would be great if they had some time to talk so I can start to find my feet or get going. It's a very tough start anyway so hopefully things will sort themselves out. It's a bit of a triple whammy - returning to work after a spell of being out of work, starting a new job remotely and now the radio silence.

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 11,426 Mod ✭✭✭✭miamee

    It must be very difficult to start a new job during covid when you have to do it from home. It's harder to meet people or get a feel for the place. They are obviously a very busy team though they should have made time for you on your first week even if just to introduce themselves and tell you who to contact if you have any questions. You mentioned that you are a mid senior it possible that they are expecting you to find your own way around or to jump right in if you are doing a job similar to something you have done before?

    I'd suggest spending time reading up on other things they have worked on (if possible), brushing up on whatever skills you'll be needing with them and giving the task you were given a go. If you get it wrong or not exactly how they want it, they will waste no time in telling you then what they do want or need from you. Maybe it's just a busy week but it is very bad form that on day 3 of your first week the only person you've had a meeting with is your manager who kept her camera off - bizarre. Don't upset yourself about it, they are the ones at fault here for not introducing you to the team or the job properly. Hopefully they will be better prepared next week.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,978 ✭✭✭YellowLead

    Hopefully it’s just teething issues.
    They are probably really busy (NOT an excuse) and won’t really be able to say anything negative about you or your efforts when it comes to the work not being done as you have highlighted the need for further (any) instruction - but it sort of leaves you in an uncomfortable limbo.

    The more people you meet (albeit virtually) the more comfortable you will feel. Have a google for tips about joining a new job remotely - though it’s is the company and the new manager that should be navigating how to onboard somebody remotely not you!
    Sometimes sympathy helps - have you friends or family you can call just for a good moan.

    Hang in there - it should get better once you get past these initial hurdles!

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,102 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

    Have you connected to everyone who work there on LinkedIn?

    Search through your personal network to find someone you know who can introduce you to people there

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,338 ✭✭✭tara73

    I feel for you OP, this sounds horrible and I can imagne how you feel. I think there are two possibilities:

    this is a very toxic workplace in general, everybody is just struggling for themselves and there is in general no real team work or interaction within the colleagues. Most probably everybody fights against each other.
    I presume this is a big company and the leadership is in limbo from the very top.

    second possibility is it's a more or less an intentional test. To test you how you will react to this circumstances of stress. Whether you will freak out or anything close to it.

    I don't know, whatever it is, it's a horrible treatment of a new employee, but it seems to become the norm these days from my experience. Workplaces getting more and more inhumane. I can only advise you to not let it bother you too much. Tell yourself as it is, they are the idiots, not you!!
    As suggested, all you can do is keep on trying to get in contact with other work colleagues to help you with your questions. Write e-mails to have proof of your efforts. If somebody of the bosses calls you out why you didn't do anything, you have the e-mails as a proof.
    I wish you all the best and hope it works out for you in the end. stick it out for the time being.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 556 ✭✭✭shtpEdthePlum

    I'm going through the exact same thing at the moment.

    Did you ever hear "there's no such thing as a stupid question"?

    Well apparently anything I haven't been taught is a stupid question which I'll get my colleagues into trouble if they haven't covered with me, so the relationship with my manager has become very unpleasant and every exchange is now a bollocking. This bothered me a little bit at first, but now I've gotten over it as you can't really spend all your time stressing about somebody else's irrational and unpredictable reactions.

    Meanwhile the stakeholders have been left without cover for a significant time and are coming in swinging at me. Our service provision is woeful and it's all "I'll have more information for you on that soon". All I can do is listen and sympathise with their position, which should only be a very minor part of my job, which is mainly tasked with facilitating them in accessing the services they need. Totally dysfunctional.

    How I am coping is that I am asking my colleagues to schedule me in for briefings whenever they have time and regularly emailing my manager for confirmation on things that I'm unsure about or can't find information on.

    Don't be afraid to reach out to several your colleagues for help. Some of them will be too busy but others will be sympathetic, having been there before.

    Make sure there's a paper trail to show that you have been seeking assistance in the issues you're unsure of.

    Document any incidents where you were left unsupported. If you haven't received any induction it won't be possible for you to know the procedures around anything. Make sure you check the systems for guides that might help you to figure it out.

    Best of luck with it and try not to let it get you down. Go for a run and get rid of all the negativity completely at the end of the day so that you can switch it off fully until next getting back to it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,732 ✭✭✭Rubberchikken

    Try to see if there are any colleagues who would be helpful.

    Tbh no matter how busy, a decent manager will find the time to welcome a new employee and give some basic explanations and answer some questions.
    See how things go. If it continues, covid or not, maybe reconsider.

    Good luck

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,695 ✭✭✭gameoverdude

    Tbh no matter how busy, a decent manager will find the time to welcome a new employee and give some basic explanations and answer some questions. See how things go. If it continues, covid or not, maybe reconsider.

    I agree with the above. I started a new job 8 days ago and couldn't be more supported. Calls about needing hardware...even desks and chairs. Saying that, it's my first time remote working and arranged training sessions with my colleagues who are very receptive.

    In saying that I've only talked to my boss for about an hour, I know he's up to his eyes, but if I was to call him now he'd more than likely answer.

    Sounds like your boss sees you as an inconvenience until you can be productive, but how can you be without support?

    My advice, as worthless as it may be, is schedule another chat and discuss training plans. Maybe schedule training with colleagues in areas you need to learn prior to that meeting.

    As the poster above said, if you're blanked again, get the cv out there(I'd do from tomorrow anyways).

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,419 ✭✭✭antix80

    Pinkgirl87 wrote: »
    just forwarded me on a technical legal piece of work while on the call and asked me to look at it. I said OK but tbh it's beyond my capabilities


    . I emailed my manager back last night to say that I didn't get the opportunity to look at the task yet as I was on with IT a lot of the day .

    My view.. It's sink or swim

    If you're there to learn and improve you need to make sacrifices.

    You use your capabilities to bust yourself to see if you can learn what you need to know. It may require a few lates.

    Another thing... In a busy environment with low expectations, learn what you can but don't take it personally that everyone is busy. Enjoy the time of low expectations and time to learn.

    Your best bet btw is float along, tell ur mgr everything is going perfect and you're enjoying the role.
    When you've done what you can on the piece, start writing. Best to keep your report/output short. Like 1 page.
    When the work becomes due/overdue your manager will help you push it over the line and tell you exactly what's needed - your research will make you familiar with the topic if your manager has questions

    Oh and never, ever, ever blame IT issues for work being late or not accomplishing what you were meant to. Your manager uses the same systems.

    Btw, legal and accounting practice environments aren't for everyone

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  • Registered Users Posts: 939 ✭✭✭bitofabind

    Sounds a bit toxic OP. And familiar as I've worked in a place like this. No-one was getting the support they needed, employees across departments had opposing KPIs and everyone competed with each other. No culture, no friendliness. Newcomers tried and failed to get meetings with colleagues who couldn't be aRsed because they weren't given any training or advice, why should they pass it on?

    Monitor the situation and take notes. Log the lack of support and the work being thrown your way without any induction, log the times you ask for training or a call with your manager.

    Things I'd be doing too:
    - Reaching out to my peers in the organisation across global teams. Who else has an equivalent role? Who's the UK/US counterpart? Use the internal messaging system, slack or whatever. Don't email too easy to ignore. Build some rapport and put 1:1s in their calendars. Get to know them, get their advice.

    - Find out who has tenure locally, who's been there a while and is highly thought of internally. Someone not necessarily at management level or within your department who's been around the block and is worthwhile building a relationship with. Slack/message them. Set up a meeting

    - Get active on any shared messaging channels. In my company we've got a "pets' channel, a Women at (company) channel, a book club channel. Request to join and get involved, build rapport.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,319 ✭✭✭JustAThought

    Sorry to hear all this OP.

    Perhaps your manager is a type A type and dosn’t want a sub par house, clutter, children or bad hair roots on view inna video call - especially on day 1 with you! Its poor but if she didn’t comment or apologise for it reflects badly only on her. She’ll have her colour & cut done next week and will be ll over you no doubt! Maybe she’s working from her shed - you never know!!

    If you were introduced to HR and IT they are your key resources - use them. Can you schedule an appointment/zoom via HR or directly with IT to get some trining or an overview on the IT systems and the internal systems in place to facilitate hime working & file sharing.

    You might be surprised & it could be something as basic as email or designated cloud/ dropbox -folders - albeit the second is unlikely with legal files.

    I defo wouldn’t go looking for group/work social clubs to join ATM - you will look like a total skiver and as you said it was a relatively senior legAl manager role this will just look bad & be remembered when they are looking to dump workloads on someone who seems not too busy.

    You manager may well be under pressure & not have time or allocated unsupervised work for you yet. Send her an email at whatever time you are supposed to be at your desk in morning so she knows you are at least up and available & do your best to look as though you can be trusted to do work unsupervised. Maybe there is some relevNt CPD you could do that involves work or cases the company has done recently or some topic that they emphasised in your job description as needed or important? Or systems /software skills on programs they use? Your boss will know you are not supervised and underutilised for a short while - use the time to impress them & not burden them if they are a bit disorganised and overworked at the moment.

    You mentioned that you hadn’t been able yet to get a scheduled task done - naturally make that your key goal but don’t pester her or others when its done/ en route. often new staff are onboarded before they are needed so there may simply not be a lot planned for you to do -yet!!! Don’t get too worried about it - managing people can be the most time consuming effort to do with a new underutilised hire - let it roll and it will come right. There will be days when you look back at your first easy week and sigh for the utopia!

  • Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭Ticking and Bashing

    I agree with the last poster. Just be as proactive as you can to make a good first impression. Although saying that it's terrible that they didn't make more of an effort. I get that people are busy but they could've done a 10-15min intro to welcome the new joiner. You could always ask your HR contact for the Org chart if you don't know the names of your colleagues and just drop them a quick hello email and put times in their calendars for an intro. Onboarding is tough in normal situations but 10 times worse remotely.

  • Registered Users Posts: 70 ✭✭RojaStar

    Firstly, sorry to hear you are in this situation. It's a really horrible feeling.

    That sounds toxic for sure, your new manager sounds incompetent. It's part of her role to manage you, don't forget that! It's absolutely not on to leave you hanging in your first few days like that without at least giving you a load of stuff to read up on and kill some time. I personally have a low tolerance for people not turning on their video in general during working hours, unless it's the odd time and they give a reason up front in which case it's cool.

    It sounds like she didn't put in the groundwork to prepare for your arrival and is going to kick the can down the road for as long as she can get away with.

    You could start by emailing her a daily status at the end of each working day. Just a few bullet points stating what you set out to do, where you got to, pointing out the roadblocks and how you would appreciate any guidance on how to move xyz forward. Saying things like "in light of X being at a standstill until I have input from Y, I have capacity to take on additional tasks". Essentially you want ensure she knows that you are being as proactive as possible but still sitting around with nothing to do and it's her fault! Think outside the box and ask other people that she hasn't connected you with for help. Sometimes that puts a fire under people as it's not a good look for her internally if her new team member is left dangling. They've invested time and money in hiring you! After a while of that you can start talking about wanting to ensure that you are meeting expectations, deliver results etc and ask her if there's anything you should be doing differently. Force her to manage you! She squeaky wheel gets the most oil and all that.

    I have experienced that situation and it's absolutely anxiety inducing because you feel like you are skiving. But it's really not your fault at this point in time. Would definitely continue to put the feelers out as much as possible trying to get intro calls with people on the wider team. Even if you're not working directly with them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 50 ✭✭Lavdogg

    Feel for you op, iv gone through the same in the past year starting a new job in the middle of covid very tough at the start and there is that little niggle in the back of the head that you don't want to come across too needy.

    Keep the chin up, go for walks/run after work, i found the whole fake commute idea in the mornings good, even just nipping to the shop to get a coffee or something. It may help you relax before sitting down at your desk, its the little things!

    What i would advise is keep emailing your manager and putting yourself out there, as some other posters have mentioned there is people who may have been in your situation before

  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    OP here. Thank you all so much for your replies, they are very much appreciated. OK, do I've completed my first 4 days and honestly I feel in a terrible state, I spent yesterday evening crying after I logged on and just feel so completely lost. To give some context I'm working in a legal dept of a large company and it is a small team so the manager and two junior solicitors (me and another colleague who is going on mat leave in a few months). It is a new area of law for me which I made clear at interview so definitely don't think I oversold myself. I'm sick with worry as I am not in a position financially or from a cv perspective for this job to not work out or to be in a position where I can't get a decent reference. I shouldn't be so terrified after 4 days but I am. I still have not seen my manager and have only spoken to her once on the call on my first day when she didn't put her camera on. I've had one call with the other person on the team who is doing my role which was helpful ( it was pretty much around basics such as getting access to certain systems and documents etc). This colleague finds the role OK but she had a lot more experience in that area than I would have when she joined- she appears to ve quite confident too so I suppose my own lack of confidence and anxiety around these things doesn't help.

    I had no further contact from my manager all week only that on Friday evening between 5 and 6 she forwarded me on 4 pieces of work to look after or run. I'm totally this point I don't feel confident to run a thing in the company and also I'm seriously worried about my lack of technical knowledge in that area ( Reading late at night to try get up to speed) despite being to at interview I'd be well suited, strong candidate etc.. I know this means nothing. Anyway a couple of the tasks will ve OK and some are absolutely double Dutch to reading a foreign language, I don't even know where to start. When talking to the colleague doing the similar role she mentioned that she thought she would be copying me on emails for a while to see how they work etc but the manager had said no that we will be working on different items to ensure cost effectiveness. I just feel completely blind and like a rabbit in the headlights being honest. I've introduced myself to a few people when I could be she hasn't introduced me to anyone yet even on emails that I'm now copied on as a new team member. It's even unsettling me that I haven't seen her yet since I started on camera which I know sounds silly.

    I don't want to appear unprofessional or incompetent (eventhough I feel totally over my head) but I'm considering asking the manager for some time for a call on Monday and basically telling her that I don't feel sufficiently up to speed maybe or confident enough yet to start running my own tasks. I was thinking of asking would it be possible to effectively shadow or be copied on some of the tasks they are working on and start that way but I don't know if this is inappropriate to say or suggest. To be honest I just want to tell her that I feel a bit overwhelmed as it's quite different to my previous types of work I've done etc and that it is going to take me some adjusting. I'd love to hear people's thoughts. I feel like she is not willing to put any time into me at the start which is fine but I know if I don't get this now I won't survive very well.

    Thanks for listening everyone and I do appreciate the feedback. I cant believe I'm so panicked and upset after only a few days...didn't see this mess ahead for me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 70 ✭✭RojaStar

    Pinkgirl87 wrote: »
    I was thinking of asking would it be possible to effectively shadow or be copied on some of the tasks they are working on and start that way but I don't know if this is inappropriate to say or suggest.

    This sounds like a good idea and totally reasonable. Maybe don't use the word "overwhelmed" with your manager but definitely make it clear that you will need some support to get up to speed.

    The way you're feeling is normal under the circumstances, don't beat yourself up about it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,695 ✭✭✭gameoverdude

    RojaStar wrote:
    This sounds like a good idea and totally reasonable. Maybe don't use the word "overwhelmed" with your manager but definitely make it clear that you will need some support to get up to speed.

    RojaStar wrote:
    The way you're feeling is normal under the circumstances, don't beat yourself up about it.

    Agree with both statements above.

    Maybe put a positive spin on it and chat a long the lines of(I don't know the legal profession) "I've looked at the projects, but have a few questions. I see from your policies that this is the case and I'm interested in applying it to this case"...blah, blah, blah.

    You'll probably get the too busy excuse, so chat to your colleague.

    If that's the case, get your cv up to date if not already done.

    4 days is too short to feel this way. You've learned new stuff in the past, so you know you can do it, but it does make it sound like a bad place.

    Also, make allies.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,272 ✭✭✭qwerty13

    I need to reread your posts, but I really think you need to let the camera thing go. A lot of people really dislike it, and don’t use it. Please don’t take that as an indication of anything. You have actual valid reasons of concern, which I’ll post on when I get a chance. A camera isn’t one of them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 939 ✭✭✭bitofabind

    First of all, breathe. Being new sucks. It sucked before Covid/WFH, I'm sure it's twice as hard now when you can't even swing up to someone's desk and ask for advice. So feeling overwhelmed and panicked is very normal, it's going to take you a few weeks and maybe even months to get comfortable and adjusted.

    Second of all, it's going to be ok. Even if this place is not a fit for you and you have to leave, it'll still be ok. You'll make it work and will find a new job again, reference or no reference. Because that's life and we do what we need to do. Breathe and say that out loud to yourself a few times. Go for a walk, get a take-away coffee and call a friend for a catch-up. Don't let this absorb you.

    And then, sit down with a pen and paper and write out the things that you need in this new role that you haven't gotten yet. It's four days in, so maybe your boss is up to her neck in work and hasn't had a minute to focus on your needs as her new hire. Write them down so they're clear in your head. Then throw a meeting in her calendar next week to discuss them. "I saw the tasks you sent to me last week, which is great, I'm really eager to get stuck in. However, I don't feel I'm sufficiently inducted and trained on the relevant systems to take on this work, can we make a plan for that?"

    But for now, take one thing at a time. Don't let your anxiety take over. This isn't the end of the world, it's just a job.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,338 ✭✭✭tara73

    OP, at this stage I think it's definetely their 'testing policy' with new employees.

    It's a big legal firm, I don't work in this business but what I learned, this profession is one of the nastiest, especially if you work in a big firm.

    In this business it's a main thing to pretend to know everything, even if you don't have a clue. It's the worst you can do to admit you are overwhelmed or clueless. Don't say this to your manager!!

    As said, a main thing is about being a person who can convince others, even if you don't have a clue or you know you're in the wrong. And secondly it's all about being self confident, no matter what. The first goes hand in hand with the latter.

    I work in a business where it's quite similar and to be honest, I think you need to be like that in every high profile job.

    I don't know your age, but I'm a bit surprised you don't seem to have ever heard about this 'work practices' or expectations or even came along this before. I think you need to adapt, otherwise you will have to search very long and hard to find a 'nice' workplace. From my experience, they are very hard to find these days, if at all.

  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    OP here again. It's been a very rough weekend for me but I'm honestly so grateful for every single reply I've gotten here.

    It's not a big law firm, it's a legal dept in a bit organisation. I've worked in a couple of those big law firms and trained in one and yes, they are hellish environments at times. I'm aware of how the real world is (I'm early 30s) and have worked stressful jobs in the past but maybe I'm just not cut out for it anymore or I'm finding this particular adjustment waaayyy worse than others perhaps due to being out of work during covid or perhaps because I've never worked remotely before.

    Anyway I can't go on with anxiety and tears the way I have over the weekend so I have an action plan and going to take some of the advice given so kindly here on board. I'm going to call my manager in the morning to see if we ca put some sort of support in place for me or shadowing etc for a little while before I start flying solo. If this comes across unprofessional or is below what they expect then I will have to just deal with that because at the moment I'm so bogged down and clueless I genuinely won't be able to progress until I get a steer.

    I appreciate what people are saying about the camera thing etc and I do need to let that go. I suppose it was a way for me to try build a rapport with a manager who's face I have never seen or try gauge her body language etc.
    Anyway, I'll have to just take one hour at a time and see what happens.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Good on you OP, it's great that you're going to try to take more control over the situation.

    I would also add though, that starting a new job is always rough. Try to bear in mind that what you're experiencing is partly a result of poor treatment and management being unprepared for properly integrating you into the dept. But a part of what you're experiencing is also normal for a new job.

    One of the best bits of advice I was given when starting a new job was to expect it to be kinda horrible for a while. To lower your expectations of yourself for the first few months. Even if things were different, everyone was nice, manager was taking a proper interest in you, etc., it would still be tough. And this only gets more difficult the more experience you have, because as you become more senior, you have to content with:
    - Having a wealth of experience but no way to know what differs in the new company;
    - Receiving less understanding from new employers around the need for introductions, inductions and support, because they think of these as things for entry-level staff and tend not to consider experienced new joiners;
    - Having fewer peers in the same role as you to lean on as you find your feet.

    I suppose the point I'm making is that while they haven't done right by you, don't take your first week as representative of your overall experience here. It took me a year to settle into my current role, literally a year. So yes, you've had a horrible week, but next week is a new chance, as you said, to start taking control where you can, but give yourself a break about what you can't fix. Bear in mind that anyone else they hired into this role would be having the same issues, so they're not yours alone, it's a failing on management's part.

    Management have dropped some balls by not providing you with support. Any progress you make is you doing management a favour by picking up their slack and getting yourself on your feet. Even your conversation tomorrow, that's you organising a meeting that they should have. So well done and good luck.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,695 ✭✭✭gameoverdude

    Op, it's not unprofessional in the least! I'd go as far as to say you're the professional one.

    A new job is an exiting and somewhat anxious time. But you were hired for a reason. You have the skills they want, it's not your first rodeo, so you know your worth.

    It's not your fault and I'm glad you're taking action. Fair play.

    No matter how busy your boss is, they bloody make time!

  • Registered Users Posts: 919 ✭✭✭gauchesnell

    qwerty13 wrote: »
    I need to reread your posts, but I really think you need to let the camera thing go. A lot of people really dislike it, and don’t use it. Please don’t take that as an indication of anything. You have actual valid reasons of concern, which I’ll post on when I get a chance. A camera isn’t one of them.

    I can agree with the above post. We have been remote since last March and I have never used my camera on teams. After over a year working from home most people have stopped using cameras - it saves broadband and most people couldnt be bothered with it. Having a camera on or off isnt a reflection on anything - could just be a wifi issue.

  • Registered Users Posts: 919 ✭✭✭gauchesnell

    I started a new post last year just before the pandemic. It took me a year to settle and Im still considered new in my role. Dont be so hard on yourself which I know is easy to say. Starting a new job remotely is very difficult for anyone so you are not alone. It is the responsibility of the manager to train you - but ask for help if needed. Give yourself time to settle.

    Pay no heed to how people behave on teams and with cameras etc and to be honest you cant read body language from teams anymore - based on my own experience only. Use the chat function aswell - that is sometimes easier than an actually meeting if you have questions and need docs shared quickley.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Make a list of everything you need to do from setting up meetings and contacts to doing a bit of studying up on materials that seem indecipherable to you. A lot can be learned online. Break things down into coherent small steps and be organised doing these steps.

    Can you meet a colleague for an outdoor coffee? Even in a park near their home, to get a bit of help and orientation?

    A few years ago I was thrown in the deep end in an unexpected new job and for the first month I was running on adrenaline trying to learn so much new stuff. But I learned it and got good at it, and you will too. And the learning continues all the time so that sometimes it can seem impossibly overwhelming - until I break it into small chunks, all of which are doable until ultimately the big tasks are done. You can do this too.

    Give yourself 6 to 8 weeks, but don't be immobilised by anxiety. Make the lists. Do the things on the lists in an orderly way. Take times out for walks and rests. Laugh and be light hearted as often as possible. You will be able for this OP.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,877 Mod ✭✭✭✭shesty

    Sympathy OP, that is very tough. Give yourself a few months to settle in and to be honest, I think you are being very professional and mature in how you are approaching things and I hope it starts to improve a bit for you.

  • Pinkgirl87 wrote: »
    It's not a big law firm, it's a legal dept in a bit organisation. I've worked in a couple of those big law firms and trained in one and yes, they are hellish environments at times. I'm aware of how the real world is (I'm early 30s) and have worked stressful jobs in the past but maybe I'm just not cut out for it anymore or I'm finding this particular adjustment waaayyy worse than others perhaps due to being out of work during covid or perhaps because I've never worked remotely before.

    Hi OP, if you are smart enough and diligent enough to train in a big firm you are smart enough to survive in this role. I'm a few more years into my legal career and ime, the best lawyers don't always make the best managers. Your boss might be a great lawyer (they probably aren't though) but they have already shown they aren't a great manager. Personally think way, way too many lawyers hide behind the cover of it being a "tough" industry rather than admit they have serious character flaws. No new employee should be treated the way you are being treated.

    All the above said, covid has made people who were already bad managers terrible managers because it's such an unnatural situation.

    Anyhow, me giving out about your manger (or the profession generally) won't help you. You need to remember virtually every area of law has experts available to you, people who have been through your area before. If you can't get them in work, look through your list of contacts for people with similar experience and ask them for advice.

    If you are genuinely stuck, you could start a thread on the legal discussion forum here asking for good reading material on the specific area, or cases you can research or whatever.

    Whatever else you do, be kind to yourself. Every lawyer has had an experience somewhat like yours at some time or other, when we have to face into an area of the law we don't know. The only way to get through it is to work at it. You are bright enough to learn enough in the next month to cover you for the next 6 months, imo, if you find the right sources.

    Hand on heart, you will get through this, even if getting through it means leaving this job with lessons learnt.

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  • Hi OP, can’t stop thinking about your issues. I am tired of the weird acceptance of a terrible culture in the professions here.

    Anyhow, one thing I’ve found useful is to make lists, both lists of what needs to be done but also how to do it. The first list is easy enough to do, the second one is where the learning happens (again, all ime). For example, if a client came into me about a injury after a car crash I would have to schedule that interview into the day (that’s the event that would be on the first list, things to do). The second list is essentially a checklist for how any issue can be handled (how to do it).

    So client comes in and we have an interview, there’s a checklist of questions I need to ask them (basically, who, what, where, when) about the accident. Then next on my checklist is what to do next, so in this example, I’d go back to my desk, prepare a file note about the interview. Then following the checklist I’d write letters to the client telling them what I would do, write a letter to the person responsible for the accident, write a letter to responsible person’s insurance company. If the person needs to medically assessed I’d write to a doctor looking for an appointment. At some point I know I’ll have to write to PIAB. If the scene of the accident needed to be examined, I’d write to an engineer looking for a report on the scene. Eventually I may have to write to a barrister to draft proceedings. Then I would serve those on the other individual/insurance company/solicitor etc.

    Therefore a checklist might look like this

    Interview (separate checklist of what you need to ask)
    File note
    Letter to client
    Letter to other side
    Letter to Insurance company
    Letter to doctor/engineer
    Letter back from doctor? Write to client telling them about the appointment etc.
    Letters to PIAB
    Letter to barrister if PIAB isn’t accepted.

    Anyhow, as you can see, the Personal Injury process can be broken down into a series of steps that will be more or less followed. When I was starting out I was too smart to do things this simply, I had to learn the hard way how organise my files. This might send terribly obvious to everyone reading this but it took me an age to grasp it.

    When I move into a new areas of law I literally type up new checklists of what I will do. I even have (somewhere) checklists of questions to ask in Court. As you get more experienced you won’t need the checklist in front of you, it’s a crutch to help you learn/work.

    You probably work in a more complex area but I’m certain some tasks there can be broken down into a simpler “what happens next” steps. With whatever work is on your desk right now, ask yourself, “well, what can I do? What happens next?”

    Genuinely, good luck OP. I really hope things improve for you soon.