Starting a new job is almost like starting a new romantic relationship. When you first enter it, everything feels brand new and exciting, this novelty comes with a euphoric feeling. Both in romance and the business world, this is called thehoneymoon phase.But what happens when that initial excitement eventually wears off as you get used to your surroundings, and you start to notice some problems at work or realize your expectations are not being met? In this article, we’ll talk about how to preserve your motivation after the new job honeymoon period, as well as give advice to employers about managing the come-down after this period. Let’s dive right in!
What is the "new job honeymoon period"?
The workplace honeymoon period is what we call the first phase of your employment, usually lasting anywhere from 2 months to a year. This is the time where you’re still wearing your rose colored glasses, so to speak. Everything is still new and fresh, your workload isn’t too overbearing, your coworkers are extra nice to you, and your managers are attentive. Overall, you’re excited about your job and want to showcase your abilities by giving it your all. You feel productive and are excited about bringing something new to the table. There aren’t any issues (yet) that affect your positive outlook and performance. Realistically, everybody knows that this beginning thrill won’t last forever. What’s important here is managing to preserve some of your motivation after the honeymoon period wears off.
Ways to maximize the honeymoon period at a new job
While the initial excitement and motivation of your job’s honeymoon phase is still there, it’s important to use this to your advantage as much as possible. Here are some ways of making the most of your new job honeymoon period:
Focus on learning and improving
Before the novelty and excitement of your new job wears off, you should focus your positive energy into improving your skills. One of the worst mistakes you can do is not clearing up what your responsibilities are from the get-go. When you get that clarity, make use of the supportive environment you’re in, and try to learn as much as possible about the job. Asking for advice and feedback can help your improvement a lot. And once you start to improve at a steady pace, you’ll find that you’re even more motivated to learn.
Setting goals for yourself is turning both short and long term to-dos into actionable and achievable points. If you want to guarantee a successful and productive career at this job, it’s important that you set goals for yourself and try to fulfill them to the best of your abilities. Goal-setting is definitely an art that you can master. As you get to know your position and your business environment more, your work-related goals will become more and more reflective of your abilities and hopes.
Hone your skills
Honing your skills is to develop them over time to fit a certain goal. If you’ve successfully set your long term goals, as we specified above, this step should come as a no-brainer. The first 2 to 3 months at your new job is a great time to weigh whether you see a long-term future at this position. There are many things that can affect this; such as how your orientation was handled, how your superiors are treating you, how much you can see yourself improving and rising in status over time, etc. If you feel like the future is bright, then you should hone your skills accordingly.
Build supportive & long-lasting relationships
Getting along with your coworkers doesn’t mean that you have to be close friends (though, of course, nothing’s stopping you from doing that either). What’s important instead is that you build long-lasting relationships in your workplace, and create a comfortable environment for yourself to work in. Chances are, you’ll be working with your team members for a long time. Try to attend company events, be friendly during breaks, improve your team communications, and offer your aid whenever you can. In addition to being handy for your job, it will also help to know other professionals in your area of work–both for support, and for networking. In any case, don’t tolerate any workplace discrimination or harassment just to ‘keep the peace’. This will create the opposite of what you need, which is an environment where you feel supported.
Overcoming the hangover after your job honeymoon period
Is your job honeymoon over? After the productivity and joy you feel at the beginning wears off, the much dreaded “hangover” sets in. As the name suggests, this is when your temporary ‘high’ begins to wear off as you start to get accustomed to your job. All your coworkers are familiar faces, your tasks are known to you, and your position is slowly becoming more and more tedious–nothing is new and exciting anymore. This ‘hangover’ period is a big contrast to how you felt at first, and the rapid change can quickly turn into disappointment, unproductivity, and in worse cases, burnout. So, how can you get hyped again after your job honeymoon is over? Here are some efficient tips to successfully conquer the hangover period:
Communicate your needs
If you’ve started feeling your job honeymoon’s excitement wearing off, you should seriously assess your current situation. Are there any parts of your position that make you particularly hesitant? What are some things that still aren’t clear to you? Is there anything that can be improved and/or fixed? Once you reflect back on these issues, you should have a clear list in your mind about things that negatively affect your job performance. Dealing with them is only possible if you clearly communicate your needs to your superiors. You should never hesitate to ask for things that can be helpful for you in the long-run, especially when you’re dealing with the “hangover” period. If you’re on the same page, and commonly have a solution-focused mindset, most problems are easily fixable.
Protect your mental wellbeing
Your job takes up a huge chunk of your life, and being unhappy with your work can quickly lead to problems with your mental health. To make sure that your “hangover” doesn’t turn into long-lasting issues with your position, you should take protective measures to help your mental wellbeing. This can be anything from communicating your needs, to taking some time off to refocus your energy.
Learn new skills
Sometimes, the hardest part about a position can be that you’re simply too bored of it. Having to do the same things over and over again will quickly become tedious, and make you feel like just another cog in the machine. Instead, you can try learning new skills and refocusing your energy into other areas of work for refreshment. There might be some things you can learn to get better at your job, or even things that are somewhat unrelated. After all, improving and gaining new skills can’t hurt!
How can companies maintain engagement after the honeymoon phase?
If you’re an employer, you might be on the other end of this problem. Keep reading to see how to better support your new employees who are experiencing problems after their work honeymoon period.
Extensive orientation efforts, no matter how helpful they may seem, can actually make the problem much worse. Since “newcomer attitudes may fall more drastically as normalisation sets in”, limiting the enthusiasm to only the onboarding period might tragically backfire in the long run. If your new employees face a different reality after their onboarding process, they might be put off and become unmotivated.What you can do instead is stay consistent throughout the orientation process, and show them the ropes without being too overbearing. Be engaged and show that you care, but also allow them the flexibility to figure out some things on their own, just like how you would expect them to if they were a long-time employee. Your employees’ autonomy matters a lot more to them than you might realize. As an example, here are some onboarding measures that are not overbearing:
- A simple orientation session where you introduce new hires to your company culture, office, business practices, tools and software, etc.,
- Clarifying their tasks and responsibilities from the get-go,
- Scheduling an initial meeting with their team members & HR,
- Encouraging open communication (and being attentive while answering their questions),
- Conducting wellness check-in meetings,
- Having strict policies to accommodate for different identities & neurodiversity,
- Creating a non-intrusive mentorship program,
- Frequent socialization options for them to join in whenever they feel comfortable to do so.
If someone doesn’t feel like they’re valued at a company, they are much more likely to resign. To help them feel more appreciated, you should find ways to effectively reward their success. This step can have many mental health benefits for your employees, as well as increase productivity as time goes on. Feeling underappreciated is a bad feeling for everyone, but especially for people who are new at what they’re doing. This is why you should celebrate your employees’ successes, and encourage them to do the same for themselves.
Keep in touch
Keeping in regular touch and staying engaged is a very important step –not just for newcomers, but for every employee. Along with keeping a steady flow and improving productivity, this will additionally promote better mental health in your business. Have your employees see that you care about their wellbeing and give them individual attention whenever you can. One-on-one meetings are great for helping you spot if there is anything wrong with your employee on an individual level, and provide support if necessary.
Nobody expects their new job’s honeymoon period to last forever, but there are still ways to make the best of it and preserve that excitement. We hope this article helped you learn more about what it is, develop an action plan accordingly, and move forward in the best way possible.In the meantime, check out Ruul to find out more about how you can rule your own career in your own terms with smart work solutions, and keep following Ruul Blog to stay up to date on modern work culture news and tips.