From the Other Side: Things to Remember When Getting a New Manager

Starting a new job can be tough. You’re often overwhelmed by floods of information, meeting new people, and learning a community you may not have known before. But getting a new manager when you’re already established comes with a learning curve of its own, too! Here are some things to remember:

  • Keep an open mind. Far easier said than done, but remember that suggestions about doing things differently, or trying something new, are probably not intended as a slight against your current practice, just an alternate way of considering things! Staff that are quick to say “no” right off the bat can end up like the boy who cried wolf: their constant objections dilute the strength of their opinions when they actually feel strongly about something. This doesn’t mean you have to go along with everything your new manager says, but if your immediate reaction is to shoot something down, take time to consider why. Do you have legitimate reasons, or are you just feeling uncomfortable with change?
  • Step back. Your first instincts may be to give the new person lots of information and insight. Librarians love to help out and share what they know! But not everyone finds that useful when they’re new. If your manager seems to respond well to this tactic, by all means proceed! But sometimes you can be just as supportive by taking a step back and letting your manager experience things for him or herself.
  • Give it time. No matter how things start out, it takes months (often longer) to get to know one another and fall into the rhythm of working together. If things begin on a positive note, that’s great! Hopefully with time they’ll get even better. If it doesn’t start out so hot, don’t assume you’re destined for failure. Continue to be your best friendly, polite self and stay optimistic that your working relationship will improve.
  • Use it as a learning experience. No matter what, new situations and people give us the opportunity to change and grow. Take time to reflect on the thoughts and feelings you’ve had during the transition. What were the positives? What would you do differently next time? How will you use this experience to inform your actions the next time you’re the new person? For better or worse, we all have to deal with change, and being thoughtful about your experiences will only help you continue to navigate them in a healthy and positive way.

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