How to deal with juniors at work
If you already clicked on this post, most likely you are a professional, a senior, or an expert in some field, and you might often deal with newbies at work, where they usually don’t act as you might expect. They often lack experience, and they are sometimes just too slow to respond with a solution to a given problem. You might try to help them by providing more straightforward issues to solve, at least from your point of view simpler ones, but they still behave weirdly. If this seems familiar to you, here are some tips that will help you deal with the problem:
1. Remember the time when you were a Junior
Do you remember the time when you were a Junior? I’m sure you remember those people who hired you for your first job, those who were your good and bad colleges, those who always helped you in challenging situations, and so on. I am sure you have several scenarios in your head that you remember as good or bad moments from old times. However, it would be best to make sure that those new colleges at work will remember you as a kind and helpful person because that will motivate them to get better at their jobs. You know how to be kind, right?
2. Give them time to get used to the environment
Depending on what job they are doing, it might take a different time interval until someone new gets used to any work environment. It can take one week or several years. If the job is more knowledge-based, it will take a pretty long time, so do your best at being patient and helpful.
3. Give them more manageable tasks
Don’t expect beginners to solve complex tasks the same way you can. Well, that’s why they are so-called juniors, right? Give theme easier and simpler tasks to solve in a relatively short time, and in that way, you will save them a lot of frustration and give them the willpower to proceed further into more complex tasks. No matter how simple a problem can be, it will provide them with a lot of motivation after doing anything useful.
4. Don’t put pressure on them
Setting deadlines for the tasks is an excellent strategy to push them to get fit faster. However, being extreme can lead to additional frustration and, eventually, to terrible results. The right way to set deadlines is to ask them how much time they need for specific tasks. Usually, inexperienced people tend to underestimate most of the task complexity, and they will eventually put enough pressure on themselves anyway.
5. Guide them through the steps to the solution
Under certain circumstances, specific tasks could be too challenging for a junior worker. If someone cannot solve a given task for some reason already for an excessively long time, you should provide them hints, relevant learning resources, and even solve the problem for them. You don’t need to show them how smart you are. No doubt, you are smart. Try to help them get fit. That’s the main point.
6. Repeat over and over again
To get used to the work environment, a junior worker needs time. If specific things are not understood by explaining once to them, that’s normal. Repeat the same story by taking different examples. At some point, eventually, they will get the idea. Some people need time to get used to new environments. However, if a too long time is necessary to understand easy things, it still doesn’t mean that this person is not stable for the job. Some people just need more time, and this depends on so many factors like, for example, social status, education, professional background, and so on.
7. Give them tips
Finally, give them general tips on how they can get better under the given circumstances. A beginner in his/her career wants to be successful like any other successful person, and usually, they are ready to deal with anything given to them. Do you remember that guy that gave you the most useful tips in your life? If yes, be that same guy for someone else. People will appreciate that a lot.
I am writing this article from a junior’s perspective. I have been a junior software developer and still am in specific projects at work. I remember those people I worked together with so far, and besides the fact that they have been super friendly and nice to me, I approach the things that they could have done better to help me quickly get more useful for the team. Furthermore, I have worked with other junior colleges and tried to reflect on my experience while assisting them to get fit for their jobs. Here my last advice: be helpful, be useful, be kind, and don’t be a nerd, and people will appreciate you.