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Q&A: How to "hit the ground running"?

Updated: May 14, 2018

Hi Christel, I’m about to start a new job at a US embassy. This will be the fourth embassy I will work at but I’m still nervous. They always say that you have to “hit the ground running”, but I'll be working in a section I've never worked in before. For how long do you think I can get away with being “the new person”?

Dear Anonymous: I’m sorry to break it to you but you really can’t afford to waste any time by being “the new person”. You knew when you signed up for this life that you were going to change posts all the time, so please don’t complain now.

I know that in normal jobs, employees might take a few months to settle in. However, the American people are counting on you. How do you think they would feel if they knew you didn’t start advancing America’s interests because you were too busy figuring out how the printer works?

If you must take some time to get your bearings, please do it in a day or two – preferably in the evenings. I know that diplomats usually start their jobs at the embassy as soon as they enter the country, and I think the jet-lag can really help with staying awake at night. Good luck, we’re counting on you!


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