September 29, 2023

Did you know that only about 36% of employees feel engaged in their work? And according to a study by Gallup poll, companies lose an estimated $450 billion to $550 billion each year due to employee disengagement. That’s a lot of money!

But there is good news: Employee engagement is not a lost cause. In fact, there are things that companies can do to foster a more engaged workforce. One of those things is providing employees with sink or swim job training.

What Is Sink or Swim Job Training?

It’s training when new hires are thrown into the deep end and expected to figure things out on their own. This type of training environment can be extremely useful for employees, as it gives them a chance to prove themselves by meeting challenges head on.

But sink or swim job training is not easy – and it certainly isn’t right for everyone. If you’re not prepared for the intense pressure and competition that comes with this kind of training, you might find yourself struggling to keep up.

How Do You Overcome Lack of Training?

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to give yourself the best chance to succeed and thrive in this type of work setting. Here are eight tips to keep in mind:

1. Set Clear Expectations

The first step is to set clear expectations with your employer. Make sure you understand what is expected of you and what the consequences are if you don’t meet those expectations. This will help you stay on track and avoid any surprises down the road.

To set clear expectations, you need to:

Communicate with your supervisor on a regular basis

This can help you stay on top of your goals and deadlines, which is crucial in a sink or swim work environment. While communicating make sure to:

  • Be clear about what you need: When asking for help, be as specific as possible about what you need from your supervisor. This will help them understand your situation and give you the best advice possible.
  • Be honest about your progress: If you’re struggling, be honest with your supervisor about your progress. They can’t help you if they don’t know there’s a problem.
  • Stay focused on the big picture: Remember that there’s more to sink or swim job training than just meeting deadlines. While it’s important to stay focused on your work, don’t lose sight of what else is going on in your life.

Ask for feedback – and actually listen to it

Feedback is essential for success in any job, but it’s especially important in a sink or swim environment. Make sure to ask for feedback often and actually listen to what your supervisor has to say.

Keep track of deadlines and deliverables

This can help you stay on track and avoid falling behind. For instance, make a note of the due dates for all deliverables, as well as any deadlines set by your supervisor.

Understand the company’s expectations for your performance

This can help you understand the benchmarks for success in your position. If you know what’s expected of you, it’s easier to adjust your work accordingly and give yourself the best chance of success.

2. Get Organized

If you’re going to succeed in a sink or swim job training environment, you need to be organized. This means keeping track of all your tasks and responsibilities, as well as knowing what’s due when.

To get organized, you should:

Create a daily/weekly to-do list

This can help you prioritize your tasks and make sure you’re always working on the most important things first.

A to-do list should contain:

  • Your top priorities: Make sure your top priorities are at the top of your to-do list so you can focus on them first.
  • All deadlines: Make sure you’re aware of every deadline for all tasks related to your work responsibilities.
  • The time required for each task: Understand how long you’ll need to complete each task, and make a rough schedule for completing all your work.
  • Any other items: This could be notes about meetings or important details related to a particular project.

Use a calendar to keep track of deadlines

This is especially important if you have multiple deadlines that are close together. Calendars can help you stay on track, even when your workload is high and things start to get hectic.

Use a simple documentation system

Whether you’re taking notes or using an online tool like Evernote, having a way to track your progress on projects can be invaluable. Documenting your work will allow you to remain updated on your progress, which can be crucial in a sink or swim job environment.

3. Communicate Regularly with Your Teammates

Communication helps ensure that everyone understands their role and knows what’s expected of them, which will allow the entire team to work together toward a common goal.

For communicating effectively try to:

Keep a paper trail of your communication

If you’re working on a project with others, don’t assume they’ll remember everything you tell them. Instead, make sure you have notes or emails from all your meetings and conversations so that everyone is always up to date.

Can’t speak in person? Use technology

If you can’t meet in person, use technology to your advantage. Schedule regular video chats or conference calls so that everyone can stay in touch and on the same page.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

If you’re ever unsure about something, don’t be afraid to ask questions until you fully understand what’s going on. This will ensure that everyone is working together as a team and making progress toward shared goals.

4. Stay Positive

While working in a sink or swim job training environment can be stressful and hectic, it’s important to stay positive. With the right mindset, you’ll be able to overcome any challenges you face and thrive in this type of work setting.

Some tips for staying positive include:

Focus on the big picture

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the stress of a sink or swim job environment, especially if you’re working under tight deadlines and high expectations. But if you focus on how your work supports the company’s goals, it can make the pressure a bit more manageable.

Be persistent and disciplined

No matter how difficult things may seem, staying focused and working hard is the best way to succeed in sink or swim job training. By being persistent and disciplined, you’ll be able to weather any challenges that come up along the way.

Take time to relax and recharge

Even if your job is stressful, it’s important to find time every day to take a break and relax. This will help you stay focused and productive when it matters most.

5. Be Flexible

A sink or swim job environment isn’t the time for rigid rules and inflexible schedules. Instead, it’s important to be flexible and adaptable so you can keep up with changing priorities and stay on track in high-pressure situations.

For being more flexible in your work:

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If you ever feel overwhelmed or like you’re falling behind in your work, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes it can be hard to admit that we need assistance, but this is often the best way to stay on track and get the support you need to succeed.

Learn how to prioritize tasks

Not all tasks are created equal, and in a sink or swim job environment, it’s essential to know how to prioritize your time. Learn which tasks need to be done first and focus on those first whenever possible.

Be willing to make changes

As your work changes, you may also need to change some of the ways you do things. Be open to adapting your approach and trying new things so that you can stay on top of your priorities and maintain productivity.

6. Be Proactive

In a sink or swim job environment, it’s important to be proactive and take initiative whenever possible. This will show your boss that you’re capable of handling more responsibility and that you’re willing to put in the extra work to get ahead.

Some tips for being proactive at work include:

Look for ways to improve processes

If you see room for improvement in the way your company does things, don’t be afraid to speak up. Offering suggestions for how things could be done more efficiently can help streamline processes and make everyone’s job easier.

Be a team player

In a sink or swim environment, it’s vital to be a team player and work collaboratively with all your coworkers. This will help build camaraderie and make it easier to achieve your goals as a team.

Stay on top of deadlines

In this type of work setting, missing deadlines can have serious consequences. To stay ahead of the curve and avoid falling behind, be sure to keep track of any upcoming deadlines and start working on projects as soon as possible.

7. Be Organized

Working in a sink or swim job environment can be chaotic and hectic, so it’s important to be organized and have a system for keeping track of your work. This will help you stay on top of deadlines and avoid missing any important details.

To stay organized at work you must:

Invest in a planner

A good planner can be your best friend in a sink or swim job environment. Use it to keep track of deadlines, meetings, and other important details so you can stay on top of your work.

Keep a tidy workspace

An organized workspace will help you stay focused and productive. Be sure to keep your desk clean and free from clutter so you can find what you need easily when you need it.

Get into a good routine

In a sink or swim job environment, it’s important to have good habits for getting work done. Try to establish a daily routine of checking in with your team, responding to emails, and working on projects so you can stay on track and be productive.


A sink or swim job environment can be a daunting prospect, but with these eight tips, you can give yourself the best chance to succeed. From being prepared and organized to taking breaks and staying flexible, there are many ways to set yourself up for success in this type of work setting. With some effort and perseverance, you can thrive in a sink or swim job environment.

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