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I was brought on at a company 9 months ago as part of a work study program in France (industrial automation). This is my first job, so I wasn't sure what was normal in terms of being totally lost and confused all the time, so I've been trying to go with the flow as much as possible and just do as the romans do. However, it has been very hard as I received no training on how the company operates (what software they use, programming standards, how the end product actually works etc., never even received the welcome booklet). I have just been asking as many questions as possible to find all these things out, and looking like a total idiot in the process.

However, I recently got a new colleague who tells me he spent his first 3 days being taught all this stuff that I have been trying to figure by myself this whole time. He has sent me all the documents he received at his arrival which outline a lot of things that I would have needed to know months ago.

Is there a way I can now approach my manager and, firstly, ask how this fell through the cracks or why nobody brought me up to speed, and secondly ask if I can have the training now, as it still affects my work?

Secondary question: is this my fault? Is this kind of training something that I needed to explicitly request in the future?


Follow Up:

I have discussed this issue with a few of my colleagues, and everyone was shocked that I hadn't received this training (so I'm assuming it's been in place since before I arrived).

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    Can't see how this is your fault. Job specific training should be provided. – Kilisi May 20 at 12:35
  • Business processes change. Hopefully over time businesses get better at on-boarding employees. Looks like that happened here. – Gregory Currie May 20 at 13:02
  • 9 months ago was the height of the covid pandemic. It's likely that contributed to this. – Studoku May 21 at 12:06
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Firstly, this is not your fault. You should have received training, without asking for it, and this should be standard for all new starters. Whether on work-study or as actual employees.

In answer to your other question, yes bring this up. Say your new colleague has had training on X, Y and Z which you never had when you started, but would like to have now. Training and development should be an ongoing thing and not limited to when you start a new job anyway!

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    Should I bring this up via email or in person? My manager has a temper and can get really agitated, so email would allow for some distance from that, but I don't want to make it look like my new colleague "rated him out" in writing.... – E.Aigle May 20 at 13:08
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    @E.Aigle, Yes, do email, and then follow up in person or by phone. If you do email, then you have a time-stamped written record of your request. And no, your new colleague didn't do anything wrong by telling you that he went through training, so you're not ratting him out. Just be diplomatic in the language you use in your email. Do not use blaming language. Assume that the training didn't exist at the time, or that the process was shortcircuited because of Covid. It may not even be your manager's fault. And even if there was an error, to err is human. – Stephan Branczyk May 21 at 1:06
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Providing basic training that involves all the prerequisites of your work profile is a must and it should be provided by any company without fail. Even though if they are not providing, you should contact your managers and tell them how to plan to move forward with your training. If they are providing you with the resources that will be good, if not you should start with your training at your level. And inform them about your daily progress.

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Not knowing something doesn't get you into trouble. Not knowing but pretending you do, and never addressing the problem, will get you into trouble. Now that you know

  1. training exists, and
  2. didn't get trained,

you need to address these right away.

I suspect none of the colleagues you asked questions had training either. There's a reason why they even entertain answering your questions if they are so "basic" and "covered in training". They would've told you off if it was something covered in training and not waste their time answering your questions.

My suspicion is the onboarding process changed and training was introduced after you were hired. Go ask your manager about getting trained up.

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Your buddy from France. No it's not your fault. If they had training to offer, they would have done so.

During my internship, I received some training without asking. But some of my friends didn't. A lot of them worked in R&D departments or some laboratories where they were free to do their research as they please. Some others were the only ones that knew the technology in their company, so they learned by themseves and were the ones to teach their coworkers (yes, it happened, one of them was the only React Native developper in his company and he was teaching his superiors about it lol).

Doesn't mean you can't tell them about it. I had a friend who worked in a laboratory and wasn't mentored at all. He was so lost that he gave up halfway and stopped caring. And at the end, during his master's thesis, they told him he failed (let's be honest he was extremely lazy, he did literally nothing during his internship and made up some bullshit for his thesis). I'm not saying you're going to fail (you seem like a serious and hard working person to me), but if my friend told his managers about it, he probably would have a chance to pass.

You have to tell your manager. Ask him why you didn't receive training like your coworker did. Say you're lost and stuck and you need some mentorship, say you don't feel like you're learning anything, and you need training. And keep bugging him until he actually helps you. It's their fault for not training you, not yours.

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It's a bit of a two part question, which I think has different answers.

I wouldn't ask why this fell through the cracks or why nobody brought you up to speed : that's likely to come over as accusatory, and I'm not sure that it matters - the people who missed putting you on the course are likely to find out that they goofed. I can't think of any useful outcome to this part of the question (but let me know if there is one, and I'll edit).

If you think the course would be useful, absolutely ask to go on it - the same as you would if you found any other professional development activity that made sense to you. Worst outcome : your manager disagrees, and you're in the same position as you are now but have shown an interest in broader company operations. Most likely outcome : you'll go on the course, and you'll have shown an interest in your position in the company.

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