You’re starting a new job. Congrats! This means you are likely embarking on a newfound, improved, professional opportunity. You’ve probably received a salary increase, additional job responsibilities, and maybe a title change. There was likely an array of contributing factors enticing you to completely shake up your professional life and start this new job. However, the prospect of being the “new kid on the block” can often lead you to completely forget these aforementioned perks that once sounded so enticing. There’s no way around it– a new job can feel completely unsettling and uncomfortable for a period of time.
You are a completely qualified, grown woman, but for some reason a new job leaves you feeling more like you just showed up for the first day of Kindergarten and no one wants to sit next to you. How do you get through this awkward stage in your professional life? Unfortunately, we don’t have a time machine to fast forward through your first six months. However, we do have some practical tips for you to remember during your transition.
REMEMBER HOW YOU GOT THERE
Remember earlier in this post when we reminded you how qualified you are to be in this new position? Tell yourself that every day, multiple times a day until you believe it. You’ve clearly done a few things right in your professional life to have landed this new job. It’s hard to focus on that fact sometimes when you’re overwhelmed, trying to overcome a learning curve, and don’t know anyone. A reminder of your rock star status every once in a while (or frequently) will go a long way in appeasing your anxiety.
If your new job makes you feel like you’re five again, maybe those basic friend-making skills we learned when we were so young will serve us well once again. It can be easy to arrive on your first day concerned with impressing supervisors and coworkers with your job skills – which is important. However, don’t forget to stop and try to make a few friends and allies. Ask questions and take an interest in your new coworkers. Everyone secretly loves talking about himself or herself. You’re bound to find something in common.
With any situation in life, it’s easy to feel like we’re the only ones who have ever gone through a particular struggle. Everyone at your new company, even the CEO, was once new. Once you start seeing your new coworkers as people with the same fears and anxieties, it’s easier to relax, make friends, and do your job.
A NEW NORMAL
Most of us are creatures of habit and feel much more comfortable in a routine. Change is the scary part. While it may take a few months to start feeling a sense of belonging at your new job, there are ways to make yourself feel more at home while you adjust. Create a routine by talking to the same people every morning at the coffee pot. Personalize your office to make yourself feel more at home. Dive head first into projects and give yourself the opportunity to interact with the maximum amount of people.
New jobs have the potential to completely shake up our worlds. Remember – anyone who ever said, “I love my job” or “I love my coworkers” has also been the anxious, unsure new person showing up on their first day. So, take a deep breath and embrace this new opportunity.