New Job Jitters

Posted on September 11, 2018

Cartoon man chewing on fingernails, appears nervous.

What I’m reading: *gulp* nothing… Hope to start Crazy Rich Asians this weekend.

What I’m watching: Ugly Delicious

What I’m doing: Avoiding laundry and all other household chores!

GIF of Leslie Knope laughing nervously

New job jitters, they’ll getcha. I got the new job jitters about three weeks ago when I started my first new job in TEN YEARS. As an #MWord, I think it’s weird I worked for the same place for so long. To give myself some credit, it’s not like I had the same job the whole time; I worked in three different departments and held multiple roles in each department over the past decade. So when it came time to pack up the contents of my cubicle I got a little freaked out!

Before my last day at the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District I started googling “new job jitters” to find ways to avoid a total freak out/anxiety-ridden weekend. I found a wealth of resources! Here they are, some I implemented, some I didn’t. I’m sure they all work just fine to help you onboard to your new role.

  1. If you can, take a long weekend or a full week off between jobs. I could only take a long weekend and wish I had taken more time in between. You need time to decompress and mentally prepare yourself for your new job.
  2. Wake up earlier. On your first day get up super early so you’re not cutting it close on the commute. I went from having a 15-minute drive to a 45-minute drive so I was really antsy about making it in on time.  #FunFact your new team is probably going to be pretty lenient on your arrival time while you figure out your commute so don’t worry too much.
  3. Be the new perspective. You only get one shot at being new and bringing a fresh perspective. Bring up an idea or two in a meeting. Offer up another way of looking at a situation. Take advantage of being the new kid!
  4. Self-talk! I totally did the SNL “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, people like me” on my way to work. Positive self-talk is a huge help if you have a case of imposter syndrome and think there must have been a mistake in the recruitment and you dreamed the whole thing up and you’re driving to a new office and you don’t even work there.
  5. Ask questions. Again, you’re new. You’re not going to know all of the jargon or the acronyms or which bathroom is the best one to use. Just ask!
  6. Set up some coffee and lunch dates with your new coworkers. The City of McMinnville is home to fabulous restaurants so my first three weeks turned into me pigging out at lunch most days. I pulled back on lunches and have been trying to bring my own now.
  7. Set up your workspace. (I did NOT do this yet…) If you can make it in on a weekend day when no one is around you can move your furniture around, tack up posters, plug-in lamps without fear of ending up a sweaty mess. I plan to paint my new office in the coming weekends and then hang all of my stuff on the walls.
  8. Take it easy. I was BEAT my first two weeks. All of the new people, names to remember, notes to take, processes to set up, it wiped me out. Be kind to yourself and don’t overdo it.

Remember,  a new job is a big adjustment. Plan for more time to get ready in the morning, take good care of yourself, drink your water, you’ll be part of the team in no time.

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