Starting a new job is really scary. I've started 4 jobs in my lifetime and each time, I was incredibly anxious and unsure of what I was getting myself into. It is a major life change and it takes a lot of guts to start over. Whenever you start a new job you are taking a risk, on your new employer but also on yourself. 

In my opinion, I think it takes at least a year to be fully adjusted to a new job. I don't think it matters what age you are or what level you're at in your career, getting comfortable and understanding all the ins and outs of a new place of work can take a long time. 

I do think that it gets easier as you have more experience because when I started my new job in June, I wasn't as nervous as I've been in the past. I'm not sure if that's because I started virtually so I was in my own home and a familiar environment or because I have almost a decade of experience and I'm confident that I'm the right person for the job. 

Confidence is key and you got the job for a reason so take a deep breath.

When you're starting a new job there are a few things to expect and prepare for.

The First Day

Your first day is going to be overwhelming and mildly chaotic. You are coming into someone else's space and just because you're there doesn't mean their world stops. The team will be going about their normal days and you will be along for the ride. This is a great time to observe, ask questions and pay attention to team dynamics. 

You'll probably have a few intro meetings with your boss, team and HR. You will probably run into some tech issues and try to acquaint yourself with the systems they use and be as proactive as possible. If you work with product, start researching them and learn as much as you can without being asked.

The first day is going to fly by and at the end of it you will feel exhausted, stressed, overwhelmed but happy that it's out of the way. 

Now comes the fun part.

The First Month

The next few weeks will be a whirlwind. You will be meeting a lot of people, attending a lot of meetings and learn more about what you were hired to do. It's going to feel like a whirlwind but just breath, this is what everyone goes through. 

As the days go on, you will feel more settled, start to understand the ins and outs of the company along with your position, and you will begin to work on some of your first projects. Things will start to feel like you've been there for years... but don't let that fool you.

This isn't necessarily a false sense of confidence but I have fallen into the first month or two trap where you begin working regularly and things feel good... but then something trips you up and you realize you've really only been there for a month or two. 

It's easy to get frustrated with yourself after feeling like you've settled in but as I said before, it takes at least a year to really feel like you know what you're doing. You have to give yourself grace and know that no one expects you to do everything right the first time around. You're learning and that's ok.

How to Get Through The First 6 Months

  • You were hired for a reason, remember that!
  • Be proactive, ask questions and communicate. As long as people know you are trying, that is all that matters.
  • Speak up when necessary; if you are unsure of how to do something or need something explained differently, just ask. If you are working with normal, human people who are understanding and kind, they will be more than willingly to explain further.
  • Communication is key. That was a huge piece of feedback I got in my last job - I was too quiet about what I was doing and was sort of working in a silo. Now, I make sure to constantly update my boss on what I'm working on so she's aware of when to expect completed projects and she knows that I'm on top of everything. 
  • Organize your email folders like a crazy person. I'm serious - organize them by team, category, project, what needs to be done this week, etc. Bookmark the most important ones to your favorites list
  • Write everything down & take lots of notes - physically writing vs typing will help you stay organized, remember things more easily and will be helpful in the long run. 

What To Bring to Your New Job

Starting a new job is a chance for a fresh start and you should take full advantage of that, in more ways than one but for now, let's talk about what to bring to your new job. 

  • Notebook & pens - I always bring these with me so I'm fully prepared to take notes no matter what the first day brings
  • Any paperwork HR or your boss asked you to bring
  • A water bottle to keep at your desk; I am so weird about my water intake so I leave a bottle or tumblr at my desk and then for my commute, use a tiny bkr bottle because I need to have water on me at all times.
Your desk should feel like you and it's not until I have some of my items at a desk that it does start to feel like mine and it doesn't just feel like I'm occupying a space for a short amount of time. 

Starting a new job is really scary because it symbolizes a season of change. It's difficult to put yourself out there and try something new, and it's much easier to stay in a place where you are comfortable. That doesn't promote growth and can lead to more harm than good.

New jobs make the world go round! 

What are your tips for starting a new job?

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