Why do we fill ourselves with so many nerves on the first day at a new job? What is worrying, scaring and filling us with dread?
It’s the unknown isn’t it? You picture all these things that could happen on your first day. You imagine step by step how the day is going to unfold. You think about it until you are blue in the face. Where do I go? What do I do? What is everyone going to be like? Will they like me? Four questions amongst dozens of others that you are just dying to find out.
It’s the uncertainty of it all, the not knowing. This is what keeps us up the night before the big day. You go to bed early “to get a good night’s sleep”. Nice try but your brain will be switched on all night conjuring up all sorts of different scenarios of how you day will pan out. It’s amazing how vividly you can imagine somewhere you’ve never even been to before! You’ve picked out your clothes the night before, even down to your socks. You’ve set your clothes out, they are cleaned and pressed, ready to look smart tomorrow. Your bag is packed and there is a sandwich prepped and ready in the fridge to take in the morning. You couldn’t be any more prepared. Yet you still have that lingering feeling that you’ve forgotten something.
You wake up earlier than your alarm without even meaning to and try to lie still until your alarm does actually go off. A few minutes pass and you suddenly panic that your alarm isn’t even switched on and you’ve slept in!!! Panic over it’s still 6am. Menu>Clock>Alarm yep it’s on, still set for 7am. The panic you gave yourself means that you are awake for that whole hour. 7am alarm goes off and in kicks the adrenaline to get up and out. You absolutely cannot be late for your first day. It’s the biggest no no of them all. You set aside 2 hours to get there even though you know it only takes 1.
You’re here, you’re outside. You give yourself a mental push to get yourself in the door “I can’t do this, I can’t do this, ugh no I can’t do this…YES I CAN!!!!” In you go, you formulate a few friendly sentences so you don’t sound like a blubbering idiot. You head to the manager, the only one you know from when they interviewed you. Take a big gulp, a big breath, hold your head high and be confident (or at least pretend to be!)
All this worry and anxiety, was it worth it? Of course it wasn’t!! Your first day is absolutely fine. It flies by as you are meeting new people, getting to know your new manager, learning so many new practices and processes. You find out what your tasks are each day but you won’t have to do them yet as it takes a gazillion years to get you set up in the system. New email, new log in for this database, a new username for this program. Password to get into this, keycard to get you into that.
You listen to others in your role, you watch them in a hope to aspire to be like them one day after your training. You are the newbie, you have a lot to learn but guess what? You will be that person you are looking at right now one day to another newbie. Be kind and helpful just like they were to you.
I guarantee that you will come away from your first day in your new job thinking “woah that was nowhere near as scary as I thought it would be, why on earth did I get myself so worked up?!”
If anyone like me is starting a new job, best of luck! You’ll get along swimmingly, don’t listen to those naysayers in the back of your mind! You can do this. They saw something in you to hire you. You got this.