Congratulations you’ve got the job!
It may not have been a foregone conclusion that changing or getting a new job at this time was going to be easy, especially considering that the Covid-19 pandemic has put millions of people out of work.
So take some time to celebrate.
How do you feel about having to step back into a new world of change?
Change can be unsettling, leading us to have mixed emotions, anxiety, and trepidation, but hopefully with a sprinkling of excitement. It would be reasonable at the best of times to find the prospect of a starting a new job daunting, but now having been isolated and restricted for so long, you may find the safety of your ‘Bubble’ feeling somewhat threatened and uneasy by the changes that returning to the office environment may bring.
So how can we deal with the anxieties of starting a new job? Firstly, understand that it’s important to “normalize” feelings of anxiety. Allow yourself to feel it. Anxious jitters and excited anticipation trigger the same adrenaline response and can feel remarkably similar in the body. That feeling could last for a week or two, maybe the first month.
Being prepared can alleviate a multitude of worries. It’s all in the details, do your due diligence. You probably know a fair amount about the company already, likely that’s why you applied, but don’t start ill prepared.
Do your homework, research the organisation; get to know their story, its history, its size, its reputation. What if any have been the effects on the company due to the Pandemic? It’ll give you an invaluable insight into how they are all weathering.
The key challenge appears to be the most obvious one; you have to work with people you’ve never met before in a period of monumental changes and to some degree a feeling of vulnerability for everyone. You’re moving into an entirely new environment, there’s much to consider in re-entering the workplace after a long period of working from home.
Questions and worries will be buzzing around in your head, who’s vaccinated? Are you required to wear a mask in the office? What about Sanitizing and the ‘all important ‘fresh Air circulation’? The logistics of the office layout enabling safe distancing, the list it goes on. The reality is that during the orientation period it’s inevitable that it’s going be different. On top of all that you’ve got to ‘learn the ropes’, make work friends and figure out how to use the coffee maker!
First day nerves can be addressed by knowing the small but vital stuff. What’s the dress code? Double check the start date, time & Location. Be sure of travelling time, transport, parking facilities. Know exactly where you need to be on the first day, and whom you should be meeting first. Have all the relevant personal information & paperwork ready to hand over to HR and Payroll.
Having coping strategies in place that work for you will make the transition smoother and lessen any anxieties. For you this might be getting clarification from your supervisor about your role, understanding and agreeing on reasonable and attainable expectations on both sides. Know what you can control and what you can’t! It will enable you to perform at your very best, feel confident in yourself!
Be mindful that your new colleagues they are in the same situation, they have to get to know and trust you, and they too may have their own concerns and anxieties. It’s going to require, work, patience and good humour from you and your co-workers.
Don’t expect to know everything all at once, take your time, listen and ask questions. Remember you won’t be the Newbie forever. Find a mentor or a colleague who can show you the ropes and invite them for coffee or lunch, most people love the chance to share their story with you. Having a friend at work will ease your anxiety.
Don’t let ‘impostor syndrome’ take a hold, don’t let doubt in, you were hired because you interviewed well, your CV was impressive and no doubt those glowing references played a big part. You are exactly what they’re looking for, they believed you were the right fit for the job, be your best self.
The opportunity to connect and build work relationships may not be as easy as once was, don’t let this become a complete barrier. Be proactive, adapting and integrating as a new member of the team requires work.
All relationships are built on communication and trust. In your previous jobs you may well have worked with your co-workers for a considerable time, you got to know them not only as colleagues but personally. You likely shared some of your life stories, met after work for drinks or a meal. When talking to colleagues ask non-invasive questions, be casual, be interested and invested. We all like to feel that someone is genuinely interested in us as individuals, its important.
If it feels like you’re taking longer than expected to feel you belong, cut yourself some slack. Take it slowly, remember to take time for yourself, find a way to relax and enjoy this new phase of your career and life.