"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
Oh boy. Here I am. Starting a new job. Technically, it's a consulting gig, but I really would LOVE it to go perm. In case you don't know, that's HR speak for permanent. Truth be told, I had already started this job from the comfort of my “virtual office” two weeks prior, but you know how it is. Sometimes when you end one position and start another…you might get some initial projects, etc... Nope, for me, it was actually 110! gung-ho from the beginning. In fact, over the past fourteen days, I had worked all day at my menial filing and scanning position (for which I am still grateful) and then at night, I would work on the fascinating world of re-orgs, org charts, and manager reconciliations -- even pulling two all-nighters because the CEO needed that information. Might I add, I was happy to do so as they compensation is finally on-par with that I believe I'm worth. Yeehaa! That's an incredible feeling.
I figured today I could share some of the lessons I have learned based upon my experience of literally having over 32 jobs in over 32 years of my life. And for those of you trying to figure out how that breaks down, kindly note that I had about half of those jobs between the ages of 15 and 22 AND I have also been a consultant for the past three years with various clients in between. I have actually contemplated writing a book with a similar title. We’ll see how this blog post goes first.
Jitters. Everyone's got the first day jitters. The following are some suggestions for you. Take them or leave them.
Our Inner Thoughts: Will they like me? Will I like them? I wonder where I'm sitting. I hope I make a great first impression with everyone. This time, I'm going to get an office, I'm sure of it. I hope I don't sit next to that lady who shares way too much of her personal life and prevents me from doing my work. Oh god. What if they don't like me? I hope I don't get any major Here I go!
My Thoughts of Encouragement: All of these thoughts are completely normal. Yes, ALL of them. Play it cool. You might sit next to the chatty girl no matter if you have an office or not. Even managers/supervisors get a little nervous for your first day for a myriad of other reasons, which we can discuss in another blogpost. On your first day, remember that patience is always a virtue. You'll soon probably find yourself more frustrated with the eighteen-hundred HR forms that you either have to physically sign (ouch...my hand hurts) or that you must electronically sign (ugh...could that print get any smaller?). Between the HR Forms and the annoying but necessary IT set ups, you'll definitely need a drink at lunch! Is that even allowed these days? Anyway...just go with it. First days are always a bit of a wash. Be who you are from the beginning.
Critters. The Critters are the funny and/or unique personalities you are about to come across. I share with you my knowledge from some crazy-ass experiences. Again, you might not need these suggestions today, but perhaps one day in the very near future.
Our Inner Thoughts: Who is this again? I am so embarrassed. I have already asked her name like two times. Ugh. Can I trust him? He irks me a little. Note to self -- I don't know if he and I are always going to play nice. Well, that was kind of short. Or the ever-fun, Jeez', I am going to have be careful around that one, she would NOT stop talking. I really don't want to see pictures of the other five offices. Not right now at least. I have so much work to get done right now, if you only knew. Did he really just say that? Oh wow. There is some political baggage there, especially since Person A used to report to Person B, and now it's the reverse. I definitely do not want to get caught up in that crossfire! Is everyone crazy?
My Thoughts of Encouragement: For your first few days, try and reserve judgments on anyone and everyone. Observe everything. Just people watch. Spoke when spoken to. Yes, everyone is crazy in their own right. That's what makes us the most amazing creatures on the planet (apart from Maggie, my Frenchie, and my goats). No quick judgments. I know it's hard, but trust me. People will always reveal themselves in due time. You will slowly find out who to trust. You will also in time figure out who the key people are and who you might want to avoid. Understanding the temperature of the political canvass is extremely important. The sooner you learn, the better for everyone.
Fritters. For me, when starting a new job, the most awkward time of the day is lunch. Choose wisely!
Our Inner Thoughts: What am I going to do? Why didn't I bring my lunch? Everyone else is going out, I feel like such a loser. I don't even know what's around here? Do I ask? Or should I just google map it? What am I going to do tomorrow? What if no one asks me out to lunch? Or if they do take me to lunch, what do I order? I really want a burger right now -- major comfort food style, but everyone will be watching what I get. Perhaps the soup and salad combo? I don't know. Do I offer to pay for lunch? Do I just not say anything? Why is this so uncomfortable? I hope not every lunch is going to feel this way.
My Thoughts of Encouragement: You cannot tell me you have NEVER asked yourself any of the above questions on your first day. It is completely natural to feel everything listed there. Chillax. Ask questions about the nearby lunch places. You never know when and where you might discover the best new hole in the wall sushi joint. Food – when ordering in or ordering at a restaurant -- just go with the salad option... always. On your first day, you definitely don’t want to put your rather specific dietary restrictions out there for the whole world to see, right? Make it simple. Just order the salad with salmon/tuna. That’s what I did yesterday. No weird looks. No offending anyone. Everyone respects the salar choice. If you are like me, you could care less about the COOL kids or the COOL gang. Believe in yourself. Believe that you are the COOL Kid and you will be. I mean, it's just lunch, after all.
Listen, it’s always going to be nerve-racking when starting a new job. Enjoy the nerves. It means you are alive and kicking. That’s something for all of us to be grateful for, right? Take a deep breathe. Live one day at a time. Be the best you can be.
1) Don't forget. Next Tuesday, I have a radio appearance on The Donna Seebo Show, May 21at at 9am ( pst ). Check her out here... Look for my name! I'm a little nervous.
2) I started PT/Fitness Therapy for my ligament-repaired left ankle. It kicked my tukhus.
A Smile From The Inside Production :)