Why It’s Okay to Have a Bad First Day

March 27th, 2014 | Articles, Job Search | No Comments »

First Day New Job

On Day One of your new job, it’s not unusual to feel like a transfer student plopping into a new school halfway through the semester. You’re in a foreign space with people who barely know your face – that sensation can put even a seasoned professional on edge.

And that’s perfectly reasonable.

Your first day on any new job can be a mix of emotions that can skew your perspective and leave you wanting to crawl back to your old job. However, don’t lose sight of these truths as you navigate your first days on the job.

You’re the Newbie

Most of your coworkers surpass your tenure with the company. Not a big surprise but it’s worth consideration.

Think about it.

Every other employee has been afforded the time to learn internal protocols, to test-drive software, and even to figure out how the bedeviling motion-activated faucet works (approach from the left at a 45 degree angle and turn your hand counterclockwise). You have been around for less time than an aged mayfly. Don’t expect to be even remotely acclimated yet.

There’s an existing social structure

Your new job will have an official place within the pecking order but your social spot within the team is still uncertain. It’s not because the office is cliquey or that your new coworkers have an unhealthy case of xenophobia. You’re an untested commodity, a dark horse candidate, and they still need time to learn your value firsthand.

Even if you make fast friends from day one, there still is a transitional stage to connect with the rest of the team.

Mistakes will be made

That glitch in the operational software that everyone knows to bypass? You’ll blunder right through it. The impatient customer who gets ruffled by any sign of delay? You’ll flub with them right off the starting block.

Experience will help you sidestep theses problem but, more often than not, you’re going to trigger a few booby traps early on. I won’t tell you that you need to feel splendid about your mistakes (I never do) but you also don’t need to succumb to self-doubt.

Some jitters are to be expected but if you’re thinking about jumping ship early:

  • Vent your stresses to family and friends. It can give you perspective.
  • Ask about which pitfalls snag most new employees.
  • Take a deep breath and keep at it. You’ll catch on in no time.
  • Touch base with your recruiter to let them know how things are going.

by James Walsh

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