How To Comfortably And Confidently Transition Into A New Job
Scoring the job or the internship calls for celebration. After all, so much went into getting to that point, right? The hours of studying. The interview prep. The résumé drafts. The hard work at other jobs and internships. The offer can feel like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. In reality, though, it's just the start. And while the first day can be a mix of nerves and excitement, the first day is just the start of the transition period. Depending on the role, you'll have anywhere from a few days to a few months to transition into your new role. Just like anything, it can be an easy transition or it can be painfully difficult. The unexpected will always arise, but there are ways to make the transition into a new job or internship comfortable and stress-free. Let's make the office feel like your home away from home, shall we?
Listen twice as much as you talk.
This probably sounds like something your grandmother would say, but it is the truth. The handbook they give you on day one will give you the cut and dry of it, but it won't teach you about the office culture. Each work environment has an unspoken code of conduct, such as rules that no one cares to enforce, the pace work gets done, the level of accountability each person feels compelled to hold each other to, and so on. You won't learn these things by asking outright. You have to watch and learn. The more you just sit back and read the room, the faster you'll feel like you understand what's happening around you. If needed, take notes or schedule in time for daily or weekly reflections.
Take ownership of your space.
Whether you have a cubicle, office, or just a space at the table, claim it. Add some type of decoration or finishing touch to make your space feel more like yours. Get comfortable in your new home. If you're full-time, you will be spending 40+ hours a week in this space. You need something that you connect with that won't make you feel like a guest. Even just having your own notepad and pen can sometimes be all you need to feel a little more at ease.
Establish your personal routine.
This step can extend outside of your work environment and into your personal life, but having a way that you get settled into your workday is always helpful. For example, I check emails, make my to-do list, and then take a small break to read the news and sip my coffee (or a coffee alternative that'll boost your energy). By the time I'm finished, everyone has trickled in and the office is bustling. Once that productive energy is in the air, I get to work. This helps me get in the mode of doing my job and committing all that I can to these next eight hours. I don't try to go in rushed or frazzled.
Determine how you would like to start your workday. If you want a second to catch your breath before work, take it. Play some music quietly at your desk, sip your coffee, do whatever you have to do. This is your workday; make it what it needs to be for you.
Don't be afraid to be new.
In a new environment, we tend to want to prove ourselves, showing that we are meant to be there. Don't be afraid to show how green you are at this job. Showing a willingness to learn and being open to how things are done goes a long way in forming office relations. People don't mind helping, so long as the person being helped acknowledges that they need it. You're not going to know what is going on right away and that is okay. Embrace the feeling of not being the smartest girl in the room. Center yourself in the confidence that in time, you can be a strong force in the office and beyond.
Relate components of your new job to past experiences.
This is mostly a mental practice, but you've done the exercise when making your résumé. Keep working within that train of thought. Remember how you handled other situations in the past and apply what you can from those situations, whether you stumbled or triumphed. Just like you should acknowledge the fact that you're the new kid on the block, also remember that you have something to bring to the table. That's why you were hired in the first place.
A new job is a new opportunity to further evolve into your truest form. Take on new challenges, conquer things that scare you, and set new goals for yourself. Don't let the momentum and energy of a new job roll right over you. Transition into a new job with strength, confidence, and open-mindedness.