My first day at my new job was just like the first day of school –– scary, with a mix of excitement, and the longing to call your mama before the day was over. As someone who admittedly hates change, this was even scarier. I was leaving the comfort of my old job and entering a new environment with new people and a new culture. I settled into my cubicle, something completely foreign to me, as I had a private office at my old job, and placed my favorite pen on my desk, hoping that would make the new place feel like home.
I sat in the cubicle, looking around, wondering if I made the wrong decision by resigning from my old job, and wondering if I was even good enough for this job. As these thoughts ran through my head like a triathlon, I was reminded of Oprah’s words via another woman: “You are responsible for the energy you bring into this space.” Immediately, I wrote it on an index card, taped it to the wall and took a deep breath. It was time for me to get myself together and take the next step. It was hard, but I made it through, and here are a few tips to help you adjust to your new job:
1. Know Your Energy
The energy you bring into a space will ultimately determine how you move and think in that space. Your energy doesn’t stop there, though; it also affects others. Leave the negativity, craziness and self-sabotaging thoughts outside, and don’t allow someone else to crush the energy in your space. Speak to people outside your office, if necessary. It’s your space –– own it.
2. Remember Why You’re Here
You have this job because you earned it. The person who hired you chose you as the best person for the job, and that’s an important thing to remember during your first few days. You’re going to make mistakes, like accidentally going into the men’s bathroom, but you’ll bounce back and find your way to the ladies’ room. Don’t take one mistake as the end all, be all. Confidence is half the battle.
3. Ask Questions and Write Down Answers
This is not the time to assume you know everything, or anything about your new work for that matter. After making an effort to be resourceful on your own, ask your supervisor every question you have. If you think the questions may be bothersome, ask a coworker. Chances are, the co-worker will give the most honest answer. Don’t be scared to asking the seemingly trivial questions like what the protocol is for Casual Fridays or what days you have off for the holidays — knowing these answers will make you feel more at home in your office culture. You’re also going to want to know who to go to for certain things, such as office supplies and office maintenance. The more you know, the more comfortable you’ll be settling into your new gig.