If you follow me on Instagram (if you don’t, you should) you’ll already know that recently I changed jobs/careers/my sleeping patterns/my entire life.
The scariest part of all of this is I haven’t been the New Girl in three years. I’m leaving behind a community of people I know, where I knew what to expect in any situation. I’m also leaving behind an entire industry and toeing the waters of something that (I’m sorry to my clients for this) interests me more than fitness ever did and is completely new and almost overwhelming to me.
But I feel prepared because I have in my arsenal the top 6 tricks (top fives are for chumps) for surviving the first couple of weeks in a new job.
1. Watch and learn.
The most important thing when you’re trying to figure out where you fit in a new environment is to watch and observe said new environment. Are people chatty with each other at their desks or do they save convo for the staff room? Are people using their phones during the work day? What kind of senses of humor do people have? This kind of stuff may seem inconsequential but you don’t want to be that new girl who started making inappropriate jokes cause it was cool at her last work.
2. No saying no.
Obviously to an extent with this one, if they start making ridiculous demands remember to set boundaries for yourself. But if your new colleague needs help with something and they ask you to do it, just do it. In my first few months at my last job, I said yes to every single shift I was offered. Even if it meant doing a 5am-9am shift and then coming back for a 5pm-9pm shift. I proved myself to be reliable and cemented myself as irreplaceable.
3. Write everything down.
When you’re learning eight hundred new things a second, you’re going to forget a lot of it. So write it down. And with your personal life, too, when you get busy it’s easy for stuff to slip your mind. So it’s not uncommon for my schedule to have stuff like “bring sneakers” or “lunch in the fridge” popping up at 7am so I remember to chuck that stuff in my bag before I leave for the day. Also, if you’re like me and suck at replying to texts when you’re busy, a little reminder in your diary saying “text Ria back” doesn’t hurt.
4. Take initiative.
I know, common sense isn’t as common as we’d like it to be. But seriously. You’re new at this job. Make yourself look like the sparkling team player you are, and help out with stuff you haven’t been asked to help out with. You see something that needs doing? Don’t wait to be asked to do it. Also, be proactive and don’t sit around at your desk waiting to be told what to do. Ask people if and how you can be useful and then just do it, even if it’s not technically part of your job description.
5. Thou shalt not talk shit about thy coworkers on Facebook.
I mean, really. Keep your drama off the net. It’s unprofesh as fuck. And not just Facebook: zip it on Instagram, twitter, even snapchat. Just don’t.
6. Stay positive.
Starting a new job is super stressful. You have to learn so much, meet so many people and remember so many names. And a job is still a job, no matter where you go. It’s still work. When I first started working, I had a string of hospo jobs lasting no longer than three months; I’d always hate it where I was and decide the grass was greener somewhere else. Then, of course, I would discover that regardless of the cafe I was still making coffee, washing dishes and serving assholes. Focus on the good stuff, like the stuff you enjoy doing, or… I don’t know, payday.
And that concludes my top 6 tips. If you guys have any of your own, I would love to hear them – help a freshly minted office girl out!