I’m writing this as I sit at my (Mum’s) desk after my first day at a shiny new job. I’m tired, I’m overwhelmed and I’m incredibly excited. There are so many scary things about starting something new, one of which is the terrifying feeling of having no idea what you’re doing. I had settled into my last job, having been there for a year, so I knew exactly what was what and only asked the occasional stupid question. But now I’ve been thrown into something completely unknown and I’m hoping I’ll land on my feet.
There are a couple of things I’m going to try and remember as the next few weeks and months unfold. Firstly, (and most uncomfortably for a perfectionist like myself), I know that I will make mistakes. More importantly, I need to be okay with making mistakes. If I beat myself up every time I do something daft then I’ll spend more time worrying than I will working, which isn’t going to help anybody. Everyone makes mistakes to start with, so I need to try not to panic and catastrophise. (There was one moment today when I thought I’d accidentally deleted an entire folder on the shared Dropbox, which actually would have been a catastrophe, but thankfully all was well.)
Secondly, I must remember that it’s okay to ask for help. I was told by so many lovely people today that I could just shout if I had any questions, but I still found myself worrying that I would be disturbing them if I asked for some advice. Unless they’re in the middle of something crucial, most people are more than happy to help, especially when the question is something ridiculously easy like, “How do I connect to the printer?” (I did genuinely ask this today, hence why I deal with words, not computers.)
Thirdly, I’m trying to remind myself that every new job feels strange to start with. No one arrives at their desk on day one with a complete understanding of their tasks, the company and the way things work. When I started at my last job, I had no idea how to use a spreadsheet, what the house style was or even how to expand the little boxes to write in. But after a few months, it all felt like second nature, so there’s no reason why the same thing won’t happen now. I will mess up, I’ll learn, I’ll mess up again and then hopefully one day it’ll stick. I’ve just got to be patient with myself.
The commute to London was fun today, although I’m sure the novelty will wear off in approximately three days, when I’ll join the huddle of tired-looking workers on the platform, nursing their morning coffees, headphones firmly plugged in. It was still tiring though, so I think I should probably stop writing and get an early night. Hopefully I’ll remember all of the above tomorrow when I’m back at my new desk, panicking and wondering what on earth I’m doing there.