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What's it really like to start a new job?


Two of my clients have started new roles in the last few weeks and they have both had very different experiences. Without breaking any confidences, one of them had a great induction process, albeit virtual, and the other person ... well, not such a great experience.

It got me reflecting on what it's REALLY like to start a new job - the good, the bad and the ugly. So here are my thoughts.

The difficulties of starting a new role

1. Smiling face ache

One of the things that I remember from every single new job I've had is how your face aches at the end of every day due to constantly smiling at everyone. What's that about? "Hey, hello. I'm SOOOOO happy and breezy that I will brighten up your day EVERY day for the rest of your career." Maybe it's just me but I do definitely feel the need to be a little ray of sunshine for those first few weeks.

2. Feeling impotent

I really dislike the feeling of not knowing who anyone is, not knowing where to find anything and not knowing how to do anything. Now, I don't mind asking for help but I don't like asking another stupid question to the same person for the umpteenth time, particularly when they've probably already told me the answer but I wasn't listening because I was too busy with my Cheshire Cat impression.

3. Not understanding the politics

I've joined organisations into roles that other people clearly thought should be theirs. On one occasion, the team reporting into me only knew I was joining a couple of weeks before I arrived, one of them having thought that they were going to be the team leader... awks! Now, it often takes a little while for these stories to come out of the woodwork but, even at the outset, you definitely know there's something "off" - know the feeling?

The joys of starting a new role

1. Shiny new you

You may already know my favourite quote from my childhood heroine, Anne of Green Gables: "Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet". Yes! That is the gift of a new role. You can reinvent yourself and you can be the best and most authentic version of yourself. ("Yeah, until they all find you out." "Please go away, we're not talking about imposter syndrome today. That's another blog").

2. Start as you mean to go on

The joy of the new role is also in its blank canvas. Sure, you may have a job description but you also have your own unique way of carrying out those tasks and responsibilities. There should be opportunity for you to craft the role to suit your own particular energising strengths, joys and talents. Make sure you get crafting early so that the role is really the right fit for you in the long term.

3. Reigniting your career happiness

A change is as good as a rest and, whether you've moved from a role you hated or not, a new role can get you reinvigorated and remotivated to be truly engaged with your strengths, values and purpose. It puts a spring in your step, (even if your induction was not everything it was cracked up to be).


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