The First Week of New People

It has been over 6 years since I last started a new job, and I’d forgotten how intense and overwhelming it is.

There is a lot of new information to take in about the company, what my role will be and the products I’ll be working with but the hardest part is meeting all the new people.

I’m an introvert with social anxiety, which means new people require a large expense of energy. This is the biggest company I’ve worked for, and I’ve never worked in a role that requires much collaboration or close teamwork. Learning the names, roles, personalities and office politics is going to be harder for me than learning new software!

I’m also not very good at asking for help.

In part it’s because I learn better if I figure something out myself. But anxiety is definitely a big factor.

I get into an anxiety loop.

This person is busy I don’t want to bother them.

This is probably a stupid question.

They might have already told me this and I forgot.

If I don’t ask questions I’m going to seem unengaged, unfriendly and possibly stupid.

I’m not asking intelligent questions.

Asking questions is how you can build relationships, if I’m bad at asking I’ll be a bad team member.

I have to fight myself through this. I’m trying to remind myself that this is a new place with new people and I’m still making a new impression. I have all the space to be a more social, more collaborative and question-asking new version of Alice.

These are skills I want to work on, it’s a big reason for taking this job.

I know I love it when people ask me questions about work, I like to feel helpful and knowledgeable. I think it just feels very alien to go from being one of the people who knew a product inside out to the one who is starting from scratch and knows nothing!

My impression of my new team so far is that they work hard to be collaborative and support each other, and I really do want to be a part of that. That was what my old workplace sorely lacked.

For now I’ve got to accept my place as newbie novice and find out what my role will be. Eventually I’ll find my little niche, the thing people might come to me for.

Next week I will push myself to ask all my work related questions with minimal agonising and to start to ask my new colleagues some personal questions so I can start to get to know them as people!

Let’s not even get started on how hard I find it to do that. Bad enough in a social situation, but it’s even more tricky to find appropriate chitchat times at work to build relationships. Doubly so with hybrid remote work and quiet two thirds empty offices!

Any advice is appreciated!

Now, I am looking forward to the weekend, I’m off to see S Club (Formally S Club 7) tomorrow night! I’m hoping it’ll still be fun despite the loss of Paul and Hannah. I’ve been listening to them the last few days and it’s like a time machine back to being 11 singing along in my bedroom!

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  • A.S. Akkalon

    Congratulations on making it through your first week! It all gets easier from here (so they tell me).

    It sounds like you’re very aware of the areas you need to push in and what you need to do to push, so you don’t need my advice. Just remember we’re here rooting for you to kick butt, and all your new workmates are cheering for you to kick butt too. You’ve got this! 🙂

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