5 Ways to Survive the First Day of a New Job

Originally published August 22, 2019

At some point in your life, you’re going to have to start something new. Whether it’s a new job, new relationship, new school, the first day of college, a new place you're moving to - regardless of the situation - beginning again will always have its challenges and its benefits.

This past Monday, I started my third new job in less than five years. Not too long ago, three jobs in less than five years may have seemed - to future employers - undesirable, as if I wasn’t a loyal prospective employee, and unreliable. In today’s job market, loyalty is seemingly nonexistent - which helped me to ask the question, what’s the point in being loyal to a company if you’re miserable every day?

As we enter a society where self-care is becoming more of a top priority, I’m finding that I must be true to what I want, deserve, and need to be my whole self. My journey isn’t necessarily a path to happiness but a path to wholeness - giving myself the best in life, not settling for less, and doing what is best for me at all times. I’m recognizing that the only way for me to be whole is to follow my gut, be intentional, be vulnerable, take risks, and practice authenticity.

As I mentioned earlier, Monday was my first day in my new role and new career. I spent the last five years professionally supporting, planning, and executing events. Though I loved it in the beginning, my passion eventually turned into a toxic environment that I couldn’t get away from fast enough. Hours were long, pressure was unbearable, the stakes were too high, and bottom line - I was miserable, I was turning into a person that exerted more negative energy than positive, and it was affecting my personal life (how I reacted to my daughter and how I engaged with my fiancé). I’ll be the first to admit that there were times that I basked in complaining and venting about my situation, but I’ll also give myself credit for navigating my way to a more optimistic and positive mindset. What good is complaining if you aren’t going to do anything to change your situation?

So, last week I was an event manager and this week I’m beginning my official career in content creation, public relations, and the art of storytelling (#imawriter).

The most important factor in this new step was choosing to redirect my energy into a positive atmosphere to better myself and my family. On my quest for being intentional, being positive and changing my situation, I recognized that removing myself from toxicity required removing the people who helped to create the negative energy flowing around me. Removing those people was one of the truest acts of self-love I’ve ever done for myself. Who you keep around you is one of the best reflections of the love you have for yourself.

As I walked into my new office this week, it wasn’t without hesitation or necessary, sometimes unexpected sacrifices but I trust that it will all be worth it. At the end of my day, I started to notice that this first day on a new job was internally and externally different than any other first day on the job in my past. Simply by practicing to put my attention on my intention, I was able to take the steps (below) necessary to make it through my first day and I know those same steps will carry me throughout and beyond this next chapter in my life.

Here are the 5 Ways I Survived the First Day of my New Job:

1. Give yourself permission to be human.

Chances are you’re going to be nervous on your first day. Allow it. Throughout the day, find ways to turn that nervousness into excitement and a willingness to learn. Be vulnerable. Open yourself up to learning. While you bring a wealth of value to the team, recognize and be okay with the fact that you won’t know everything. It’s okay. The company hired you because they saw you as a great fit for the company and they want to learn from you just as much as you want to learn from them. Don’t worry about whether or not you’ll fit in. If they hired you, then you’re most likely the right fit for the job - at least for the time being. Being human means allowing yourself to be nervous but turning it into positive energy and excitement, being okay with not knowing everything, and knowing that you’ll grow into your new team fairly soon. Don’t rush the process. Just be authentic and your best self and everything will fall into place.

2. Value your greatness. Be confident in yourself.

I found myself doubting my ability on the first and second day of my new role. After being in one field for 5+ years, I had become extremely knowledgeable in and on events.

While I have experience for my new role, it is definitely minimal. Everything I know for my role is self-taught and practiced based on side and personal projects - which I was intentionally transparent about in the interview phase. What I quickly remembered is that the company knew my strengths and knew that there were areas for me to grow in and I was still chosen out of a number of candidates - which means I have value and greatness to add to my new team. All it takes is for me to have confidence in what I know how to do and confidence in myself.

3. Be open and optimistic.

There are going to be new tasks, ideas, and information thrown at you within the first few days. Don’t be overwhelmed. Your team knows there is no way for you to retain everything in the first day or week or month. Be an open sponge and listen. Take notes. You will learn a lot about the company and the work culture just by listening. You’ll learn based on what people tell you and more importantly, how they tell you information. You’ll be able to pick up on and gauge people's individual personalities, work-life balance, what works well within the team, and what doesn’t. Be optimistic about the new opportunity and remain open.

4. Let go of all toxicity from the past.

Do not bring any negativity with you into your new role. Detach yourself from it and move on. The company you left will figure out whatever you left behind. This is now the time for you to focus on you and your future success and happiness. If at all possible, take a few days to a week before jumping into your new position. It truly helps you reset your mind and focus and prepare. If you’re in a position, like myself, where you aren’t able to take the time in between, be sure to find time for self-care in the evenings after your first few days of the new job. Whether that means reading, sleeping, relaxing, or just doing something you haven’t been able to do in the past, finding that time to recuperate, move forward, and be at peace is crucial to your future success. Take care of you first because it will truly set you up for success later!

5. Fully embrace and be present in the new.

Be present with your new team and in your new role. When at work, really engage in the various conversations you’ll have. Ask all questions that come to mind. By being fully present, you’ll be able to take in more information and retain it. Embrace the new! This time and experience - just like any other - will only happen once, so enjoy the feeling of a new experience and getting to know your team.

While it can be a bit nerve-wrecking to start a new role, just remember you’re qualified! You got this! You wouldn’t be where you are now, if it wasn’t for all the right steps you took prior to your first day. One last tip (which I found myself doing right before I walked out the door) - motivate yourself. Remind yourself that you are worth it, you got this, you’re amazing, qualified, and everything will be just fine.

**Be sure to check out a few of the awesome links in the blog post to help you get through your first days, self-care tips, and more!**


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