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Starting a New Job? Here’s How To Kill It

It’s been about two months since I’ve started a new job. On my first day, to say I was nervous is an understatement. Every time I’ve started a new job, or even my internships, I got really anxious. I’ve always been pretty shy. I never talked much unless I was talked to and that’s probably part of the reason I was always scared on my first day…and month. By now, I’ve had about 12 jobs or internships and each one taught me something different when I started and I believe it’s worth sharing. We all get nervous starting a new job, so here are some tips to help you get through it and excel at your job.

Like I mentioned before, I’m an extremely shy person. In my first job out of college, I was terrified of my new job. It was at an art gallery and performance venue and I was now getting into my major…kind of. I majored in journalism and decided to go a different route into marketing. Close enough. I worked in a collaborative office, meaning it was one pretty sizable room with nine desks. It was crazy packed and I sat at a teenie-weenie desk facing the wall.

Over time, the office changed and we were down to six desks and I got moved to a full-sized desk. Talk about an upgrade! Throughout that time, I barely talked to anyone. I was nervous that no one would like me. Then, one day it kind of clicked and I started to get along with everyone. We all talked constantly and laughed and I still talk to some of those co-workers to this day. That being said, I wish I had spoken up sooner. It’s never as bad as you might think it is.

Now, with me starting a new job, it has been a whole different experience. I knew from my last job that people are actually much friendlier than you think they are. So I let my true personality show from the beginning. Granted, I’ve only been working virtually because of COVID, but it has made a huge difference. I’ve been able to chat people easily to get to know them and some have even become friends already. And it’s only been two months! I would call that an improvement. So lesson here? Talk to your co-workers. It makes the working experience a lot easier and you’ll always have someone to turn to.

I was surprised when starting my new job that they had me take a strength finder quiz. It was neither a right nor wrong type of test, but rather, something that allowed my employer to find out how I worked best. I found it really interesting – especially my results. There were 4 groups – influencing, strategic thinking, executing, and relationship building. I only scored high in executing and relationship building which was really no surprise to me. I’m not the best at leading nor complicated problems. Regardless, I felt like I found a company that would take advantage of my strengths in a good way, without exploiting my weaknesses.

In saying this, I knew what I had to do, and what you should too as you start a new job. Show your strengths. It’s all you have when you’re applying! A company should be able to recognize that you have all these great things to offer, and also that you’re willing to grow even more in your skills. THAT’S what’s important. So show off those strengths and feel yourself flourish!

While it’s important to give all your strengths, it’s also just as necessary that you recognize your weaknesses. Everyone has them, and that’s okay. Like I said, I’m not a leader. I don’t like to tell people what to do. I’ll do it if it comes to it, but it’s not my strong suit. I think we all need to identify our weakness and work on them. It will never be perfect, but the point is that we’re working on them. It’s okay to communicate this to a company, especially because a lot of them ask you what your weakness is in the workplace. It sounds scary but I promise it’s better to be honest than lie about what you’re truly good at.

Now this last thing is something that has worked for me really well over the years. After you get the job and you’re trying to accomplish all your tasks, create BOTH a task list and a study book. For the task list, this should have all the things you need to do. Over time, it will most likely become pretty long, but as you split it up, you’ll get through it. The point of it is you don’t forget anything that you’re tasked with. Second is your study book. When I got my first real job, I wrote EVERYTHING I learned. Trust me when I say this was a giant help as I continued growing in my position. I was able to look back at it instead of ask my co-workers for help, and I promise this will impress your supervisor.

Out of all my jobs I’ve had, I’ve never felt so included in the company I’m in now. They make an effort to understand me and what I can do, rather than dwelling on the things I can’t. As you’re looking for or starting a job and securing those amazing positions, remember that they chose you for a reason. So show them your strong work ethic and all the skills that made them hire you in the first place. It will bring you a long way!

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