Articles From the Team

How to tackle the ‘I don’t know what I’m doing’ phase at your new job

I, like a lot of people who are ambitious and career driven, am a bit of a ‘perfectionist’. I used to avoid situations where I didn’t know what I was doing or things I wasn’t sure I’d be good at (avoiding ‘constructive criticism’ due to a fear of being judged, or worse, failing!). I was a victim of a fixed mindset, believing my abilities were stationary.

Now I know better! Now I believe there's always room for improvement when it comes to my skills and abilities and I try to adopt a growth mindset with every opportunity or challenge life throws at me. And there's no better time for it than when you start a new job. To anyone starting a new role: take this approach to remain open to growth and learning, and always remember you'll get better, you just have to try.

Being wrong and thriving

Nothing will change, improve or increase if you aren’t open to learning and development. You have to take the first step and open your mind up to being wrong every now and again.

As a new starter, it's important to take advice/pointers/criticism from your manager and colleagues. You're the ‘new person’ and most likely you won't have a clue what you’re doing (whether it's due to new systems and procedures or a move into a completely new discipline/industry); even if the role's similar to previous roles, you'll have a lot to learn. Embrace this! Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, this is how you grow in your job and thrive.

Ultimately, there's an overriding theme here: don't take yourself - or life - too seriously.

When and where to start? Today! Show up each day to do your absolute best. In a new environment where you encounter a lot of the unknown, things will start to click and everything will fall together.

Top tips for on the (new) job:

  1. Plan your commute and do a test run if necessary (like I did on my bicycle before it was stolen on my first day!)
  2. Prepare yourself for your first day. Know what time you need to be there, who to ask for and even plan what you’re going to wear if it helps you relax (it does for me)
  3. Be on time! Work hard! Listen and pay attention. Although no one’s expecting you to nail the job on your first day, first impressions always count
  4. Get yourself in a clear state of mind: enter the office motivated, positive and ready to learn
  5. Take notes. Although there’s no such thing as a stupid question, you don’t want to be asking the same questions over and over, so make notes that you can refer back to
  6. Get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated and eat well! Starting a new job is exhausting. Looking after yourself will go a long way in helping you stay sharp, take everything in and remain resilient in your first few weeks on the job
  7. Enjoy it! Get the most out of every day and don’t forget to sustain a growth mindset

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