First Days at a New Job

The kids and I have been rewatching episodes of a t.v. show where the mom got a new job, really without discussing it with the rest of the family – discussing it, but not really listening to the concerns of all involved…. The other day, I was talking to a friend about her new job, and the way the people at home still expected her to be available at all hours of the day, even when she was scheduled to work. So, we wanted to take a moment to discuss some important first days events and preparation.

old fashioned alarm clock
10 More Minutes, Mom!

The alarm goes off and you hit the snooze button, maybe hoping for ten more minutes. You programmed your coffee maker the night before, or you’ve already alotted time for a quick coffee stop on the way in to work. In a perfect world, you laid out your work clothes the night before, you take a perfect 15-minute shower (quicker if you can), your curling iron or blow-dryer is all ready to go for your hair, your makeup technique takes you no more than 15 minutes, and you can be out the door in 45 minutes from the time you jump in the shower to the time you leave for work.

Man picking clothes out of his closet
Getting Ready

If you’re a guy, you do the normal guy things, and still have plenty of time to get to work. You filled your car’s gas tank and don’t need to worry about being late for work due to stopping for fuel (remembering that you’ve already factored in grabbing a quick coffee). Knowing how frustrating traffic can be with seemingly everyone headed to work at the same exact time in the same exact direction, you leave a few minutes earlier for added travel time. It goes great! You get to work, sign in at the desk or punch your timecard, whatever your first day demands are, and you report for duty. Yay, you!

woman at desk holding package
Having Arrived

Now that you’ve arrived, you want to settle in – but what is the best way to do that? Do you greet people or wait for them to come greet you? Are you shy, and wait to see who the “leader” is, or do you take initiative and introduce yourself all around? Do you take a moment to appreciate your new work environment? Or do you dive right in, getting busy with whatever there is to do?

What kind of language do you use? Are you polite to your colleagues? Your customers? Do you respect yourself and others?
Getting a new job can be exciting, but also wearying. It can be physically and mentally draining. Are you prepared? Have you psyched yourself up? Are you ready for the hours you’ve committed to work – whether full-time, part-time, or seasonal? Are you going to give of yourself or are you going to take advantage of new people who don’t know you or what to expect from you? It’s okay to ask for help, to ask for instruction. In fact, one of the things we do here at LYDIA, Inc. is match clients with peer mentors. But. Tricking or otherwise manipulating other people into doing your work for you is not very responsible. It falls under “fraud” and can cause problems in the future – when you’re asked to complete a task or develop a program and you have no idea how to finish the job.

See, each choice we make has consequences. If we take a job and promise to commit then we fail to perform, it results in job loss. If we take a job and haven’t prepared ourselves, our families, or even our friends, it results in animosity, loss of friendship, and can even cause a loss of trust from others in you. This loss can cause a breakdown of community. What steps can you take to strengthen those relationships now instead of leaving them to weaken and eventually break? (Not taking the job is always an option, but weigh the pros and cons against your responsibilities here.)

close up photo of chain links
Ties that Bind

Another part of getting ready for a new job is to prepare your friends and/or family. Talk it over with them. Discuss your hours. If you’re able, discuss your job requirements or duties. Talk about the impact this new job will have on your “normal” life. Will you still be available to run errands, drop everything and take the kids to the doctor’s? Will you contribute to the house, or eating out, or putting gas in the car (if you have roommates or if you share transportation responsibilities)? What will the people still at home be expected to do? How will your new job change the expectations on you?

The things we give up in order to do another thing we want to do is called opportunity cost. Sometimes, this means giving up time with friends and family for our jobs, or our hobbies. Sometimes, it means choosing friends and family over the job – a new promotion, better pay, and more hours at work to take you away from your families. Sometimes, it means there are some really great things to do, activities to enjoy, and all these choices require a decision. So then you must choose – what you don’t choose is the cost of your current opportunity.

hand holding playing cards
Pick a Card, Any Card

Remember, the job is a great thing to have. It’s an accomplishment. So is strengthening your relationships. So make sure that not only are you ready for the first days of your new job, but so is everyone else important to you. And congratulations on getting a new job. We wish you the best and we’re here to answer any questions you might have.

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