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4 Ways a New Job Will Feel Like the First Day of School

professional skills

If you're starting at a new job soon, you might find that the nerves you're feeling aren't completely unfamiliar. Where have you felt them before? Maybe the first day of school. Check out this blog post to read about the four ways a new job feels like the first day.

First Day All Over Again

One of the best parts of being an adult who is finally finished with his or her 12 (or more) years of school is that you no longer have to deal with the nerves and drama of the first day of school. But there is one common adult experience that might remind you of those days: starting a new job. For better or worse, adults are really just grown-up kids, and the experience of being new at a company has a few things in common with the first day of school. Here are the four we've noticed.

A man lost on his first day of work

1. You'll Have to Find Your Way

Do you remember the feeling of showing up at your middle or high school for the first time and feeling like you have no idea where everything is? You only have five minutes to find your classrooms before the late bell and you have no choice but to do that awkward backpack run? For whatever reason, the bathrooms all seem like they're hidden somewhere? Well, welcome to your new office. You can't remember where anybody sits. You have a meeting in five minutes but you can't figure out where the conference room is. Are we the only ones who have accidentally sat down at somebody else's desk? The good news is that you'll get used to it quickly. And don't be afraid to ask your HR department for a map of the desks or the conference rooms, which they probably have available for you.

2. You'll Feel Like You're Being Graded

When you've been at a job for a while, you settle in and feel comfortable. You realize that you aren't being observed every minute of every day and stop watching your back. But at a new job? It seems like all eyes are on you. Every interaction you have and every task you complete feels like it's being evaluated. You can't help but wonder if your job interview ever ended or if it's still ongoing. Is it possible for the company to change their mind about hiring you? But, again, we have some good news: this feeling fades. It's good to be on your best behavior at the start, but you'll get to that relaxed point again before you know it.

People eating lunch at work

3. You'll Have to Find Somewhere to Sit at Lunch

Ah, the dreaded cafeteria. Or the dreaded break room. Turns out, they're not all that different. Eating is a social activity, but that fact can be pretty stressful when you haven't hit your social stride yet. Unfortunately, you'll just have to grin and bear it like you did in school. Sit down with some strangers, strike up conversation, and eat that salad with confidence. You'll soon figure out which people you prefer to break bread with and, thankfully, office lunch rooms are far less catty places than school cafeterias: you'll probably be just fine no matter who you sit with.

A new employee talking to his manager

4. Getting Sent to the Principal's Office Will Still be Scary

We don't know about you, but there was no more terrifying experience for us in school than being sent to the principal's office. Your new company might not have a principal, but it does have executives and managers. And, chances are, you'll be meeting with these people several times throughout your first few days and weeks at your new job. And, yeah, it might be scary. Even if you know that nothing bad is realistically going to happen, something about being in the same room as all that authority is just naturally nerve-wracking. But don't worry, you're not alone in this. And the reason you're talking to your manager a lot is good (he or she wants to help you get integrated!), not bad (you're about to get a detention). And, hey, at least you're getting paid this time around.

What's the thing that makes you most nervous about starting a new job? Let us know on Twitter @studydotcom.

Looking to brush up on your workplace skills before you start at a new company? Check out Study.com's corporate learning courses.

By Daisy Rogozinsky
October 2018
professional skills engagement & retention

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