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 | By Patricia Mish

Overcoming First-Day Jitters

I got the job! I’m excited about this new opportunity, but I have a case of the first-day jitters. How can I overcome my fears of not fitting in (or being able to find the copy paper)?

We’ve all been there. Whether it’s the challenge of remembering the names of the 23 co-workers you meet on your Day One office tour or figuring out how to operate the printer, the first few weeks in a new job can be both exciting and a little nerve-wracking. No doubt, first-day jitters are real!

Even weeks in, finding your sea legs and where you fit within the team can take time.

As with any new experience, never hesitate to ask questions. Your new co-workers will be eager to help, and many will go out of their way to welcome you to the team. Bring a positive attitude and a willingness to listen and learn from others, and before you know it, you won’t feel like the newbie anymore.

Be patient with yourself. Learning a new job and the specific responsibilities that come with it takes time. At the end of your workday, create a to-do list (noting any questions you have) for tomorrow. Then go enjoy your evening and you can hit the ground running tomorrow.

Be yourself. Remember, the hiring manager chose you for a reason. You can rest assured that you bring needed skills and experience to your new organization. Team projects and even meetings can be an opportunity to get to know your new colleagues and begin to build on one another’s strengths.

Even in the best of workplace cultures, not all employees get along, and sometimes unhealthy alliances or gossip happen. We know that few organizations – and that goes for families and churches as well – are perfect. As a new employee, you come in blissfully ignorant of these dynamics and can stay that way by being friendly to all and avoiding office gossip.

Don’t leave your Christian values at the office door. Honesty, integrity and collaboration go a long way in workplace interactions. And, of course, keep the faith. Any new experience – a job change, a move and even marriage – can create stress. Bring your concerns to the Lord by adding prayer to your mental to-do list. You can use your morning or afternoon commute to pray or listen to inspiring music. Build prayer time into your lunch hour or even stretch breaks.

Doing so can have unexpected benefits, perhaps not only easing any stress you feel but sparking creativity as you face the challenges of the day. Never underestimate the Holy Spirit!