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Why it’s Awkward Starting a New Job

23 March 2022


Securing yourself in a new role is inspiring, but why do we always feel uncomfortable when we start?


You’re the new kid on the block; all eyes are on you. Regardless of how many jobs you’ve had, you still feel that rush of awkwardness come over you. How do you overcome it? How do you feel relaxed?



Expectations vs Reality 


You might have some idea of how your first day will go but are still unsure what to expect; that creates stress. The brain is a prediction engine; It wants to forecast what will happen accurately, and a lack of confidence in the future creates anxiety



When we start a new job, we want to make a good impression, and we don’t want to put a foot wrong, so we sometimes stay silent and are less likely to speak up or ask questions. In fact, our colleagues aren’t likely to create a negative view of you because of what you say; people focus more on the intent behind what you say rather than the actual words you use. So, speak up; they want to know more about you as you do about them. If you don’t ask questions, you will never know.


Fish out of water


You’ve built up the courage to speak up, but every office has a different language, different process, different people. How these are referred to can be a foreign language at first, so the first few weeks can feel like you’ve moved to a new country, thinking you know the basics but, in reality, know nothing.



You may feel embarrassed about asking people what different terms mean, and as for 3 letter acronyms!!!!! Ask one of your team to make a translation sheet for you to learn and grasp the terms used in the office.


Lone Solider 


Starting somewhere new is always tricky as you’ve had to leave your old teammates behind, so you enter the job not knowing anyone. You spend most of your time at work, so you look for social connections to help your happiness and job satisfaction. You’ll notice that there may be groups of people having conversations around the office that you have no connection or interest in. We don’t usually push ourselves to pre-existing social groups. We usually only meet if we have that connection or something in common, such as entering college or a new workplace.



Remember that it takes time to build relationships with new people, and some people click, and some don’t; that’s okay. Start small, talk to a few people you might have common interests with. Find out how the office operates, lunch breaks, coffee, and tea breaks; this is your chance to chat. 


Always remember that you’re the one who’s feeling awkward; the rest of the office are busy doing what they need to do. In 6-7 weeks, that feeling will fade, and you will no longer be the newbie anymore. Give yourself time to adjust.



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