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Starting new job, please help me not fuck up - advice?

(129 Posts)
TryingAgain14 Sat 29-Nov-14 15:00:45

What are your top tips for being a good, organised employee?

I am scared. I am going back to the workplace after losing my last job, being diagnosed with depression, and a few other difficult things. The job is something I have mixed feelings about, in one way I'm interested in the company and in another I'm so scared of 5 days a week every week that I want to back out of taking it. But I can't do that, or I will not have January's rent. It's that simple. Plus I think if I can only find a way of being calm, I could actually really enjoy this job once I get used to it. And if I don't, I can always move on.

Basically, I want to try my best to take the opportunity but I feel stuck. Any advice would be great on work ethic, on how to keep going when you feel really shit, on how to feel less tired etc. Time saving advice for not being exhausted in the mornings rushing round etc?

It sounds daft, but nobody else in my family has ever worked so I feel completely on the back foot when it comes to career stuff.

CalicoBlue Sat 29-Nov-14 15:13:19

Starting a new job can be very scary, even if you have worked for years.

My tips would be to plan your new routine, what time do you need to get up, how is your routine going to effect everyone else, do the kids need to get up earlier, etc. Put a plan in place, write it down, make sure everyone in the house knows. You will also be tired, so go to bed early if you need to, you will get used to it.

Work out your route to work, make sure that you leave extra time on your first day.

Take your lunch in, you might find that you take longer to do things at first so be prepared with food. Have snacks with you, I always have nuts and seeds in my desk in case I am hungry and need a boost.

Be friendly, try and remember peoples names. Though don't talk too much and avoid over sharing.

When you are being trained or shown what to do take notes, it shows that you are taking notice and want to retain the information. Ask questions if you are not sure about something.

Use your initiative and do your best at what you are being asked to do.

What are you going to be doing in the job?

Good luck, it is exciting and will be very rewarding when you get paid for the work you have done.

toomuchtooold Sat 29-Nov-14 15:15:02

Are you seeing someone about the depression? If so, it would probably be good to raise your work issues with them and they may be able to help you develop strategies to cope.

My top tip is not to let things fester - do your unpleasant jobs first, and if you're having a problem that your boss needs to know about, tell them - but do it when you're feeling strong, so you can stay in control (and not cry - I cry at work sometimes, I wish I could get a handle on that but I'm 38 I think that's just who I am).

How to feel less tired/be more organised in the morning: what time are you getting to bed? Go to bed early, get up early, don't drink alcohol on school nights, and make sure your outfit, bag, Oyster card, keys etc are all in place for you to just pick up in the morning.

Oh, if only I could follow my own advice...

DragonRojo Sat 29-Nov-14 15:35:24

i do this and it helps me. On Sunday, I prepare 5 outfits for the week, including tights and shoes. I hang the whole outfit together and put the shoes in their box index underneath. In that way, when I am getting dressed at 6am, I don't need to think at all

Optimist1 Sat 29-Nov-14 15:42:43

Congratulations on landing a job in these hard times! Firstly, they didn't hire you because they liked the colour of your eyes - they want you because they see you as being a good fit for the role. Your combination of skills and personality are what they were looking for. They want you!

Lots of good advice from PPs. I'd especially endorse being friendly but not over-sharing or getting too close with any of your co-workers to start with - you need to suss out the personalities before you know who you'd like to be friends with.

In addition, don't be afraid to ask when you don't know something. To start with you'll be asking hundreds of questions, but after a while you'll know more and after a while longer you'll feel comfortable.

Personally I find time can be a cause of anxiety - it's horrible to be running late for something (especially if it's work, or picking up from school) so I allow a bit extra for bad traffic and then a bit more for luck. Yes, I spend more time than is usual sitting outside places because I've arrived early, but it beats the stress of being late!

And one last thing - you might well find yourself thinking "WTF have I got myself into?" during your first few days/weeks. I have felt this about every new job I started and there was really only one where that feeling didn't go away. Best of luck in your new role! flowers

Discopanda Sat 29-Nov-14 15:45:24

Treat yourself to some pretty stationary to keep on your desk, Wilko has some lovely ranges that look like they could be from Paperchase! Keeping an extra pen, notepad and post its on your desk makes you look prepared and organised, so you'll feel more organised too. Don't be scared to talk to people and ask questions. Good luck xx

iwantavuvezela Sat 29-Nov-14 15:53:26

Congratulations on gettin this job.
My tips would be
Dress appropriately, clean, ironed etc. make sure you have this ready the night before.
Arrive on time, or 5 minutes earlier
Have the number of your manager or reception so that is anything happens with transport you can phone to say why you are held up.
Don't take personal calls (unless an emergency) whilst working
Be polite, friendly, remember named
Ask questions, if you are unsure let the person know so you understand what you are meant to do.
Don't chew gum!
Enjoy, this is the chance for you to make some new friends, interact and earn the money you need.
Agree with all the other advice, also calico's with working out route to work, having lunch and snacks with you.

Good luck!

Moniker1 Sat 29-Nov-14 16:13:53

In the long run read Ruby Wax's Sane New World and learn some mindfulness in you spare time, it really does help calm you if you can stick at it.

In the short term make a secret note of everyone's names and memorise them at home. Also take notes about things your aren't sure of and practice them at home and go over stuff so you learn more quickly, I know it appears that everyone else just picks stuff up as they go along but personally I've found knowing stuff, names etc, makes you appear and feel more confident so do that for the first month or two.

Especially if you are nervous or anxious as that makes it harder to learn stuff.

Even practice at home what you say when you answer the phone etc. I'm rambling here but it's what I found helps.

And dont' apologise too much eg I'm sorry to ask again but could you tell me Blahblah, it makes you seem unconfident.

Muskey Sat 29-Nov-14 16:16:59

Good luck and congratulations. I was in a very similar situation a few months back. The best advice someone on here gave to me was even though you don't feel confident "fake it until you make it"

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Sat 29-Nov-14 16:17:21

Well done OP!

Ten minutes early for the first month, then 5 minutes until spring, then like me you can play the countdown game where a colleague counts you in from 10. Anything over, and we have to put 10p a second (up to a quid) into the charity box. I got it down to 3 seconds for a week running.
Write down as much as possible, especially names and departments.
Eat breakfast. Do not eat chocolate. Check your teeth. Check your zips.
Remember, they can't kill you and eat you, and if they can you're in the wrong job.

hamptoncourt Sat 29-Nov-14 16:21:13

Congratulations OP. You have already been given great advice here.

Another thing that helps I think is to tell yourself that you will do your best (and mean it) and that nobody who starts a new job knows it all.

Be pleasant and polite, smile as much as you can. Don't overshare any personal info - these are your colleagues, not your friends.

Don't get sucked into any office politics/drama.

The advice about taking notes is spot on - I always take idiots guide notes, especially about navigating computer systems!!

The working every day thing gets easier as you carry on. You will soon wonder how you filled your time when you weren't working FT. If you struggle in the mornings, have a bath or shower before bed.

If there is a union at your workplace join them.

Best of luck, I hope it all goes really well thanks

Nicename Sat 29-Nov-14 16:30:14

Keep a diary and a tidy notebook.

I used to make notes when I met people of what they said, where they worked etc as I a hopeless with names!

When in doubt, ask. There's nothing worse than realising that you've been there a week and don't know where the loo is and its too late to ask!

Always smile and never gossip. Don't give out too much personal info either (= ammo!).

Be polite and on time, put your outfit for the next day out before you go to bed and never ever wear a floaty white skirt with black knickers. Or odd shoes.

ememem84 Sat 29-Nov-14 16:38:36

Time management is a biggie for me. I do the following:

- Keep a notepad under the phone specifically for phone messages.
- Have set times for returning calls.
- have another book for notes of meetings - always note the date time and attendees.
- nice stationary. Makes me happy looking at lovely pencils/pens etc.
- have a routine. If you need to take breaks, try and time them. I'm a 830, 1030, 330 cup of tea person. Have a lovely mug.
- don't keep too much clutter or personal items in/on your desk.
- be on time.
- keep a task list. I have a spreadsheet listing tasks I have ongoing notes and follow up dates. Once complete move them to another tab. This is specially useful for times when you'll be out of the office.

maggiethemagpie Sat 29-Nov-14 20:52:51

A good thing I read once was to always go to your manager with a solution, not a problem.

ie, unless you really don't have a clue how to do something (and then there's always google) go in saying 'this is how i'm thinking of doing x am I on the right lines'

That way you are showing initiative and an interest to learn, even if you are not completely sure of what to do. Not going to them and asking them to give you the whole answer.

Always be very polite, friendly, smiley and say yes to everything. Go the extra mile. It impresses people and once they like you you can get away with the odd mistake as they'll see it as out of character.

Dragonfly71 Sat 29-Nov-14 20:54:09

Congratulations OP. As your are already interested in the company, you will ask questions and come across as enthusiastic and that's a great start.
On another note, it's funny how everyone assumes it's a " desk job".

Tobyjugg Sat 29-Nov-14 21:05:38

Remember to look at it from the employer's side. (1) You were hired because they thought your could do the job. (2) You beat a hell of a load of people who couldn't. (3) Unless this is a highly specialised job for which you need (and have) a professional qualification, your ignorance of the job and the way things are done is expected and - for the first few weeks at least - allowances will be made for this. The trick is to make this allowance period as short as possible.

As for getting up every morning and going in when you don't want to (and that's always the case in January with almost everyone) remember why you're going to work: "It's the money stupid". Just keep thinking of payday and get on with it.

The simple fact that you're worried about these things indicates that you'll be OK. If you felt you were going to swan in there and be queen of the world - that's when you should be worried.

Good luck.

TryingAgain14 Sat 29-Nov-14 23:15:08

Thank you. I've been in bed crying about this all evening and just checked my thread, and seen some absolutely great advice. Such great tips to help with organisation but I can't do it. I haven't even got any clean clothes to wear, and have no laundry powder to do a wash, and I have no suitable shoes. The shoes I wore to interview cut my heels open, I can't put them on again.

I don't think I can do it, I feel sick at the thought of it.

I'm just a fucking mess, I wish I was dead.

smallandimperfectlyformed Sat 29-Nov-14 23:19:27

Oh dear, don't feel so negative. Have you spoken to the GP or called the Samaritans? I bet somebody will lend you some washing powder. You're not a mess, you're frightened and there are people who can help.

ClashCityRocker Sat 29-Nov-14 23:26:38

When do you start?

Thick socks on, wet the shoes, and get a hair dryer on them, should make them more comfy.

Worst case scenario, febreze the work clothes, hand wash your keks. If you haven't got febreze, hand wash and spray with something nice-ish, but don't over do it.

If you have bicarbonate or baking soda in the house, use that to hand wash with.

IKillPlants Sat 29-Nov-14 23:28:34

TryingAgain, you can do it, you're already more than halfway there because you got yourself this job.
Ask a friend to help you with your clothes, set them out for the week ahead as a previous poster said. Borrow the laundry powder from your neighbour and be really kind to yourself each night when you get home. Have a good dinner, make sure you are organised for the next day and then an early night.
First day and week is the hardest but it's also a time when people are understanding of your nerves so don't feel that you are alone. One step and one day at a time. Good luck.

thenightsky Sat 29-Nov-14 23:29:46

What is the job?

We have a new lady starting Monday.

I will do I can to make her feel welcome and comfy.

Maybe she is you wink

LizzieVereker Sat 29-Nov-14 23:29:49

Right, deep breath. When are you due to start? Could a neighbour lend you a little scoop of washing powder? What size are your feet (I may be able to help).

You can do it, you got through the interview, that's the worst bit. thanks

missymayhemsmum Sat 29-Nov-14 23:31:38

Trying Again, you can do this, you got the job, you can do the job.
Stop sabotaging yourself. Go borrow some washing powder from a neighbour, wash and iron the smartest clothes you have, polish some shoes that won't hurt. If you don't feel dressed for the part, explain to the boss that you haven't needed to dress for work for a while and buy some tidy clothes on payday.
On your first day explain to your manager how nervous you are, they presumably already know you have been out of work for a while but have seen qualities in you that made them want to give you a chance. Give them the opportunity to support you. Rise and shine girl, get ready for work.

EustaciaBenson Sat 29-Nov-14 23:34:22

Okay first of all is it Monday you are starting? If so you have all of tomorrow to sort things out. Put your clothes around the washing machine anyway. The chances are there will probably be enough build up of product because we all tend to use too much, and so your clothes will still be clean. Dont think about it as 5 days at a time, just think about Monday, if you get through Monday you may find momentum carries you through the week and then suddenly you are at Friday again.
If you are feeling overwhelemed or teary you can always pop to the bathroom for a minute or two. If you have enough time on your lunchbreak try and leave the building and get some fresh air

If you are finding people are telling you too much stuff to take in, tell them. Its very easy for people who have done a job for ages to remember how much there is to it. Tell them you learn best by writing things down, that way you dont have to take everything in at once as you can look over your notes later. Dont be scared to ask questions.

nocoolnamesleft Sat 29-Nov-14 23:35:32

So...you're depressed, you're scared, we're in the middle of a recession, nobody else in your family has ever worked, and you've managed to get yourself a job? Frankly, you sound pretty amazingly inspirational to me. If you could manage that, you can manage the job itself.

One thing I learned some years ago (the hard way!) was that when I went round thinking "I feel crap, I can't cope, it hurts too much" all the time, then I struggled to do anything at all. But when I forced myself, even in the bad times, to reframe it to something more like "I'm not going to fucking let this beat me" or "I'll show the bastards", I started to see what I could actually do.

And in case you don't know this...most people are scared starting a new job. That's normal. Part of my job now is induction for people starting with us. And you know what? My introductory "welcome, here's the plan for the first few days" email actually included "we know this is all new and scary - don't worry, we've all been there, and we're all here to support each other".

Hang on in there. You can do this.

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