There is no doubt about it, making a career change is terrifying. Starting any new job can be daunting, but especially when it’s something that’s completely new to you.
I’m loving my new job, but at times it’s pretty daunting. I thought it would be good to put together my tips for dealing with this, for anyone who is changing jobs or industries.
It’s normal to feel like you’re not doing great at first
I feel like I sometimes expect myself to jump straight into things and get on with whatever needs doing without much question. The problem here is that I’m comparing myself at a job I knew well, in an industry I knew well, after six months at the business, to where I am now: brand new to the job, role and industry with a lot to learn. You can’t expect yourself to know everything and to fit straight in, straight away, because that’s just not how it works (I wish it did!). Instead of getting cross with myself, I’m trying to take positive actions to improve this process – such as booking in a meeting to discuss what I’m doing well, and what I could do better. Don’t take it as criticism – it’s not – you’re learning and knowing what works and what doesn’t will help you an awful lot, especially when it comes to feeling like you’re doing alright.
Making new friends is hard – it’s probably not you
You can’t become everyone’s friend on your first day. In fact, you can’t become everyone’s friend at all – but you know what I mean. Give people time to get to know you, and give yourself time to get to know others. There will always be someone that you get on well with, have a lot in common with, or spend more of your time with, but this won’t happen straight away. It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person or nobody likes you, it’s just one of those things about being a newbie. Let people suss you out and friendships will form.
Getting into a new routine takes time, but is very important
My whole lifestyle has changed and I’m not going to tell you that that’s easy. Routine is something that I’ve found is really important for my wellbeing, so shaking it all up can be quite scary. We are creatures of habit, and after spending a certain amount of time in one job or at one company, it becomes completely normal to you and your lifestyle becomes exactly that: your lifestyle. When everything is new you don’t get used to it straight away, so don’t expect to. Try to keep your new routine as solid and stable as possible to help yourself get used to it, and eventually it will become the norm for you just like the last job was.
Confidence is key and my tip here is fake it until you make it
I’m becoming quite good at the old fake it ’til you make it.
Getting things wrong is OK – and if anything, expected – but don’t take it to heart. Accept constructive criticism, never take anything personally and be willing to try things. It doesn’t really matter if you make a mistake if you’re willing to try whatever is sent your way.
Try to be as organised as you can to make things easier for yourself
Every evening I like to prepare my lunch for the next day and get my clothes out, so that in the morning everything is where I need it, I’m not rushing around, and getting out the door is as easy as possible.
Something that I keep reminding myself of is that there is really no harm in asking questions. The people you work with (including your manager) would rather you asked a ‘silly’ question than sat wondering, stressing yourself out or wasting time. You should be wanting to get things right and employers value that, so asking questions won’t hinder you. You don’t have to know everything – it would actually probably be weird if you did!