27 Jul 2017

3 Tips For A Little Fish Starting A New Job

Congrats! You just landed a new job and…oh wow…you’re starting a new job, oh god!

“What do I wear?”

“Will the others like me?”

“They made a huge mistake. I’m not ready!”

Before you have a meltdown, read on. As the newest edition to Spectrum I know exactly how you feel. I’m the littlest junior content writer-fish you’ve ever seen (though I’d like to think I’m more of a little mermaid than a straight up fish.)

Little Mermaid GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

So, I’m here to give you some tips and tricks for being the little fish (mermaid) in the big pond. And not just the “show up early” or “be friendly” type of advice. Common sense will give you the basics. I’m here to give you some proper insight for adjusting into a new role.

Chill, No One Expects You To Know Everything


In a new role, particularly a junior one, no one is going to drop a huge task on you day one, week one, or maybe even month one.

“I don’t know how to do XYZ, they’ll think I’m useless.”

Processes are in place at every company to give you the tools you need to do your job. Whether it’s a mentor, training modules or lots and lots of reading, you’ll be plenty busy your first few days, trust me. They’re not going to throw you straight into the deep end. That means getting you comfortable and prepared for the work ahead.  Basically, they want to make sure you know your stuff before putting you to task.

Little Mermaid GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Now, they will expect you to know some things… such as what you put on your resume and talked over about in the interview process.

“But what if I can’t do those things as well as I said I could? I’m a fraud!”

You applied for the job because you knew you’d be able to do it. Don’t doubt yourself and just take it a day at a time. Also, your hiring manager isn’t that gullible. They know resume and interviews are about selling yourself so a little talking up about your experience is expected. In the end though, showcasing your personality and passion will prove that you’re willing to step up to new challenges.

Make listening and learning your focus at the start, and if you get asked to do something you’re not sure about, just ask!

Explain This To Me Like I Am Five The Office GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Or there’s always Google, online tutorials and helpful industry blogs – no one ever has to know!

Find A Balance Between Humble And Confident

No one likes a newbie who thinks they know everything from day one, but by the same token, no one will be inspired by a self-deprecating newbie who doesn’t show confidence in their abilities.

Remember you’re there to do a job. If you’re asked to do something and you preface every email with “Oh gosh sorry, I know it’s bad”, it looks unprofessional and makes your co-workers doubt your capabilities (and your ability to receive feedback). Why would you send work that you don’t think is up to standard?

“But I don’t want to look cocky, I’m brand new!”

Your co-workers know you’re new, they’re there to help you. While giving yourself room to learn is essential, it’s just as important to take pride in the work you put out. At the end of the day, the workplace is a collaborative effort and you are just as valuable as everyone else.

If you’re in a brainstorm and you’re asked to give input, don’t shy away and assume your ideas are bad. If you’re asked by a superior for a second opinion on their work, don’t just say it’s good, give an honest perspective.

They hired you for a reason. So, do some damn good work, earn your stripes and show them what you’re made of!

Never Forget The Hustle

A new job feels shiny and fancy at first but can quickly start to feel like… work.

The bleh days will come. Maybe you’ll start romanticising about life before the job, before full-time hours, back at your old gig where you knew what’s what and who your co-workers were. It can feel pretty overwhelming.

When those days come, remember a few key points:

  • The fruits of your labour will pay off. Nothing beats hearing “good job” from a co-worker after working long and hard on a piece of work.
  • Take a step back and remember just how far you’ve come. Where you were 6 months ago? Or even a year ago? Chances are you wouldn’t trade where you are now from where you’ve been.
  • Remember the process you went through to get the job – getting an interview, let alone an offer, can take months. But you did it! You got the job and those days are gone (well done.)
  • A new work place will always feel strange at first but just remember that once upon a time they were all little fish too. Everyone starts somewhere.

A new job is scary stuff but take it from this little mermaid – it only takes some time and effort to make your voice heard and find your feet.


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