I’VE LANDED A NEW JOB.
The time has come for me to move onto pastures new and inch closer up the professional ladder to Miranda Priestly-esque heights. This transition is not a decision I’ve taken lightly, and although itching to get stuck in at the new job (8th of February kids! Snazzy new planner AND notebook have been ordered), moving from a dinky organisation to a rather huge one doesn’t come without its reservations.
Here’s my 10 concerns about moving to a larger company in no particular order :
Big fan of near silence. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for the odd bit of #officebanter and bonding with colleagues by discussing our latest Netflix binges. I just know I perform better when I don’t have a lot of disruptions around me, where I can settle down with some music or a podcast and tackle my to-do list in peace. I walked through where I will be working when I went for my interviews and the area was buzzing with chatter, loud laughing and the shrill “brrrrrrrriiinnggggs” of office equipment….
…..Yeah, that’s going to be a touch tricky to adapt to.
Well, not strictly true. One of the reasons I’m leaving my job is so I get the chance to work with a bigger mix of people, so I can learn from those with more experience and grow professionally and blah blah blah. I’m currently rolling 5 colleagues deep on a busy day and I’ve always been used to small-capacity institutions (e.g. school & uni).
My new home spans 5 floors, each holding roughly 50 or 60 bodies. This terrifies and excites me, but mostly terrifies as I worry that I’ll feel claustrophobic with the sheer volume of people who will now be part of my regular working day. I have visions of being squished onto a computer bench like a keyboard tapping sardine. Obviously there’s the likelihood that the set up allows for way more personal space than the cramped conditions I’m conjuring up in my neurotic imagination.
3/ I won’t make friends
I come off quite quiet around people I’m not used to, and sometimes if I’m really nervous, a bit rude. I can be abrupt in shutting down conversations because I am near wetting myself from worry that I’ll say the wrong thing, or if they think my sense of humour is weird, or I speak too posh. So as a defence mechanism against those thoughts I become robotic with monosyllabic flat answers.
Not the best way to convince prospective chums I’m worth investing time in as a human companion. Could try buying friendships with sweets?
4/ Pressure of being in a team
I work very much on my own 90% of the time where I am now. It has had its pros and cons, I like the autonomy a one-gal band gives me, but I desperately miss the camaraderie of a team who’s all on the same page. The type of working gang who understands the time it takes to put something successful together, who is there for each other when it comes to bouncing around ideas and who’s got your back when it comes to wading through a sticky patch.
That being said, there’s always the possibility of being the weakest member of the pack. What if I fuck up? What if I let someone down really badly and cause untold losses to my new company? At least when I fudge it now any mistakes are minor in comparison.
5/ The new girl
To me holding the temporary title “new girl” means being stared at. Talked about. Scrutinised. Every move closely watched and monitored for an undefined period of time until the next person gets hired. My new office is laid out in a massive open plan L shape, so you get a pretty good view of everyone on the floor at any given time. And being the “new girl”, you’re a novelty aren’t you? Like an exotic bird that’s just flown into the pigeon coop, you’re somebody fresh to look at and interact with. Naturally people are curious about “the new girl” and like to ask get-to-know-you-type questions (please refer to point 3). Needless to say, I’m most likely overestimating this self-perceived interesting “new girl” status and everyone will probably be utterly indifferent and unbothered towards me.
In which case I shall be equal parts thankful and miffed.
I worry that I’m actually a huge bullshitter that’s managed to convince herself that she’s something that she’s not. And that her new colleagues will eventually twig she’s not the real deal and shout at her to get the hell out for wasting every bodies time.
7/ Where do I eat lunch??
Having mental flashes of Lindsay Lohan’s character from Mean Girls tragically eating her sarnies in a toilet cubicle because no one wants to sit with her. This I fear, will be me. There’s a smidgen of hope though on this front, I’m a die-hard packed-luncher so could get away with munching at my desk without much fuss. Just means I’ll be thrown in sooner than planned to the deep end when it comes to navigating staff kitchen (and thus the fridge for my yoghurt) politics.
The town where I live only has a handful of roads that lead in and out, which creates a bottle neck flow of traffic at rush hour and becomes even more of royal fucking nuisance when temporary lights pop up as frequently as they do. I always push to get out the door slightly before 8am, but even then I can end up bursting into work 20 minutes late (I start at 9am and without traffic the journey only takes me 25ish mins) because of the build up. I’m lucky that the workplace I’m leaving are understanding and not concerned if I make the time up somewhere else during my day.
With this job, I worry that the same flexibility won’t be offered as I seem to judge big companies as heartless corporate machines who have no comprehension that everyday life comes with occasional hiccups, even if you do leave home in well over double the normal travel time to allow room for peak congestion! *Yes, I’m fully aware of how daft I’m sounding.*
Carrying on with my ignorant and warped view of larger companies who only care about the fat cats at the top, I’m predicting that I’ll be so wrapped up in trying to understand unnecessarily complicated working processes that the excitement I have for this new job will be brutally sucked out.
“Now before you can ping an email to Department XYZ, you need to fill out these communication request forms, get them signed off by your manager’s manger’s manager, then submit a draft of said email for review to the board of directors, rewrite your original draft, then get that signed off by Sheila in HR, attend a digital information workshop, sell your soul to the bureaucratic devil and then just hit send. Did ‘ya follow that?”
10/ I’m wearing the wrong thing
My favourite working uniform is a jumper / jeans / boots combo. So far, so good right? Sounds rather normal and nice and office appropriate. However the style in which I rock my everyday clothes is crossed between a scruff pot and a tramp. My jeans are 2 sizes too big, my jumpers are usually my granddad’s cast offs, my boots come by way of my younger sister’s wardrobe and I tend to sport a half-matted ponytail with a mostly bare face (pretty much carrying out Macklemore’s Thrift Shop song IRL). Obviously, when I’m interacting with the world on more formal occasions (dates, birthdays, girls nights out) I make a happy effort to brush my hair and put on make up whilst wearing items that actually fit me.
Scouting the outfits of the lovely ladies who interviewed me for this position, they firmly fall into the smart-casual category. So I’m defiantly going to have to start making an effort planning ensembles the night before, retiring granddad’s Cottontraders finest to the slobby sweats pile, whilst sacrificing an 10 extra minutes in bed each morning to roller on some slap and drag a comb through my knotty locks.
I know I’ve got to chill my beans about what is very stupid stuff to get worked up over. But maybe now that I’ve identified my new job niggles I’ll be better prepared to manage the first few days and not get my knickers in such a twist. Scanning over this list now it seems like I shouldn’t be making a jump to a large corporation, rest assure though, I’m practically giddy with excitement at starting my new role and the preceding dark thoughts only plague my mind when I aggressively over think this next step in my career. Wish me luck!
Am I alone in my highly strung new job fears? Do you have a crazy job-related worry?