(Above picture: me trying to be cool)
Is it just me, or is starting a new job kinda feel like being the new kid in school? You don’t know anyone, and you have no idea who you’re going to sit with at lunch. I guess the fear of eating alone is truly ageless.
In the last couple of weeks, I said goodbye to my freelance social media job and hello to the real world in my new full time digital marketing position. Excited and terrified, I was having all different kinds of thoughts before my first day.
What am I gonna wear? How should I do my hair? Will anyone like me?
What if I have no one to sit with at lunch?! I can’t eat in the bathroom!
I was terrified and wished that I was twelve years old instead of twenty-two. To help settle my nerves, I went to shopping with my future paycheck in mind and bought outfits in good faith that they were “business casual” – aka a step up from happy hour ripped denim and a few degrees lower than Hillary Clinton.
On Monday at 6:15 a.m., my alarm clock rang and the only thing I wanted to do was to press snooze until it was next Saturday. But sadly, cocktails can’t get sipped without a 9 to 6 to pay the tab. So I rolled out of bed, too tired to even think of my fears, and got myself ready for my first day. With my new LBD from Sandro and classic Mary Jane’s from Via Spiga, this outfit would put any pantsuit wearer to shame. Confident and one cup of coffee deep, I proceeded to my commute.
On the train in, I looked around and thought how my fellow commuters are like fellow students on the way to school. Everyday it’s the same people on the exact train who sit in the same car, and all with the universal need to get behind our desks before the clocks strikes 9 in our New York City offices. I’m instantly nauseated by thought and just want the train to turn back around and take me home.
As the train pulls into the station, my nerves hit and the coffee has made my mind scattered. I exit the train and am instantly shoved into a mob of walking zombies who are half asleep trying to push and shove their way out of the station. I take a deep breath, put my headphones in and walk up 7th Ave trying to keep a positive attitude. It’s only at this time that I realize wearing a dress during New York City winter without tights isn’t my best idea and everyone probably thinks I’m a hooker. Great, let’s just hope my coworkers don’t.
I finally arrive at my building, get in the elevator and press the 3rd floor. As soon as I step out of the elevator, I’m met with looks of “Who are you? Do you belong here?” I’m not so sure I do either. I am greeted and shown the around by the office manager who much sweeter than my anxieties made her out to be.
Throughout the day I meet people and in the office and everyone was really nice, probably because the new girl is the most exciting thing to happen in the office on a Monday. But either way, I’ll take it. I was too busy with training to even eat lunch, so crisis averted there, and I made a work friend! Yay!
Besides getting over the social awkwardness, let’s talk about training. To me, training feels like when you were out sick for a few days from school and everyone is two chapters ahead of you and your friends have managed to create all new inside jokes that you’re clearly not invited to….awkward and stressful. But instead of catching up on grammar lessons, I was given a crash course in coding – ya know those number and letters combined that design websites? Yea that’s me…
At the end of my first day, I was exhausted, confused, and just wanted to go home. I say goodbye to my supervisor and head out the door. I walk the same route back to Penn Station and find a seat on the crowded train home. As I put my headphones in and close my eyes, I am suddenly reminded that I’ll be doing this all over again for the next God knows how long.
Wish me luck.