Careers advice: Starting a new job

24 April 2023

Konstantina Dee joined WBS in March as our new Alumni Careers Manager. A few weeks into her new role, Konstantina reflects on what it is to start a new job and why it's positive to embrace change for careers success.

Coming into a new role is a big challenge for us, both at a professional and personal level.  It’s a widely used generalisation that people don’t like change but it’s often true.  Starting a new job raises questions like: ‘How will I establish myself in the new role? Am I good enough to do it? How will I fit with the team? What are the expectations of my line manager?’

Now a few weeks into my next ‘new’ job and a few years wiser, here are my thoughts:  

1. Look after your personal wellbeing

Although it’s demanding settling into a new role, it’s important to find time to look after yourself. Take a walk in your lunch break – it’s a great way to explore the surroundings of your new office. Schedule time for activities that bring you joy – your favourite sport or a feel-good film that you haven’t seen for a while.  Spend quality time with your family and friends who are your strongest support during life’s big challenges.

2. Be mindful of your emotions

A new job can put a lot of pressure on your emotions. You might be going through an emotional rollercoaster. One minute you are up and excited about the new opportunities, the next minute you are anxious and worried about your ability to meet others’ expectations. I remember years ago, when I was in the first weeks of a new role, I used to cry in my car on the way to and from work. I was happy with the role and the team but it was my way of relieving the stress of getting used to the new job, colleagues, and environment.  You can use mindfulness, meditation and breathing exercises to help you remain present and calm. Remember feeling ‘new’ in the job is a temporary state.

3. Manage your time

Managing your time is important as you could feel overwhelmed with lots to take in and adapting to the new routine. Careful planning of your time will help you feel more in control in these stressful first days. Set aside time to read strategy documents and guides, and to schedule meetings with key stakeholders at all levels of the organisation. You will soon find that your colleagues want to welcome you and answer your questions.

4. Build relationships

Make sure you spend time getting to know your colleagues as people. Stay open and share your background and previous experience. It’s not only you who is interested in learning more about the team - your colleagues would also like to know more about you. You never know, you might find you have shared similar experiences and you might be able to contribute to additional projects within the team. Starting a job is a great opportunity to build new friendships and connections.  

5. Appreciate the benefits of change

Often the new job will be associated with a career progression that you have sought and it’s worth reminding yourself of the reasons for the change. Ensure a positive mindset and remember that the new role will give you the opportunity to develop not only your career but your skills, like adaptability and resilience to change.  You are likely to be building a portfolio career. The CEO and Founder for ‘Break into Tech’, Jeremy Schifeling comments: “Just because you studied one topic at university does not mean you are fated to work in that field for the next 40 years.”  You will be switching roles, and you could be switching changing industries and even countries. What a wonderful opportunity for new learning and experiences.

6. Stay confident

Although new to the role, your skills and attributes are valued and needed. Remind yourself of your strengths and build on them. Stay confident. Confident people are usually resilient and adaptable, making them creative problem solvers and change makers.

It’s absolutely natural to feel nervous starting a new job, but remember all changes bring new opportunities for learning and development, and for new experiences and friends!

I hope you enjoy your new jobs as I am already loving being part of a great team at WBS! Bon Chance!