I started a new job. It’s really exciting and interesting and the information overload is totally overwhelming. I always feel like this when I start a new job. I remember a few years ago I started working as a Customer Service Representative to cover maternity leave and I started a little bit before the colleague left to have her baby so I could learn the job. I felt exactly the same then but as it turned out I absolutely loved the job in the end. The people I worked with were absolutely amazing, it was such a nice time and one I miss a lot. We were all faced with redundancy which led to me taking a job just to secure income, really disliking it and quitting to work for myself. For the last two and a half years that’s what I’ve done. I’ve worked around family life, Evie starting school, Adam’s night hours and all the other things that come with working at home. At times it’s been wonderful, I’ve been able to be very lazy for example, and at times it’s been horrible because I haven’t been able to pay the bills. Now I’m in a position where I’m effectively working two jobs as well as being a mum and girlfriend. That’s fine, I can handle it but my gosh I am overwhelmed.
I’m overwhelmed because this new job is busy – which is perfect for me. I can’t go into work and just do the same process over and over again. I like a to-do list, an email to work from, new queries to arise and investigate. I like to learn. I can’t handle a job where I’m not learning new things because I get bored quickly. The last few days I’ve spent a couple of hours watching the girls in my new office, learning the jobs, seeing how quickly they can work around the systems that I’m getting familiar too and it excites me because it’s all chop, change, multitask, organise – all the skills I had in that job I really loved so I have a feeling that once the overwhelm has died down a little, I’m really going to love this one too. But with every new job comes new processes to learn, skills to gain, people to get used to talking to, faces and names to remember. I haven’t officially said what I’ll be doing and who I’m working for, obviously, but I can tell you that it involves lots and lots of coffee!
I wanted to share my top tips on how I’m trying to beat new job overwhelm, stay calm, focused and enjoy the ride.
- Listen and take notes – write processes down in a way that you can easily remember. It’s likely you’ll be taught to do things and have someone helping and watching you, however, having something written down in your own language will make it nice and easy to understand when you have to do it alone.
- Play the new person card until you’re confident. Accept that at first, you’re going to need to ask for help. It is absolutely okay to do this.
- New processes take time. There isn’t a lot you can do about this really, a new job, new systems, new people are going to take time to get used to. Learn as much as you can.
- If you’re in a position to delegate, do so.
- Get some early training. I don’t officially start until 13th November because I’m waiting for Adam’s shifts to change at work to cover childcare. I’m really lucky that I have the time spare at the moment during the school day to go in and start learning the job. I’m really glad I’ve got this time to start learning now rather than waiting, being nervous and being even more overwhelmed when I start just before the colleague I’m replacing leaves. I’m hoping by the time I start officially I’ll be confident to answer the phones with quick queries and be able to follow a few set processes to reduce some of the work load.
- Get to know the people in the workplace, ask them questions and listen to their experience. So many people have said to me “You’ll really love it here” which is really nice to hear. It helps ease you into things when you hear other people have enjoyed and are enjoying their job. Being in a positive environment is so good for your mental wellbeing.
- Remember to breathe through it and take five minutes to make a cuppa if you’re feeling like it’s all a bit too much.
- Walk it off. Not always easy to do but a brisk walk after work to clear your mind can do wonders as well as helping to get you moving. I find taking a walk can really help with my anxiety and who knows maybe in time I’ll even start jogging home – unlikely right now, but it’s a future goal!
- Plan your weekends to do something fun. It will give you something to focus on, look forward to and a chance to blow off some steam at the end of the week. If you’re able to, why not consider a swim or workout class after work to do this too?
- Enjoy the new challenge. Whilst it may be really overwhelming at first, you’re there because you found something about the role interesting and worth exploring. It’s time to crack on, learn and love it. Don’t let overwhelm get you down.