New. Is. Always. Better.

I start a new job next week. I’m really excited, except now I’m also terrified. Success is really, really scary. I don’t even consider this success. But for two years, I have been hoping that somebody, anybody, would take a chance on me and think I am worthy of full-time, salaried work. And now that somebody does, I’m freaking out.

The emails have already started to come in. "V., we have signed you up for this training." "V., you will be attending this meeting and you have to present on the program. Just introduce yourself, because you’ll only have been working for us for a week." I’m really excited about all of this. There is a lot to learn, and I feel the need to prove myself and hit the ground running.

But what if I fall down? What if I’m not good at this job? What if it isn’t everything I think it will be? What if it’s too hard and I never have any free time and I become one of those people who is too busy to exercise, eat right, read for pleasure, or have any kind of fun whatsoever?

I do not want all of you to reassure me that I’ll be great. Instead, I want you to overwhelm me with stories about dumb things you have done when you started a new job, or little tips or techniques that you have for staying organized, staying on task, being punctual, being positive and upbeat, or anything else you think might help me. I will be essentially the master of my domain, running my own office space, and I need to know how best to manage and track my time, how to organize files, and how to make sure I’m on top of my caseload and nothing slips through the cracks – so lay it on me, fellow employed people!



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7 responses to “New. Is. Always. Better.

  1. I don’t know if you’re using something already, but I’d /highly/ recommend something to manage TODO items. I use Remember The Milk ( but there are lots of options. The important part is having one place where everything you need to do goes. That way you can be sure that you aren’t forgetting anything, and you don’t have to constantly worry “is there something else I need to do?”

    I think that you’re in a reasonable head space right now; you know that you’re going to screw things up. I’ve screwed up all kinds of things. It happens to everyone. The important part is to learn from the mistakes so that you can be better the next time.

  2. Lethe

    Congratulations!! This is exactly how I felt when I ended my own extended unemployment stint and started my current legal job. I second RTM, above; some others in my firm use Google Calendar. I prefer RTM because sometimes I don’t want to choose a due date yet for a task, but I don’t want to forget about it completely. Both programs can email you reminders for appointments or critical deadlines.

    I also use a really great freeware time-tracker called Klok. You can create a label for each case, then track time spent working on each one by dragging whatever you’re working on into a box. Ok, that’ll make more sense if you actually try it out.

    Also, exercise = sanity…no matter what else you sacrifice during the adjustment period, don’t make it that! Good luck!

  3. Find a way to organize your tasks that makes sense for you. I use Google tasks because I use Google calendar for work so I can see it all at once, but I’ve also used RTM in the past and it’s good. Whenever I get a request from someone, I try to add it to my tasks right away or I risk forgetting about it. But I’d give it a little bit of time before you get yourself stuck in one system for organizing your files (both virtual and physical). Wait to see what kinds of information you need to organize and try out a few different methods to find out what works for you. And do whatever you can to avoid office drama and gossip at the beginning–every office has it, but it’s better to stay above it at the beginning.

    As for staying on task, the best advice I have is to stay off social networks. Taking a 5-minute break to check what’s up can easily lead to getting sucked into a conversation and checking back every few minutes.

  4. Ooh, yay! I’m so excited for you, lady! I don’t have any good tips for you, because I’m bad at being on time, and staying on task, and making friends with coworkers. BUT. I have a solid plan for you. I think you should watch (rewatch, probably) the movie Office Space and then just choose a different character to act like each day. Solid, I’m telling you. Solid.


  5. But then, of course, the next blog post I read in my reader is this one. I think you should read it and do these things. They seem like great ideas!

  6. Google Tasks. It’s so simple, but I love it. I can keep a list of all the things I need to do by categories and priority. This way, if something not-so-important slips by while incredibly-important stuff is going on, it’s still on my Tasks list and I will be reminded to get it done at some point.

  7. Pingback: Big Changes | Vado Porro - Go Further

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