There are hundreds, if not thousands of ways to divide human beings. But something that comes up often on this blog, is the difference between introverts and extroverts.
If you’re familiar with the blog, you know that I’m an introvert. That doesn’t mean I don’t like to be around people and sit at home all the time, but it does mean that I need time for myself to recharge after I’ve been around people. In comparison, extroverts recharge by being around people. They thrive when they’re around others.
Because of this, starting a new job is an entirely different experience for introverts and extroverts. As an introvert, it’s something that I’ve struggled with in the past when starting new jobs or when I started college a few years ago. Oh, and I’m going back to school after the summer, so I’ll have to go through that all over again.
But there are a few things that I do to help me get through something that’s so emotionally draining for me. I used to have some unhealthy coping mechanisms, but I’m now in the group of humans (another way to divide us) that believes that coping mechanisms can be healthy. Here’s what I do.
Before you start
Research: And when I say research, I mean research. Of course, you already know a few things about the company because you applied for a job and had a job interview there, but I like to go further. I read everything. I stalk the employees on LinkedIn (I turn off that feature that tells them who’s looking on their profile) and I will read reviews from previous employees. Somehow, this helps me quiet down some of my anxiety.
Take time for yourself in the morning: Get up early. Go for a run. Get coffee at your favorite cafe before you get into the office. Make yourself comfortable. It’s a small act of self-love, but it makes all the difference.
Your first day!
Figure shit out: Okay, let me be a little more clear about that. When I say ‘figure shit out’ what I mean is that you need to figure out what is expected from you as early as possible. Because not everything might be in your job title, or even job description. If you’re hired as an editor but the person who fulfilled this role before you always grabbed coffee for any guests or interviewees that visit the office, maybe the same will be expected from you. Figure it out. Ask questions. It’s cool, you’re the new one, right now you’re still allowed to ask simple things.
Get to know your co-workers: Try to talk to as many of your co-workers as possible. One-on-one conversations are the best. I love getting to know people, but this also helps me to quickly understand the atmosphere of the job, other people’s roles and it helps me to remember names! That’s such a small thing, but remembering people’s names can get you far.
Getting to work
your first team meeting: if you’re lucky, you already met some of your co-workers before your first team meeting. If you’re unlucky, your boss will make you introduce yourself in front of everyone. I hate this part, because it makes me feel uncomfortable as hell. I make sure that I know what I want to say in advance, which really helps! Here are a few key points:
- Say one thing about a previous job
- Say one thing about your hobbies and interests
- What you hope to achieve in your new role and how it will serve this company
Go the extra mile: when you first start out at a new job, going to extra mile makes a big difference. Stay in just a little longer, offer a co-worker to help them out with work. Don’t overdo it, for your own sake, but make sure it gets noticed. You don’t always have to say yes – in fact, I believe that saying no is incredibly important – but try to do just a little bit extra.
Ask for feedback: When you start a new job, you will not be able to get it all right, even if you want it really badly. It’s something you learn as you go, and getting feedback is important. Be careful how you word the question though. Instead of saying ”how am I doing?” ask your supervisor at the end of the day ”Are there any points of improvement you want to let me know about?”
Find a place to get some time alone: As mentioned earlier, introverts need time alone to recharge. So it’s good to figure out a place where you can do that on day one. Don’t be afraid to take five minutes from your break to sit by yourself, completely in peace. In the end, that’s just how us introverts deal with things.