Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Embracing the Honeymoon

Ahh, being new.

Starting a new job is like the first day of middle school all over again - you have the perfect outfit picked out, you look around shyly, not quite sure of what to do or where things are, and you feel self conscious carrying your lunch tray across the cafeteria, frightened that you'll trip on the heels that go with said perfect outfit.

This held true for my first day at the new job yesterday - I really did get to carry a tray (my work has two on-site cafes....ummm, yeah, it's pretty freakin' sweet). I met tons of new folks, heard all kinds of new acronyms that I couldn't keep straight and had one heck of time learning how to do simple things like printing and finding the bathroom. My new work is huge, so it is going to take a lot of time for me to get used to it. I went from working at a 6-person agency to working for a 16-person agency to now being on a campus that houses thousands of employees. Intimidating? Yes. Exciting? Absolutely. There's nothing like a new chapter.

While newness is exciting - new co-workers, fresh start on projects, new office supplies, a change in routine - I find myself anxious to get through these next 6-12 months. I'd love to skip over all of the awkwardness, mistakes, blanking on names and cluelessness that comes with being new. I can't wait until I'm an expert, when I know the business and have a clear vision of what I'm doing.

This is similar to how I viewed my budding relationship with Ty. See, most people are all about the honeymoon phase. It's that time when everything is seemingly perfect, and you're so thrilled to keep learning new things about the other person. Don't get me wrong, the new part of my relationship with Ty was wonderful, but I remember thinking, "I can't wait until we've been together 1, 2, 5 years." Because that's where the realness is - you're relaxed, you've (hopefully) worked out most of the kinks and you don't feel so vulnerable like everything will go away at the drop of a hat. It's stability. It's comfortable.

So in that same way, I can't wait to be at ease at the new job. I like feeling like I know what I'm doing, rather than this strange floating-around-the-universe-aimlessly feeling I have when I begin something new. Thankfully, I'm working for a company that supports that gradual process - that first year of growing pains before you truly start working.

So until that mark when I finally feel comfortable, I guess I'll have to basque in the newness and honeymoon phase of the job. On the bright side - being a newbie means you get to screw up and not feel (as) guilty!

On a side note: the usual first-week-on-the-job awkwardness got kicked up a notch today when I was part of a meeting with - guess who? - my old co-workers. There's no feeling quite like the one when you introduce yourself with something like, "I'm Tracy. This is my second day. Previously I was with you guys. One week ago." Particularly when this past employer is feeling a bit bruised about your recent jumping ship. Oy.

Two days down. 178 to go.

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