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Surviving the Transition from Job Seeker to Employee

by Marguerite Jacobson

It finally happened! After your hard work sending out resumes, networking and interviewing, you’ve landed that job. It’s a time to celebrate and look forward to your next adventure. It’s also a time to prepare yourself for the transition from job seeker to employee. You will need to fit in with a new group of coworkers, adjust to the written (and unwritten) rules of the company, and learn what will be expected of you in your role. This transition can be challenging, but also exciting as it is full of opportunities.

Here are three things that may help ease the transition:

1) You are not alone. Everyone has a “first day” at some point in their lives. Your coworkers know what it is like to be new and understand that you will have a lot of questions, so go ahead and ask. You can also lean on your family and friends who have experienced a new job as they may have some ideas on how they got through it. Staff at local employment resource centres can also offer advice and resources to help smooth the transition.

2) You want this job. You applied for this job at this company for a reason. Remind yourself of the needs and values that this job is going to satisfy for you. It could be that it will help you buy a car and pay the bills, or maybe it will allow you to do work that you love and to feel productive. It is important to keep your reasons in mind so you stay motivated if the first few days are tough.

3) The company wants you. You were hired because the employer sees the qualities, experiences and knowledge needed to be successful. To boost your self-confidence and help you feel better about yourself in your new role, remind yourself of the valuable skills and achievements you have collected throughout your career and life.

Whether it’s your first job or your fifth, it is normal to feel both excited and nervous when starting a new position. If your new adventure seems particularly daunting, remind yourself that your coworkers were new once too, lean on family members and friends for advice, remind yourself why you want the job and reassure yourself that your employer picked you over everyone else for a reason. With each small step and positive experience in your new workplace, those new job nerves will eventually disappear and you will feel right at home.