Stages of a New Job

These last 3 weeks have been a whirlwind!  My husband and I returned home from our amazing vacation to Hungary and Croatia, and the very next day I started my new job as the K-12 Coordinator of Professional Learning for my school district. And I forgot what it feels like to start a new position!  Some of the thoughts and feelings I’ve been experiencing, in no particular order:

It’s exhausting.  I. Am. So. Tired.  All of the time!  Even the first few days, or weeks, where I didn’t have a ton of “work” to do during the day, and could arrive by 8:00 and leave at 4:30.  I come home and absolutely crash!  I’m trying to get ahead on the cleaning and meal planning on the weekends, because goodness knows if I leave it to a weeknight, it will not get done.  I sit on the couch and watch the Olympics before falling asleep at embarrassingly early times.  When will this stage pass??

I feel stupid most of the time.  I know I’m not stupid.  I know nobody in my office thinks I’m stupid.  But when I’m sorting through my emails, and can’t answer a single question being asked of me–I feel stupid.  I’m tired of having to take every little thing to someone else to learn the answer; I worry that they’ll get tired of my constant questions.  I guess this is probably a normal stage, and I’m sure I went through it the last time I started a new position.  But I’m ready to move on to the stage where I know everything all the time.

And related to the above, Who was crazy enough to think I was qualified for this?  Total imposter syndrome, as I sit in my office, with my big desk and two (!) windows.  I’d better figure this all out before they catch on to me!

office

My office, with flowers from my parents.  Heart them. 

People are wonderful.  This one is specific to this particular job, perhaps.  The colleagues I’ve inherited with this position are the nicest, most thoughtful, easygoing people you could ever hope to work with.  As I am desperately trying to show them I can do this job, they are working hard to make sure I feel supported and happy in my new work home.  They genuinely want me to succeed and love this work–which is about the most wonderful thing in the world.  When I go into my spirals of worry over not being good enough, not learning fast enough, I know that I am the only person putting these expectations on myself.  I am really lucky to have such amazing colleagues!  And I suppose this category can include my husband and family and friends–a lot of people are really happy for me, and proud of me, and that knowledge truly just fills my heart and I am so grateful.

There’s a lot of joy in the little victories.  When you know nothing, and feel stupid all the time, the little wins feel huge!  I think of those authentic joyful reactions of students when they finally get something, or solve a puzzle, and I recognize that feeling in my own work these days.  I just set up a new page on the website, and it works!  I can answer a question without having to check with someone else!  I facilitated a meeting and we got stuff done!

What did I miss, in the stages of a new job?  Have you encountered these feelings?  Please share!

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About Teacher Cait

Massachusetts educator, learner, committed to finding joy every day. @CaitAhern
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