It was 4:45 p.m. and I was counting down the minutes until I could run to my car to hide.
I’m the new girl at work.
I’ve been the “new girl” my entire life. From high school to high school as a teenager, to going out of state for college, and the most recent start of my new full-time job. I’d be lying if I said that it was easy, despite how easy I make it look. Just like everyone else, I still get nervous, my hands get clammy, and I’m incredibly awkward.
But all I want is to feel like a part of the group.
It’s been about a month or two since I started my new job and sadly, I still haven’t found my mojo. I still feel like an awkward chicken with my new colleagues and feel silly asking so many simple questions. We’re still doing this little dance where we casually talk about surface level things but don’t have the chance to dig deeper. We’re having conversations like,
“Did you see the game last night?”
“Wow, can you believe this weather?!”
“How’s your dog?”
Some would call it small talk, but I think I came in a little overzealous thinking that I’d have a new work BFF within the first 6 weeks. You can’t blame a girl for hoping though right? I just can’t help but want to be a part of the laughs or casual coffee runs.
My new office environment is much different than what I’m used to as well. Honestly, it’s been one of my biggest challenges. I’ve had to kiss the luxury of a speakeasy and casual jeans goodbye and make room in my closet for blazers and fancy new flats. I guess I’m realizing that I don’t really have very business casual threads – shopping anyone?
I can’t forget to mention how deafening the silence is either. The level of focus in our cubicles must be like a laser because its so quiet, I can practically hear myself breathing. Here I am, newbie from an agency where music is always playing, everyone is chatty and loud, to trying to quietly open a bag of potato chips. *Oops. Sorry guys.* And I also need to get to stepping because my lunch has shrunk from a lofty 60 minutes to 30.
Someone hold the elevator!
I also feel incredibly embarrassed and over critical of myself. But here’s the thing: everyone is SO NICE. They are super friendly and sweet so it makes me wonder if maybe something is wrong with me. I’m still trying to get the hang of things around here. I have a million silly questions and am finding my way around. I’ll have a conversation with someone and say in my head,
“Ugh. You should have said this instead”. “Really Paige? Stop shaking.”
Oops, that outfit was too casual. Uh oh, I haven’t figured out just the right time to leave my apartment to make it to the office on time. Let me awkwardly jump into this conversation so I can feel included. I just want to fit in and for my team to like me 😦
I’m just going to have to keep smiling and be patient.
I also had my month one review with my supervisors and got some feedback. All constructive, but I’m doing far from perfect so I have a handful of things I want to work on. This is my shot, and I want to swing for the fences.
I’m going to look back at this moment in a few months and hopefully laugh at how silly this all sounds. But until then, I’m going to keep trying.