How to Start a New Job

1. Don't worry about being super friendly to everyone you work with. In fact, don't really worry about how you appear to them at all. You already got the job. You don't have to impress them with how clever you are; you just have to show them your work ethic. Nothing is more transparent than a fake smile.

2. Ask the dumb questions. They are totally legitimate, as long as you acknowledge that they're dumb. Chances are, the response will be, 'that's not a dumb question at all.'

3. Withhold judgment. Because your judgment will change.

4. Now is not the time to act like you know how things work when you don't. You're new. A greater degree of ignorance is assumed at this point. A greater degree of humility is strongly suggested.

5. That being said, be confident in what you do know. You don't have to tell people you've got experience. Just do what you can, and your experience will speak for itself.

6. Do your best, your very best, not to constantly refer to your previous job. 'Well, at my last store....' is the most isolating phrase you can spout. There will be valuable skills, methods, practices, and experiences that you can transpose from the last place to this, but generally, in conversation, try to limit your references. I mean, it's one thing if you find out your previous boss just got fired. That might be worthy of a comment. But if you're just observing that your new boss has a different policy on office privacy than your old boss... do. not. mention. it.

7. Remember what you did well. Keep doing it.

8. Sometimes spend your down time getting to know your new coworkers. Sometimes let yourself disappear.

9. Indulge in extra coffee goodies on your breaks. You're new. You need special sustenance.

10. Don't carry the job home. There will be time enough for that later. For now, when you clock out, leave it all behind you. This is easier said than done, but really. Go bowling if you have to. Visit the elderly. Join a club. Start an independent publishing company. You can spend fifteen to twenty minutes discussing work with friends or family, but then move on. Your brain needs a diversion. So does your heart.


  1. There's an old-folks home just down the street from your house if you need a diversion.
    OR we could do bowling. Horribly, and in those nasty shoes.

  2. Sounds like a plan... or not. :)

  3. I'm trying to remember the last bowling outing I had with you... I feel like you stayed in the background guarding the pizza and beer for us...

  4. Beer must be guarded. Make no mistake.


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