As a soon-to-be college graduate, I am also soon-to-be entering the workforce (hopefully). Starting a new job is like your first day of school: You are nervous and often have no idea where the bathroom is. However, unlike school, you get paid for this anxiety, so it isn’t all bad! Here are the 10 scariest things about starting a new job.
10. Being late on your first day
You leave 40 minutes early and then you discover they’re constructing another bridge on the 405. But you’re prepared for this, you exit the freeway and start to take side streets. Unfortunately, you are hitting every single red light and now you’re paranoid that you’re in a Truman Show situation and that someone is engineering your drive to work in order to get higher ratings. You make it to work with five minutes to spare, which is good because you have to reapply the deodorant that you sweated through and fix the hair that you were busy pulling out.
9. Figuring out how to work the espresso machine
In any office, coffee is sacred. It is the lifeblood of the workplace, oil to the cogs of ingenuity and creativity, effectively making it so you don’t pass out on top of your keyboard. Each office usually has its espresso machine of choice, and usually they are all pretty terrifying.
8. Deciding where to eat lunch
When you’re placed within a new office environment, you’re nervous about a lot of things, but probably your biggest fear is finding a good place to eat. You could have packed your own lunch, but who are you? Julia Child? Your lack of culinary prowess sends you onto the new and uncertain streets, scavenging for a place to find food. Just when your stomach feels like it is about to drop the mic and walk away, you find a Chipotle and all is right in the world.
7. Deciding who to eat lunch with
You read somewhere that eating lunch at your desk is probably gonna kill you, so you decide to eat outside and enjoy the sun. You go outside and all the tables on the patio are full, what do you do? You tentatively approach the nearest table and all of its members look up at you, expecting you to speak words. The anticipation gets to you and you freeze, but they continue to stare on. In a moment of sheer panic, you wordlessly hold out the three cookies that you got with your Subway sandwich. They take the offering and you have new best friends.
6. Locating the bathroom
Your boss couldn’t give you the office tour because he was going to be late to a meeting so you just sat down and started working. About two hours in you realize that a venti iced coffee may have been overkill. You get up to go to the bathroom but you have no idea where it is. You want to ask your neighbor but you have barely even talked yet and you don’t want your first impression to involve your bladder. Instead, you decide to wander the office aimlessly until you find it.
5. Overdressing for the office
Picking out a first-day outfit can be pretty difficult. You want to hit the ideal mix of casual, fashionable and professional. What happens is you land somewhere in the realm of over-dressed, slightly-outdated and visibly uncomfortable.
4. Remembering your colleagues’ names
“Hey Steve! I mean Stan. And by Stan I obviously mean Mark. Mark, which is not your name because it is Greg, who is not you because Greg works in accounting and you work in HR and are called James. But you think James is too formal so you go by Jim. Jimmy? Johnny? Paul? Karen?… I’ll just leave now.”
3. Being On the Outside of All the Office Inside Jokes
You are so funny. Now, if only all of these strangers knew it.
2. Being introduced at your first office meeting
Your boss calls you out and takes you to the front of the room and asks you to introduce yourself. At that exact moment, the funny anecdote you prepared in your bathroom mirror disappears and your past becomes a blur. At this point, you just start stating random facts about yourself, including your shoe size and who you took to senior prom.
1. Figuring out the xerox machine
Xerox machines separate the boys from the men and the girls from the ladies. They are technologically engineered to make 30 prints a minute and make you want to bang your head against the wall while figuring out how to do it.
If you are scared about starting a new job, don’t worry! It is a statistical fact that everyone in your office was new at one point and went through all the same mind-numbing anxiety that you are going through today.