Anytime you start a new job there is a transition period. On your first day it is expected you will be clueless. You will ask a lot of questions, and if it is a big office, you could even get lost. In the clueless stage you can answer questions with “I am not sure, I am new here so let me ask someone”. Being new helps people forgive you for messing up and being completely confused.
Now our office isn’t big enough for me to get lost in, but I definitely had the clueless part covered in my first month here. Sometimes I still feel like I’m in the clueless stage.
The first time I was in the office by myself I remember praying the phone wouldn’t ring and no one would walk-in so I didn’t have to awkwardly scramble around to find an answer to a question. In my job at the chamber there are so many different resources, and names to put with faces. It took me a couple weeks, and going to different events to really get in the loop.
But when do you go from the new girl to the normal employee?
I have learned that in some ways you are always the new girl. There is never going to be a time where you know the answer to everything, but you can try to figure it out. The first few weeks when I was learning and answering questions, if I didn’t know the answer I would immediately ask. I was nervous to point someone in the wrong direction or not have the information they were looking for.
There was one day when I put someone on hold and asked Meghan the answer. Meghan, unsure herself rolled over to her computer and immediately just started typing in to google. That is when it clicked for me. I realized even when I ask her the answer she may not know, but she always figures it out. I was so mad at myself for a second because I was the person I can’t stand; that doesn’t try to figure anything out for themselves.
This is when I decided I couldn’t be the new girl forever. I gained confidence in myself and my ability to use the resources available to me to answer questions, even if I didn’t have a concrete answer I could point them in the right direction.
I have also learned that the more I try to figure out on my own, the more I end up learning (Duh Shelby! I think my parents are pointing at me right now saying I told you so). I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone of not knowing something to learning and researching on my own. The timid new girl who was afraid of messing up is being replaced by confidence.
“Confidence is like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets” – Unknown