Starting a new job is difficult. You have to balance new responsibilities with the struggle of learning a new workplace culture, new co-workers and a new location.
For me, starting my new job has been amplified by starting a new career.
After years of working in athletic media relations, I now work in marketing for an independent school for grades 6-12 and am essentially in charge of new media. The main body of my work comes in video form, whether that’s creating welcome videos for admissions, shooting, producing and editing a monthly video recapping what’s going on in the performing arts department, or conducting a quick interview with the head of school in support of a fundraiser.
One aspect of my transition that’s been made easier is that I’ve become somewhat of a liaison to the athletic department. I edit and publish a weekly newsletter for the athletics department, I created all of the summer camp fliers and, because I was a softball SID, attend every home softball game, where I keep the book and run the scoreboard. I joke with friends that I’ve become a makeshift high school SID. I may have left the profession, but I don’t think I could ever leave athletics entirely.
Five months into my new job, I absolutely love it and wake up every day excited to go to work. But it certainly hasn’t been without its foibles.
I work with mostly women, which is a first in my professional career. I’ve had to learn about the school’s culture, its history and the different idiosyncrasies of working in a school environment. I’ve also had to adjust to a slower pace, simply because as someone who used to work 60-70 hours a week, I didn’t know how to slow down and prioritize. In college athletics, it can seem like everything is an emergency and needs to get done as soon as possible. In my new position, I’ve been forced to sit down and say, “okay, what absolutely needs to get done today?”
Working with women has also been a huge change for me. As a woman in a male-dominated field, I grew used to figuring it out on my own so as to not seem needy or incompetent. Now, I am happy to ask my boss, a woman, and the other women in my department, for help on any number of topics. The collaboration in our department is wonderful, and I’ve come to appreciate how much creativity can be born from working together. Also, while in the midst of wedding planning, leaning on women who have done it before me for support and ideas has been huge.
My advice to anyone in their first few months on the job? Be patient. Know and accept the fact that you may not get it all correct in your first few months on the job. Cut yourself some slack; you’re learning! Also, remember that your coworkers have all stood where you’re standing now. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek out assistance. Chances are, they’ll be happy to help. Good luck!