5 Frustrations That Come With Starting a New Job

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“I’ll be honest, I have struggled with getting to grips with the adult working world and have faced many challenges in just a few short months.”

Words by Amy Gibson

Image by Felicity Ingram

Having recently just graduated from university, I have had to throw myself into the world of full-time work. If you are like me, you’ll have found this period of your life extremely frustrating. To start with, it took me far longer than I expected to get a job. Retail shops and cafés did not want to hire me because they knew a new graduate in English would not stay around long, and jobs that did require a degree told me I was not experienced enough (although it’s impossible to get experience if you don’t get an opportunity in the first place- but that’s an article for another day). I finally found a job after trawling through thousands of advertisements, I interviewed the same day they called me, and was offered the job the following week. I have worked before in between stints at university and college but this is my first full-time position for a successful business. I’ll be honest, I have struggled with getting to grips with the adult working world and have faced many challenges in just a few short months. I thought it may be helpful to list just a few of the difficulties that I have found with starting a new job in the hope that it can make others feel like they are not alone in their frustrations.


Building New Relationships

An inevitable eventuality when starting a new job is having to socialise in a different circle of people. The only way to enjoy work is to build good relationships with your co-workers. If you’re going to have to work, you need to enjoy your company and (particularly in your first few weeks) it can really help to have a colleague on side. I am not saying that you should be friends with everyone, we all know that is not always possible, but building good relationships can really help the days drag less.

It’s strange because you find yourself thrust into a world where everyone already knows each other and you have to find a way to establish yourself, but there will always be someone that you will get along with and soon you will be tagging them in all the work memes you can find.


Establishing Your Place in a Community

It’s like the first day of school all over again, except everyone there has already known each other for years and somehow you have to work your way into that. You have to try and establish yourself as a new character in a scene that has been around long before you, you have to find your place in an environment that hasn’t needed you before, and establish the sort of worker you want people to recognise you as. For me, as a new graduate, I have found it difficult at times to stomach the ‘office junior’ title that is handed to you on your first day. I would be lying if I hadn’t wondered sometimes why I had spent three years at university just to do relentless trips to the post office and piles of filing. So I have had to push myself to take on more responsibility and establish myself as more than just the ‘newbie’ at work.

It’s like the first day of school all over again, except everyone there has already known each other for years and somehow you have to work your way into that.

Tackling the Feeling of Helplessness

When starting a new job, you’re always going to be a little bit useless a first. If I had a pound for every piece of paper I filed in my first month then I would have enough money to never have to work a day in my life again. You’re never trusted with much at first, and understandably so, because in any job it will take some time to learn the ropes. It can be extremely frustrating when you know your own capabilities, but feel as though you are not being given a chance to prove yourself. It’s irritating, but you just have to sit tight and trust that at some point you will be able to take on just as much responsibility as your co-workers.


Learning the Clientele

In most client or customer facing jobs, there will be regular clients that you have to get to grips with. It’s always difficult at first because these clients will have known the business far longer than yourself, and can often act quite put out when you treat them as you would any other ‘regular’ customer. Many regular customers can feel quite entitled if they have been a loyal client to a business, and trying to find the right balance of treating them with the respect they expect, whilst still trying to follow the protocol that you have been taught, can be tough.

Compromising Your Daily Life

Perhaps the most difficult change is the compromise of your life as you know it. Suddenly, there is a new priority that needs to be factored in to any of your plan-making and some of the freedom you once had has to be sacrificed.

As someone who takes part in several recreational activities, trying to find a job that would suit my requirements perfectly was impossible. The job I am in now has caused me to greatly compromise my sport commitments because I can no longer offer the same availability for these things as I did before. I can’t just agree to making plans with someone without checking my rota or making special shift requests and this is something that I am having to get to grips with. Of course, one massive pro is that working makes me money, and then when I am off work, I can enjoy it with the increased freedom that a regular income has given me.