If you’re a believer in the ‘New Year, New You’ way of life, then you may be thinking about a career change in January.
Having just finished a five year stint with an agency, and moved in-house to a pensions firm, here’s a friendly taster of the hilarious* scenarios that could face you in your first few weeks:
You’ll have a fashion calamity
For me, the change from agency wardrobe (skinny jeans, tattoos, ‘about to do some decorating’ up do) to business wear was always going to be a shock. Not that I was the snappiest agency dresser, by any means. But my fear of the corporate fashion police inspired at least three slightly jittery trips to the shops during my notice period. Included in these lunchtime shopping hauls were fine knit cardys, classic shirts and (hold on to your hats) bootcut tailored trousers. BOOTCUT. Remarkably, this purchase isn’t the fashion calamity.
The calamity (and take this as a finger-wagging warning, dear reader) was underestimating the importance of the little button at the top of the trouser side zip. Apparently it does actually serve a purpose, but you don’t always realise it until you’re halfway down Leeds Canal, just breezing past all the windows of Asda House. It stops your trousers falling down as you saunter into work on day three of your new job.
Luckily, it didn’t actually get this far…
But there was a sudden, urgent realisation that things had become VERY LOOSE FITTING. And then a need to do a sort of wide legged swagger, to hold them up with the top of your thighs, while trying to solve the zip situation without catching the attention of the taxi boat crew. I’d say we were five seconds from an awkward pants down situation. True story. Always check the safety button.
You’ll watch your mouth
It’s funny how much your workplace changes the way you talk. And how much it stands out when you move into a new office. On day one of corporate life, I became acutely aware that I kept saying ‘sesh’ and was sailing close to ‘smashing it’. I think I even did a wholly unecessary ‘woop’. There’s really nothing you can do to prevent this, other than being aware of what you’re saying and looking for slightly raised eyebrows when you say it… Also, don’t drop your habits too quickly – maybe they hired you because you are a bit different.
You’ll feel like going back to school
Who doesn’t have their bag packed and ready by 9pm the night before D-day? And who hasn’t set off from home a mere three hours before work starts, just in case there’s a minor prang, the car’s iced up and ooh, the road caves in? I took pens, notepad, porridge oats, and lunch. Y’know, just in case this thriving business has done so well by not having any pens, and in case this office is the actual paperless office of the future… It’s stupid really, because most of us are back to pressing the snooze button and pulling questionable morning outfits together again within two weeks.
You’ll say ‘nice to meet you’ to everyone.. twice
If you never forget a face, lucky you. I’m better at remembering names and what someone posted on Twitter three weeks last Tuesday. So, naturally, I’m no stranger to double introductions and mistaken identities. All you can do here is laugh and cringe inwardly – it happens – but I tend to hold off on enthusiastic introductions once I’ve been there for a week, now, and hope my work does the talking instead.
You’ll lose weight…
…for a week. Do you lose your appetite when you’re stressed, or a little on edge? Me too. For my first week, I thought my metabolism had undergone a miraculous change, and that I’d finally become one of those legendary people just “not that fussed about chocolate”. But by week two, once I’d had some inductions and found my feet, the normal eating had kicked back in.
*Also possibly cringeworthy, soul destroying or sackable
Have you had a new job calamity? Share the shame below!