The introverted athlete’s guide to starting a new job

Most people wouldn’t realise that I am an introvert.  I can be friendly and outgoing in known situations, or even to make others feel more comfortable – but get me in a big group or around alpha’s and I’m either anxious or fading into the background.

Having recently moved to another city for life and work I realized that I am again faced with the challenge of starting a new job and with it a new routine and unknown office situations.

Some people can burst into a new workplace and ask straight out “where is the coffee machine, fridge, shower and bike storage?” as they pull out their breakfast and ask, “also the microwave?”.  I am not one of those people.  I need to get a feel for the workplace dynamics before cementing in my routine and eating habits.

As I sit here as a ball of anxiety, I thought I would share what I am doing to make the transition much easier.

  • Mealplan: overnight oats that can be eaten at the gym.  Salad so I can eat outside at lunch, I get awkward eating in tea rooms straight away.  Snacks are nuts and protein bars, not my normal preference but I’m thinking of things with no scent, no noisy crunching and filling.
  • Train in the morning: this is my ideal time anyway, but the first few weeks at a new job are exhausting as you learn the company’s systems and procedures. Wait until after work and it probably wont happen.
  • Organise yourself: Iron clothes, meal prep, pack training gear the day before the first day. I’d be a mess if I didn’t do this, it settles my anxiety knowing everything is ready.
    I have been known to leave out my coffee cup & pods in preparation for the morning.
  • Google maps: work out your route and time to get to work and leave a little earlier. I never want to be too early because 9 times out of 10 the workplace isn’t ready for you, but I definitely don’t want to be late.  Check google again in the morning to see live traffic.
    I also like to Google map the area if I don’t know it well, being gluten intolerant I like to know what shops are around and parks to eat at.
    Gyms and running spots were also my priority to look up.
  • Car arrangements: There’s no doubt that I’m driving on the first day. I like to fill fuel tank up, pump tyres, clean out the inside and wash.  This may be OTT for most, but it makes me feel READY.
  • Notepad & pen: I take my own. It was mentioned in my interview how great it was that I had my notebook with written prompts. My notebook lives with me in those first few weeks.
  • Grooming: There’s not always time to do everything, but it is worth the effort. First impressions count.

It took me months in my previous job to be comfortable as myself, but once I was, I busted out the noisy rice cakes, apples, riding to work and lunch at my desk.  They didn’t even know that I was a triathlete for some time!

I hope some of these tips can help you calm the nerves before the big FIRST DAY!

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