Not so long ago, I have reached the end of my probation period. It is common knowledge that starting a new job is a stressful experience, but few actually get to experience it precisely because, whether we admit it or not, we all fear the unknown, and we tend to stay in our comfort zone . That is why it was also so hard for me to make the decision to give up my previous job, and I do not even know which period was the hardest – the period before starting the new job when I did not know what to expect and a thousand scenarios were running through my head, or the first month on the job, passing through all possible states of mind in a single day. In retrospect, however, I realized that it is a very interesting month in terms of feelings, so I decided to keep a diary of most thoughts that crossed my mind, divided by weeks.
You can find the first part of this blog post here.
Week 3 – The Turning Point
Day 0, or Z day
First thing Monday morning, I had the teleconference with the French and my team leader in which I would be introduced to them, and looking in retrospect, I realized that it was a turning point for me. To be honest, I think I was just as curious as them by what was going to come out of my mouth J Before realizing too well what was happening, I was speaking French with them, and I totally relaxed and I started having a little more confidence in myself when their first question after I was introduced was ,,Where did you learn to speak French so well? “. My French teacher would be so proud of me.
I then gradually started chatting with them in writing, and I realized that the French I thought I did not understand in emails and documents were actually job-related notions, which I could not understand beforehand anyway. I relaxed even some more when I noticed that the situations I did not understand were those that questioned also my colleagues who had been here for several years.
As panic starts to fade away, I realize it’s been almost 3 weeks and I do not know anything other than work anymore, I’m too tired to do anything else. I’m starting to wake up from this ,,newcomer frenzy”, and finally I have my first thoughts of returning to my normal schedule.
I haven’t read anything in 3 weeks. NOT. A . SINGLE. ROW. I’ve never done as little sport as now. And I must finish with the excessive stress – eating. Not only will I never manage to lose weight at this rate until my wedding, I will even gain some more. I will be A FAT BRIDE. Oh man, I’ll be a fat bride. Good thing I still have half a year until the wedding!
Week 4 – Settling in
I am slowly but surely starting to become operational and it feels damn good. The panic passed, but was replaced by another type of stress – I have times when I don’t have what to do, because I still depend quite a lot on my colleagues to give me tasks that I can actually do, and to show me the things that I don’t know how to do.
Here I am sitting here, doing nothing again. Should I check my personal mail? What if my colleagues see me ? They will be like ,, Look at that one, wasting time when she hasn’t even passed probation yet!” But I really can’t do anything until they give me something to do. Let’s re-read some emails. One or two clicks later, 5 more minutes have passed. Let’s be proactive … .But I cannot be more proactive than this, I have already asked my colleagues to show me something when they will have the time, or to pass something on to me. I can’t wait to become independent!
But I am starting to be more sure of what I do, I understand more and more clearly what my role entails, and every day I become more independent. But during these days I have 100 questions. Thank God I have two buddies, so I can divide the questions, otherwise I would drive them insane.
I resumed reading.
I started going to the gym again.
I am restarting my Slovak lessons next week, after nearly a year of pause.
I think I will pass trial period after all. I feel happy because I find what I do interesting and I feel like I’m blending in. I am aware that in my home country I would never have all the benefits that I have here, the flexible working time, the home offices… everything. And most important…I haven’t questioned my decision of coming here once since the first day.
A month has passed, I have two more and I will pass probation.
3 months later, I am tempted to say that my probation period had a happy ending, since, well, I passed it, didn’t I? But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have at least one moment each day when I ask myself ,,What is this??”, ,,And now what?” . But it’s a sign that I’m still learning and growing, which keeps things interesting and can only make me happy. On to the next challenge!