Being the new kid on the block

by Jan 24, 2020

Do you remember your first day at school? Not knowing anyone in your class or where to go, and asking yourself who to sit with when taking that awkward first look at the classroom, scanning the room for a vacant chair? This is the exact moment that you find yourself in now- unfamiliar territory.

Now that you’re older, You have just landed a new gig and you now find yourself going through the motions as you once did entering the classroom for the first time. You are again the ‘new kid on the block’, when you’re joining a new organisation or team. It can be a very challenging and anxious time, and not just because you have a brand new job to do! You may find that you will make a few mistakes as you learn the ropes. These may be simple mistakes such as your computer not logging you , or (like I still do) getting lost on your way to a meeting and end up 10 minutes late. Some of your new co-workers might be hard to read, you’re trying to work out who’s who. It’s completely natural to feel overwhelmed and anxious going into a new job, as there are many things you need to learn.

A word of advice: be very patient and kind to yourself – you need to allow yourself to crawl, before you walk. Going into a new environment, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions for further clarity when you need it. No one expects you to be a pro when you are new to a job, but at the same time show initiative by doing your own research take the time to learn about your position, team and business.

Personal branding

How people perceive you (aka personal branding) goes beyond the just the dress code, and I have always found this a critical element to forming connections in a new place.  

I have a mentor and am always fascinated by her dress sense, the way she communicates with others, tone of voice, facial expressions, and posture. Plus, I try to always be mindful of my surroundings and audience, and people always comment on my energy and empathetic qualities. First impressions count and people will always remember not what you said, but how you made them feel! 

Building relationships

 When you’re new, it’s important to get to know your colleagues and team. Building quality, professional and genuinely authentic relationships is important. Go for lunch or coffee, be open, social, and approachable and listen. Take ownership and follow up if you promise to do something, then make sure you do it! This also builds trust and credibility you want to be respected and a trusted advisor

One thing I really value, especially in my role now, is time and people respecting my time. If you have a meeting or call, be on time (which means 5 minutes early). It shows you take your position seriously, respect the other person and shows a lot about your character, especially when you’re new and people don’t know you.

Work hard, Play Hard!

young man in yellow tshirt and jeans on monkey bars in playground

 Structuring the day

This is something I have had to really work out especially in my current role as no 2 days are the same. It’s difficult, but you need to develop a way in which you can stay on top of your workload and deadlines in an ever changing, fast paced work environment.  When you’re learning your role things can take more time as you begin to navigate your way through. One technique I have come to love is a To-Do list, with items broken down across 3 categories:

  • Critical
  • Important
  • Would be nice

This is something I write every single day and cross each item of my list as I achieve the task at hand. I also use my Outlook calendar for meetings and time blocking (I even schedule my lunch break).

Experience has taught me that if you fail to prepare, then be prepared to fail. By having a clear idea of what tasks and responsibilities you need to complete each day, it’s easier to navigate your way through any unexpected urgent pressures, meet your roles expectations and recognise when you need to put your hand up and ask for help.

 Be open

There is an honesty that comes with an open mind and admitting that you aren’t all-knowing. 

Your mindset is the most powerful tool here, so be open and receptive to asking your colleagues for help and guidance on the company software, team comms, or even on how to write a post for the UTS Careers Blog – whatever tasks that come up that you are unfamiliar with. Practice makes perfect.

Ask to take the weekly team minutes, sit with a team member when you complete your first monthly report. You are in the driver’s seat of your career and only YOU ultimately dictate how successful you’ll be in the job. Recognising that each new role brings its own challenges and being open and willing to learn new things is a great mindset for life.


Be yourself! You were hired for a reason, so smile, relax a little and enjoy the journey and opportunities that come your way.

Get up, dress up, show up and never give up! And before you know it, just like One Direction you won’t be the new kid on the block for long.

boy band one direction

Featured image courtesy of Unsplash

Justin Ryan

Justin Ryan

Recruitment Coordinator

Justin is the Recruitment Coordinator for the Business Development Team within the UTS Careers unit. His talent acquisition experience varies widely across all industries including retail, design, finance, education and business development. He is people-focused and driven to help students find their purpose, power and passion!