It has been 7 years since I started a new job and 3 months since I last worked full-time so I guess it was no surprise that finally starting in my new role at Havas Media on Monday was slightly disorientating.
The countdown had begun weeks before with the desperate attempt to keep ‘up to speed’ by challenging myself to start this blog, the well-meaning and helpful emails from the Havas HR team, the necessary updating of my online profiles (there must be an app for that!) and, of course, the long-forgotten but unavoidable shirt ironing session. But despite all that preparation, walking into Havas towers, I was inexplicably anxious.
They say that your first day at a new job is the last day of your interview, so that probably explains a lot how I felt: a heady cocktail of excitement, nervousness and tinge of sadness for the end of the amazing summer of 2013. This was not helped by the bedtime tears of my gorgeously sensitive eldest daughter the night before when she realised that I would not being there to greet her after school any more.
Emotion quickly became frustration as, sitting at my desk it suddenly dawned on me: I don’t know anything! After working somewhere for 7 years I cannot remember a time when I didn’t know pretty much everything that was going on. I knew all the client campaigns intimately, I knew what people were busy doing, I knew where all the opportunity lay and where the ‘bodies were buried’ and most of all I knew what I needed to do, how to do it, who to ask for help.
And now I don’t. Aaaaargh!
The only thing more frustrating than not knowing something is not knowing what you don’t know. I think I can measure my ‘progress’ during the week from arriving on Monday with no idea what I didn’t know, to Wednesday when it became blindingly obvious that I didn’t know anything and reaching something of a positive resolution at the Havas ‘new starter’ induction meeting on Friday afternoon.
One by one, representatives of each department introduced their team, its work and its role within the agency. I felt like they were each adding a layer of colour and detail to my understanding of my new world leaving me looking around like a kid in a sweet shop. There is so much I can learn and use here and it is all wonderfully accessible.
This is going to be fun.