It’s been a long, frustrating job search for the most part. You’ve spent time applying for jobs, writing cover letters and resumes, sending them off to people who haven’t the courtesy or time to acknowledge they even received them. You’ve spent time dressing up for interviews that didn’t produce job offers, worn smiles that masked anxiety and desperation, and prayed every time your phone rang that it was an employer offering you a job, which it never was; until now.
Congratulations on being offered a job! And as you heard that voice on the other end of the phone line saying, “We’d like to offer you a position”, you felt that wave of relief wash over you, vindicating your efforts to find work, and with those seven words, a sense that life is about to get a little easier, (and hopefully better) dawned on you.
One thing you may do is notify the people who have believed in you the most during this period of unemployment. Quite frankly, you’re going to want to thank them for their help and support, but isn’t there just a little part of you that wants to hear someone tell you how happy they are for you? How you deserve to be working and your hard work has finally paid off? Hear how someone is lucky to have you and how proud they are of you? I know I’d love to hear that if I was out of work.
My suggestion is to phone up or email those folks right away. After all, they probably invested a fair bit of effort in you and your job search too. They need to know that they can stop sourcing out job opportunities for you, and they no longer need to keep their eyes and ears open for possibilities; and more importantly, they can also stop saying, “I know this person who would be great if you are looking for someone.” After all, they’re going to look bad if a potential employer says, “Great. Put her in touch with me”, and then they have to contact them and say, “Sorry, she’s started working for someone else and I didn’t know.”
Before you start the actual job, you’ll have some things to think about and prepare. If you have children, you might have child care to arrange, perhaps clothes to wash or new ones to purchase, and maybe food for lunches to buy. You may also have to make a trip to see the employer to get all signed on before you actually start working. You know, filling out tax forms, getting your ID, signing a contract etc., or this might be done on your actual first day of work.
There’s transportation to plan, perhaps personal equipment or tools to assemble, and sitters for your animals to arrange. In some cases, you’ll be needing to open a bank account and provide documentation of this for the new employer so they can deposit your pay. Oh and on your first day, look extra sharp because you might have your photo taken for that shiny new ID badge I mentioned in the last paragraph. Smile!
And while the stress of unemployment and a job search is moving out, a new source of stress may be starting to take its place; the stress of working again when it’s been awhile; the stress of learning new responsibilities, meeting new people, trying to fit in, wondering if anyone will like you. You may be anxious about things that you’ll find out in due time, like where’s the washroom, where do I put my lunch, who’s my boss and what are they like?
Of course you know in your head you can’t answer half the questions in your head until you actually start work on your first day, but that may not stop the questions from coming and a lack of sleep because you can’t turn off your brain wondering. But it’s a good stress for a change isn’t it? Nervous excitement is building, and it feels good again to think of yourself as, ‘normal’. Whether you are devoutly religious or religious on a casual basis, you might find yourself uttering a short, “Thank You” and sending it skyward.
I can tell you that as an Employment Counsellor, I love hearing when people I’ve been helping get the work they’ve been wanting so bad. Some of them get this silly grin on their faces because they are so happy, and it’s wonderful to see. And honestly, it’s really nice to feel that in some small way, I’ve helped them along. And this good feeling is largely due to the fact that I’m one of the few people who may know exactly how hard they’ve been trying and what employment really means to them.
The next test is for you to get through the first day, understand the job you have been hired to do, meet the other people you’ll be working with, and see your work area. It’s important to make sure you pass the probation period, so your employment becomes stable over the long-term. Be friendly, know that it’s normal to be anxious, nervous and no you won’t be expected to do the job as well as others who have been their for a long time on your first day.
Congratulations. Work responsibly and you’ll do well. You after all, deserve it.