Learning: My first few months in a new workplace

It’s been about two months since I first started at this job. From past experiences, I have learned not to say too much about myself, to begin with. I have found that people at work can be quite inauthentic when you initially start to get to know them. People are odd that way. They are also contradictory. It’s good to maintain strong personal boundaries and to share things only on a need to know basis.

I decided to take the disclosure route with this job (when I underwent interviews), even though I have had bad experiences in the past. I haven’t asked for any accommodations nor has the organisation offered any to me at this time.

I found the first few weeks a bit tiring. I was trying to figure out the social politics in the workplace (a predominantly female dominated workplace), as well as understand all the policies and procedures. I tend to find that I spend the first few weeks at work creating a set of rules in my head to follow. Generally speaking, I still feel a bit tired and find I don’t have much motivation to do much outside of work. I have, at present, given up my normal exercise routine and don’t do much on weekends (unless it’s absolutely necessary). It’s almost become my recovery period for me. I find I don’t have much attention for studies either at this time. It seems a bit repulsive to me (probably due to being overwhelmed/overstimulated). I find this a pain, as I do have my psychology course starting back up at end of February and I need to complete my Cert IV in Mental Health by July. The latter for the reason that they’re changing the course structure.

Some annoyances in the office that have come up include the close proximity to other workers. I get a bit agitated, especially when tired, when people type loudly, eat loudly, and talk loudly. I bought earphones and earplugs to help minimise the noise (sensory input). I am finding that I need to carry my sunglasses with me at all times because it is just too bright outside and sometimes inside too. I am wondering if I should get myself tested for scoptic sensitivity (Irlen Syndrome).

My GPS is my friend. I need to drive quite a bit for this job, so my GPS has been my companion on my adventures. If I didn’t have it I’d imagine I’d start to panic because of the fear of ‘not knowing where I am going’.  I am avoiding one of the company vehicles because of my lack of spatial awareness. I accidentally scratched it (against a pole) in an underground carpark trying to manoeuvre it into a tight car space. Whoops! I felt a bit mortified about it, as I had only been on the job for three weeks. So, I am now going for cars similar to my own personal car in size.

I am finding it a challenge to maintain social chit-chat for more than 1.5 hours at this time. I find, particularly with clients who experience social isolation, that we tend to exhaust all safe topics of conversation quite quickly. Talk also becomes a bit repetitive if I see them weekly. This chit-chat is necessary for the rapport building process. So, I have been trying to get people to talk about their interests. I feel like it might be beneficial for me to re-read some books on social chit-chat.

I think I will leave it at that for now.

Thanks for reading!

What challenges have you encountered at a new job?
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