Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Crashing but not Burning

Monday was so cold — a high of 53°F, and a low of 46°F. Relatively speaking, that's not all that cold, but compared to the temperatures that we had this summer, and the humidity of last week, trust me, it felt cold! I wanted to stay warm on my second day of work, so I bundled up and wore two sweaters (one long sleeved and one short sleeved), heavier tights, a wool skirt, and boots.

black top — Talbots (thrifted)
white sweater — Stamford (thrifted)
herringbone skirt — harvé benard by Benard Holtzman (thrifted)
boots — Lord & Taylor (thrifted) / tights — L'eggs

Of course, the day ended up being a lot warmer, so I pretty much roasted all day. And whenever I got nervous or flustered, the sweat just started pouring off of me.

And boy did I get nervous and flustered on Day 2. It was the getting-to-know-you day. The day that you're brought around and introduced to everyone, and you have to make small talk. Needless to say, small talk is not my forté, and I usually avoid it like the plague because it makes me so uncomfortable. I wish I could have avoided it on Day 2, because every time I opened my mouth, I felt like a blithering idiot. As the day went on, I got more and more self-conscious about what I was saying and how much I was sweating and how red I was getting and how hot I was ... and you get the picture.

Before too long, I had worked myself up to a real panic that I didn't have what it took to be successful at this job.(You know the saying, "Fake it til you make it?" I was starting to convince myself that I was just a big faker, and it was just a matter of time before they found out and regretted hiring me, if they didn't already.)

Usually when this happens, I just keep spiraling down, and I crash and burn. And trust me, it's not pretty. This time, I grabbed the bull by the horns, and told myself that I wasn't going to be my own worst enemy and sabotage myself again. I swallowed my fear and my feelings of inadequacy, and went to talk to one of my team members. In other words, I did my job, and I'm pretty proud of myself.

By the way, in case you didn't notice, I traded the deer-in-the-headlights look that I had here for the creepy staring eyes look.

I'm linking this post up to Silverstyle for her Boots: Trending through the Decades Link Up. Check out how ladies of all ages are wearing their boots.


  1. I know the feeling you're talking about! I hate the 'getting used to a new job' period of time. You look great and I have a feeling alot of folks fake it till they make it. I'm still faking it after 2 1/2 one seems to notice.

  2. Oh, and by the way, research shows (repeatedly now!) that people who blush are generally much better liked than people who don't. So if you were getting red, they'll think kindly of you later.

    Learning to do the small talk sucks. Some tips: Glance at their desk and see what's on it. If they have photos, ask them about them. "Are those your kids?" is an easy one. I also put up photos on my desk for the same purpose. It gives people a leg up on the small talk, a place to find common ground. I also suck at shifting topics, so tend to go on too long about one thing. I just learned to apologize for either 'geeking' on a subject or 'carrying on' (if it is non-geek/passion). Small talk is a SKILL, not a personal attribute. So you're not good at it, you'll get better with targeted practice. Which makes it 'practicing it' and not 'faking it'. :)

    Good on you for not letting the fluster spiral you. (By the way, I find in technical teams, falling back on :shrug: "I'm a bit of a geek" :smile: is an easy out. Everyone gets it. And that gives you breathing room to practice more.)

  3. Oh, how I hate new jobs. Fortunately I haven't had to change my work location in many years.
    But I totally melt down at first then come out swinging!
    You will be on my mind. So good luck my bloggy friend! Keep the faith.
    Thanks for linking up this week.

  4. Ah, you made it through, Kari! New jobs can be torturous in the beginning for the slightly shy. But you have got all the skills they are looking for and that's why they picked you! Congrats on taking the bull by the horns, as you say : >

  5. Just remember, everyone was new once and they probably understand just how you feel. Keep your chin up!
    Love the boots. The outfit is really classic. Amazing that it is all thrifted!

  6. Oh, I hate the meet and greet too. Small talk is not my forte and not anything I'm interested in. I'm glad you didn't spiral though - I'm proud of you!

  7. Awwww hon, my goodness. Debbi is right, everyone is new at some point, and you'll have to take time to adjust. Let yourself be a bit silly, a bit talkative, and in time, they'll know you as well as you get to know them.

    There are people there who are probably still faking it sometimes. We all probably "fake it" more than we think.


Thanks for reading. Honest opinions and constructive criticism are always welcome.

Popular Posts