To the class of 2013, congratulations! Many of you will now embark on your next adventure: a new job in a new city. A fresh start is always exciting. Not only do you get to spread your wings; you also get to do what you’ve wanted to do professionally for years.
There’s just one holdup: You’re in a new city. With a new job. And no supporting network.
While you may have landed your dream job or get to live in a cool area, it can come with reservations—new job blues. While it’s totally normal to feel this way, these blues can affect your job performance and put a damper on what should be an exciting part of your life.
If you’re faced with the new job blues, do your best to get yourself through them so you can have a more fulfilling experience. Check out these tips to help you:
1. Join professional organizations
Professional organizations are a great way to expand your network while getting to know a new area. For example, if you join an engineering organization, you’ll be able to meet new people in your space and learn more about your industry.
Go the extra mile: Once you’ve joined a professional organization, think about working directly with members of the group on projects or networking events to gain the most value.
2. Reach out to local members of your alma mater
Who knows your mentality better than an alum? They’ve walked where you’ve walked, and they’ll typically understand a new area or job better than anyone. Reaching out to these members can also provide you with a “home away from home” feeling.
Go the extra mile: Set up a meeting and ask them how they adjusted to a new city and what they did to get over any new job blues.
3. Take part in a new hobby
A new hobby is a great way to put your new job blues on the backburner while doing something for yourself. You could volunteer at a local animal shelter, take a yoga class or even work on your art skills. A hobby helps you to enjoy your new situation because you’re making the most of your time.
Go the extra mile: Find a hobby that benefits your career. For example, if you’re in advertising, taking a design course can provide you with useful skills you can utilize in your work.
4. Separate work and play
If you moved to a new city because of a job, chances are you’re pretty focused on your career. But there’s nothing wrong with doing something for yourself to create a work-life balance. While it’s great to do what you can to improve yourself professionally, there’s more to life than your job. We all need a break at some point. Realizing this can help you to appreciate your new home and your new life independently.
Go the extra mile: Carve some time out of your day to do something that has nothing to do with work. For instance, spend one hour mapping out your summer travel plans. This takes your mind off your job because you’re doing something completely unrelated.
5. Get help
If you find the new job blues are negatively affecting your home life, your career performance or your behavior, you may want to talk to someone about your mindset. Many employers have on-the-job counselors who can help guide you through your woes. There’s nothing wrong with getting help if you feel like things are getting too heavy or unmanageable.
Go the extra mile: Keep a journal of your feelings and thoughts to work through what you’re going through, and use it as a tool for others to help. Or start to identify your negative thoughts and counteract them with positive thoughts to give the negatives less weight.
While it’s normal to have some new job blues when you start a job, there are ways to combat these feelings. Give the above tips a try, drop those blues and begin enjoying your new adventure!
What do you think? What are some other ways to kick the new job blues?
Val Matta is the vice president of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for university career centers that gives students and alumni complete control over their job search. Connect with Val and CareerShift on LinkedIn.