Transitioning into a New Co-op Job

Transitioning into a New Co-op Job

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Transitioning into a new workplace can be a very nerve-racking experience, even if you have been in the workforce for years. Being in the customer service industry for over ten years and starting my first co-op term in an office environment last fall, I found myself nervous and anxious, and overthinking how my first week would go. Would I be able to handle it? Would I be good at it?

Just like in my past positions, I adapted, learned, and became quite comfortable with this new position. I started noticing that there really is no reason to work myself up so much over that first week. To help others with their first-week stress, I began compiling a list of tips and advice for the co-op student that will eventually take my place when I go back to complete my degree. The most important tips of this list include:

Tip #1: Do not let fear get the best of you.

No one expects you to know everything in your first few weeks at a new job. This is why many companies hold some type of orientation and training. I remember trying so hard to absorb every piece of information I could to further me in my position. I had hoped doing so would keep me from asking numerous questions and eventually bothering my superiors. It’s understandable that you want to impress your new employer on your first day, but do not get down on yourself if you feel lost and out of place the first week. It’s normal, and your employer and new co-workers will not expect you to know everything right away.  

Tip #2: Do not underestimate your past work experience.

Being in the customer service industry as long as I have, I really wondered what skills I could bring to a technical writing job at a computer software company. Upon further reflection, I have been able to use a lot of my skills that I gained through serving and working with customers. My ability to work as a team, organize and multitask was a huge help at the beginning of this position. My manager was thoroughly impressed at my ability to take on numerous tasks at once without becoming overwhelmed. Furthermore, I am now helping implement customer service standards among the department because I have had so much experience working with customers and clients.

Lastly, just having the experience of working with other employees and managers in past jobs has helped me in this new position. Knowing how to be professional around my superiors and fellow employees has helped create an easy transition period for me. Never believe that you have nothing to offer to your new position.

Tip #3: Get involved and have fun!

I have had a blast throughout these past four months. I was fortunate enough to achieve a position at a company that understands the importance of creating a fun work environment while still keeping the team productive and hard working. Participating in so many events, including pancake breakfasts, potlucks, and various contests, I have made new friends, established a place as part of the team, and have made my everyday routine one to look forward to. 

Posted on January 13, 2014