The night before my first day of work at my new job in England, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to cry or throw up. All I knew is that I wanted to get it over with as soon as humanly possible. Thank God my first day was a Friday and I could have the weekend to recuperate my poor nerves.
After getting a few interviews here and there, I was contacted by an agency that specializes in temporary jobs. Within a week they got me this new position at a college. Since it’s on-going temp work, my employer can keep me for a few weeks or months, depending if there’s work they need me to do.
If you’re new to a country like me on a working visa, working with an agency (and considering temp work) is a great way to get your foot in the door. Too bad they couldn’t do my first day for me.
Starting your first job abroad is incredibly daunting but it’s completely survivable. I pasted the friendliest smile on my face, took notes to remember procedures and acted like I was in my element. I have found that the best method of starting a new job is simple: fake it ’til you make it. If I kept acting confident, friendly and basically not a nervous-wreck, the staff won’t be any wiser.
Eventually, I’ll start to believe it to.
Even just getting to and from work can be a job on it’s own. My journey home includes walking, two buses and more walking.
Because this is my first job abroad, it’s the first time I’ve been the odd-one out. The only Canadian in my department. The only one with a funny North American accent. At first, it will be really awkward and for me it still is, like asking for white-out and getting blank stares from everyone (it’s usually Tipp-ex or correction fluid, by the way).
You just have to remember they hired you for a reason and soon your Canadian-novelty will wear away and they’ll just see you as a co-worker. New employees will be hired and you’ll no longer be the “new kid.”
And so it goes.