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Managing New-Job Jitters

5 tips for making a strong start at work

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There's something distinctly uncomfortable about starting a new job, even in the best of circumstances. There are new people, new office dynamics, new routines and expectations, and of course, a new job to do. There's a lot to figure out and a lot of ways that things could go wrong. It can be frustrating. It can be intimidating. It can be downright weird.

And I truly hope you get to experience it someday.

In the midst of all that discomfort, there's an incredible opportunity to grow, professionally and personally. It's a chance to lean in to God's provision, to learn about God's creation (including you!), and to reflect his peace to those around you. It's also a time to think critically about your professional goals, strengths, and weaknesses, and to take measures to establish good working relationships with the people around you. I've changed jobs a number of times throughout my working career, and every time was scary, but also exciting and invigorating, and I look back on them now as times of great growth.

If you're looking at changing jobs or careers, here's what you need to know.

We are literally commanded to be weak, to let go of our weapons, to stop relying on our own strength and instead acknowledge God's sufficiency.

It's okay to be scared, but don't let fear rule your heart or mind

Remember that God is with you, and he is actively working in your fear and discomfort. I love the verse, "Be still and know that I am God," from Psalms 46:10. It has special meaning for me ever since I learned that the phrase "be still" is translated from the Hebrew word rapha, meaning to be weak or to let go. The way it's written, it's active, not passive, meaning that we are literally commanded to be weak, to let go of our weapons, to stop relying on our own strength and instead acknowledge God's sufficiency.

It doesn't always feel good at the time, but as I look back at my life, I can see clearly that it was during those times when I was pushed out of my own comfort zone and into my weakness that I learned the most about myself and about God.

In 2009 I transitioned out of a pretty traditional full-time corporate job that included impressive business cards and a big office complete with executive assistant and support staff. My new role included part-time corporate strategy, serving on corporate boards, and launching my non-profit, 4word. I was coordinating all of these roles myself, from my home office, without a lot of help.

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Diane Paddison

Diane Paddison is a business professional and founder of 4wordwomen.org, local groups of professional working women committed to faith, family, work, and each other.

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From Issue:
Today's Christian Woman, 2014, April Week 3
Posted April 16, 2014

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Managing New-Job Jitters