I laid uncomfortably in bed, bright-eyed and apprehensively waiting for my phone alarm to ring and instruct me to start my day. ‘6am 10-minute run’ was marked in my phone notes in an organized attempt to relieve some of the cortisol built up from a restless sleep worrying about my first day. I admit that the lead up to my new job at Sussex Innovation had been two weeks filled with angst and nervous tension that had primarily manifested in a hysterical panic about what clothes appropriately met the ‘smart/casual’ brief. As a naturally early riser, my morning routine had not been disturbed by the chaotic changes brought about by the global pandemic even though I had seen friends wake up gradually later each morning (first 10am, then 11am, now 12pm). I woke with ease and started my day with purpose for the first time since graduating, despite my outfit qualms.
Much to my surprise the roads were empty, leading me to arrive unfashionably early and have to sit in the car for half an hour to cover the fact I was such an eager beaver (although this action seems futile now that I openly write it down). Starting a new role would initiate a lifestyle change and new accountability to others that I felt unsure whether I was ready to accept, and differed greatly from the last few months largely spent in lockdown with little responsibility. Entering the lobby, I was first greeted by my new Catalyst teammate, Isthiak, followed swiftly by Eva, immediately making me feel an overwhelming sense of relief just to see a friendly face. Following an induction to cover all the basics, an introduction to new faces and reintroduction to familiar faces, I was put to work on my first task.
Having successfully finished my first day, I recognize now that the feelings previously categorized as nerves had transformed to excitement for the year ahead. I felt excitement to be actively engaging with colleagues and to see my diary fill up from invitations to attend meetings; excitement to be responsible to clients and directly impact their businesses; and excitement to be in a new job role that I can gain as much out of as I intend to put in. With a new sense of confidence, I enthusiastically look forward to tomorrow when I can do it all again (minus the excess cortisol).