I may have mentioned this fact once or twice or sixty times, but I’m returning to full-time work at the end of this month. In five days, in fact.
This has meant I’ve suddenly decided to do all of the important thing such as making sure I have my bank details ready, sorting out my superannuation and trying to decide which mug I should bring with me. I mean, it’s a difficult choice: Do I take the 2016 Pantone mug when they couldn’t pick a single colour? Or the Pride and Prejudice classic cover one? What about that Doctor Who one with the WWII dalek? Choosing a new superannuation fund is child’s play compared with that.
And finally, there’s the most important task of all: over-thinking everything.
I’m great at over-thinking things. It’s my main hobby, right up there with writing, photography and knitting anything that stays still long enough. I’ll over-think every significant occasion and once it’s over, I’ll continue over-thinking, combing through everything I said and did to work out precisely what sort of idiot I am.
I really do love my brain, but sometimes I wonder if we’re even on the same team.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to prepare for a new job while over-thinking every last thing, here’s my quick guide.
1. Make a new dress
Obviously, this isn’t for everyone, but it’s a good option if you love sewing. And I do, so I’m currently in the middle of tacking up some pleats for the skirt of the dress that probably won’t be finished in time to wear it on the first day, actually, but I’m carrying on regardless.
I’ll just have to make do with one of the six other handmade dresses in my wardrobe for my first day ensemble. On the up side, at least none of my new colleagues will have seen any of those dresses before, so it’ll be new to them!
If you’re not into sewing, just substitute one of your own hobbies. A special topiary for your desk, perhaps. What about a new hive of bees for your work honey supply? Or keep it simple with haircuts for everyone.
There’s no need to limit it to the one hobby, either. I’m also planning to choose an assortment of my favourite photos to go on my desk while trying to decide which of my knitting projects I’ll bring along for break time.
2. Plan your trip with an hour up your sleeve… just in case
To be honest, this is standard procedure for me. I hate being late. I get jumpy if it looks like we might arrive somewhere without half an hour up our sleeves.
This only gets worse when I’m preparing for something super important. For instance, I arrived forty minutes early for my job interview and I still felt I was cutting it pretty fine.
At this stage, I’ll probably be leaving an hour before the sun rises just in case. You never know when surprise emus are going to launch an all-out attack, after all. I can catch up on sleep when I arrive at work two hours early.
3. Buy vital supplies
Because everything I have is no longer good enough for this new job.
I am now the proud owner of a tea infuser shaped like a book. It’s pretty much compulsory when you love loose-leaf tea and work in a library. Since buying it, I’ve remembered that I actually prefer the taste of tea from a pot, rather than an infuser.
So now I’m also on the look-out for a single teapot as well. Because options.
And even though I have a couple of insulated lunch bags, I recently picked up a fabulous Tupperware lunch set in an op shop, so I can use that instead.
If I thought really hard about it, I could come up with a list of a dozen new things that I absolutely need (but really don’t, because I have perfectly good ones already). This whole starting-a-new-job business can get a bit expensive if you don’t watch out.
Which naturally leads to my next point.
4. Don’t forget groceries
Will they have milk or won’t they? Can I deal with the inevitable information overload of a first day at work without tea? (Answer: no.)
Better bring some milk, then. And some tea. And some salt and pepper. And maybe a box of barbecue shapes for snacks (original recipe, obviously). Perhaps some fruit as well?
Never mind that I’ve just gone through a pile of absolute junk that I brought home from my previous job – clearly it’s time to stock up on things that might come in handy but will actually just sit at the back of the cupboard, forgotten and slightly mouldy.
5. Worry about everything
Will the people be nice?
Will I offend someone on my first day by suggesting the best use for any Twilight books is for starting a bonfire? (I did that at my previous job and I don’t think the other person ever forgave me for that comment.)
Will I have a desk?
Will I say something stupid?
On the up side, at least I’ll know I definitely won’t be wearing the same dress as someone else… unless they also happen to have bought the same fabric and sewn their own dress. (This genuinely happened to me at my old job, albeit not on my first day.)
That should take care of everything!
Are you an over-thinker, too? Or do you manage to get by with the standard amount of thinking? Let me know in comments below – I’d love to hear from you.