What’s taken me so long to write my first blog? 

I guess I wanted the first to be something clever and witty, to announce myself to the business community with a deep and powerful message about what I can bring to the table. To offer insightful and thought-provoking ideas and concepts and how I want to inspire businesses and ignite a passion for innovation and forward thinking within the tech industry. In truth, I’ve been absolutely astounded by the businesses I’ve been working with over the last few weeks. There is already so much ambition and innovation taking place across the North East that its difficult to articulate just how inspirational some of those businesses are! There is a wonderous, vivid tapestry of visionaries out there who are already pushing boundaries of pre-constructed ideas about what businesses and technology can do. They are smashing through barriers at an astounding rate and I love that I get to be a part of it!

So, I thought instead I would discuss something I think we can all relate to, the new job! 

That weird mixture of excitement and nerves as you embark on something new, the unknown, the opportunity to develop and hopefully shine. Will the office culture be a good fit? Will people like you? Will you be able to fill the other person’s shoes? Will other people’s tea making skills let you down? These are all important questions which ran through my head, these and about a million others as I realised, I had secured the Business Support Specialist role, here at Sunderland Software City. 

Every new employee (whether they realise it or not) has the dreaded “imposter syndrome” to varying degrees, which if left unchecked, can seriously damage the confidence of capable individuals who may doubt their own skills and experience. Having been out of employment for four years to undertake a degree, I’m not going to lie, I worried about my place in the corporate world and my employability, even after getting a good degree at a good university. Having worked in business support previously, I knew what I was up against in terms of knowledge and experience of other business support services and their people out there. This was before I even contemplated the wealth of knowledge my predecessor had.

What does this show?

Well firstly new employees must realise that whilst it is always advantageous to come to the new role with expertise and an ability to “hit the ground running” there will always be a steep learning curve in any new environment. Even for those people who have forged a career within a given industry over many years or even decades, new people, systems and processes all need to be learned or adjusted to, this takes time. Remember that you were able to showcase your talent, your skills and your personality in your interview, your employer recognised your skills or your potential and want you to do well. Don’t be afraid of asking the questions, putting yourself out there and showing that you are open to learning new techniques, concepts or that you have ideas of your own which could help colleagues, the business or customers. Show an element of vulnerability, no one likes the new person who thinks they know it all anyway! At least that’s my mantra and I’m sticking to it!

I really have been so lucky to land a job in an organisation which values its people, in our current climate that’s not always a given. Sometimes it’s easy for businesses and their leaders to create a toxic environment which promotes the sink or swim method for new employees or indeed existing staff. As an employer, can you really say you are creating a positive first impression for new recruits? It really speaks volumes about how a business operates if its people can honestly and positively promote their place of work. Ask yourself, would you want to work for you? Would you perform at your best if you were starting now in your organisation? It’s an interesting question to ask yourself and one to ask your current employees.

What has my new role taught me?

I don’t know how long I will be able to play the new girl card for but what I will say is that the support I have had from friends, family, new colleagues, old colleagues and new clients I’m seeing, has been incredible. Obviously, I’m still learning but aren’t we all? It is horribly cliché but generally people want people to do well and the people you meet only add to the knowledge and network you’re developing. This has been made abundantly clear to me as I catch up with previous colleagues still in the business support arena who have welcomed me back into the fold with open arms…and lots of coffee!!! A positive environment really has enabled me to settle into the new role at a much faster rate than what I was expecting, so the next time your embracing a new employee just ask what would really make them feel welcome? Similarly, if you are starting a new role remember you don’t have to know everything right away, in fact asking those questions can be the foundation of some great friendships and working relationships for the future. So, good luck to all those newbies out there, we all know how you feel!