Reflection on New Girl Blues

For those of you that have indulged in the Devil Wears Prada, several times over, do you remember Andy’s (Anne Hathaway character) first few weeks at Vogue? 

It was pretty bad and uncomfortable

  via Giphy

via Giphy

I remember thinking to myself damn being the new girl sucks. Does it always? Absolutely not! I know a few people who’ve had really amazing new hire experiences. However, let’s keep in mind it looks different for everyone depending on the person, organization and even skillset.

As some of you may know, I am a full time freelancer/entrepreneur. I left the full time corporate sector (stability, benefits and all) mid last year. I was fortunate to get a pretty steady gig for a few months part time which showed me what it’s like to live the freelance life on a weekly basis. I learned a lot and it was a huge shift industry wise from what I’ve been doing, but the beauty of freelancing is the ability to move onto others projects so I recently parted ways to move onto the next. 

  via Giphy

via Giphy

Now I am learning what freelance is like when you have a steady full time gig for a few months which is definitely interesting. I mean high key I’m back in a corporate structure, dealing with major corporate demand and politics. Low key I feel a sense of relief knowing that although the tides could shift me back into that world I still have the choice to move on once my months are up. In theory it’s an interesting gamble of a place to be, but I was open to the opportunity and challenge.

  via Giphy

via Giphy

This brings me to what I like to call “new girl blues” a term I think I coined (haven’t heard it before me) to describe the ups and downs of being the new girl (or boy). When I say I am drowning in a luxurious pool believe me. You would think with the amount of jobs and gigs I’ve had I would have perfected the art of being the new girl, but that is sadly not the case. Being the new person just comes with so much emotion and in my opinion it shifts by the hour. I can go from walking in with a positive vibe, sitting in on a meeting with confusion, getting tasked with an assignment and feeling defeated, troubleshooting with different departments and feeling frustrated and the list goes on. 

I certainly love a good challenge and I actually get fueled by it, but literally feeling like a fuck up for lack of a better word everyday due to the obvious is not desirable. We know the usual spiel “your new, “it takes time”, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, “it takes someone 3-6 months shoot even a year to fully grasp a new role and company dynamic” and the list goes on. We know all of this ten times over, but it doesn’t change the feeling. 

There is a level of anxiety that comes with being the new girl. There are crazy ass expectations that you set for yourself and there are expectations you think your bosses have set for you that are just not being met while you are in the new girl role which leads us to open Pandora’s box. We start heading into the “am I good enough phase”, “am I crazy or is everyone around me crazy”, “another mistake” or my favorite another early morning and late night just trying to understand it all and where you fit in. Being the newbie can be a hotmess and all the above is my current status. 

My question now is how do I deal with it? What coping mechanisms do I need to do more of or start to do to get to a place of “I got this” and genuinely trust that I do?

Meditation check, prayer check check, journaling yup another check. Daily affirmations check check check. I could definitely afford to get my daily workout in, but other than that I am pushing through and handling this new role like the boss I know how to be. I've been feeling like this for a little while now so I thought it was important for me to acknowledge my feelings and the struggles I am having more internally than anything else. We all know in a few weeks things will start to sync more and in no time it will seem as if I’ve been there for years, but in my present day all I can say is the “new girl blues” is real. 
 

Ayanna Dutton