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I'm Nervous About Starting My Job After A Year Off Work

Dear Readers,

Let’s face it, this past year has been an emotional rollercoaster for us as an industry and as individuals. Between lockdowns, furloughs and layoffs, even the most optimistic among us have been challenged to stay positive…energized…hopeful. The good news is, there is light at the end of the covid tunnel, and signs of recovery are evident in the growth of hospitality jobs.

Just this week, a friend and former colleague emailed to tell me she got a new job “Woo Hoo!” I exclaimed. Her search had been an exhaustive one and I was so relieved and happy for her. While she was genuinely excited, she confided in me that her confidence was a little shaky, since it had been nearly a year since she worked. She felt great about landing the job… doing it was another story.

Over the years, I have learned not to offer advice unless someone asks me for it…and she did.

Here’s what I shared with Shaky from NYC:

“Would be surprised if you weren’t nervous about starting something new. Who wouldn’t be? PLEASE keep in mind, it’s because of who you are and all the experience you bring that made them choose you. In any new role, we feel pressure to prove ourselves, it comes with being human and happens to all of us. So, give yourself a break, no one expects you to have all the answers right off the bat. Take time to understand the culture and remember why you were so excited about this job to begin with.

Here’s an incredibly valuable piece of advice my greatest mentor gave me: Speak to “express”, not to “impress.” I have done both and understanding the difference was life changing. For me, when I speak to express, I’m sharing a thought, an idea, a concept… it encourages connection, conversation and is a confidence builder. When I used to speak to impress, it was all about me wanting to show how smart I was, shutting down any kind of meaningful communication…and the resulting vibe was a real confidence killer.

Perhaps most important, trust your experience and your instincts – they have gotten you this far!”

Hope you’ll reach out to me to help you unpack any issues, problems or concerns you are having. I’m here for you!


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