Are you in your first job and in doubt?

Doubting yourself in your new job is quite common. Here are the 4 most common doubts - and answers to how you can deal with them.

First job

Questions and doubts in your first job

Am I doing well enough? Do I have the right expectations for myself? Am I spoiled if I think I’m bored? How can I say ‘no’ to assignments – or how can I get more assignments? Don’t worry. It’s normal to feel insecure as a new graduate.

Especially since expectations and reality aren’t always reconcilable. The article below answers some of the questions asked by many new graduates.


Video: How to deal with doubts in your first job

Four common questions when you are in doubt in your first job: Am I doing well enough? What is expected of med? Is my job exciting enough and am I going in the right direction? How can I say no to assignments.

1 Am I doing well enough?

This is not necessarily something you can answer yourself.

Therefore, it may be a good idea to talk to your manager about what you’re doing well, what you need to focus more on, and perhaps in what areas you need more training.

You can suggest to your manager that you hold a review meeting every three months, for example, to talk constructively about these things.


2 What’s expected of me?

You’ll only find out by asking. It’s impossible to guess what’s expected of you.

Particularly in your first job where everything is new. If you are not fully aware of what’s expected, talk to your manager. This will also help you find out whether you have relevant and realistic expectations of yourself in what you do.

Be very specific when balancing your expectations: Does this task have to be carried out to perfection or is 80% good enough? Ask questions along the way, e.g. whether this was what your boss expected or whether your boss had something else in mind.

For the more practical part of the job, it’s good to remember that in Danish work culture, even bosses put on the kettle when the coffee pot is empty, and you too should help out with practical chores at the office, even though you’re no longer a student worker or an intern.


3 Is my job exciting enough? Am I going in the right direction?

You should ask yourself these questions once a year. If the answer is no to both, it’s time to talk to your boss about getting other tasks, and if this is not possible, then perhaps it’s time to change to a new job.

Only you can tell whether you’re thriving in your job, and only you can take action if you aren’t. The first stop will always be to talk to your boss about the possibilities to change things. Telling your boss that you’re not thriving can be difficult and perhaps even make you feel like a failure.

But it’s the only way you’ll learn to be honest in a constructive and professional manner, and we guarantee that this won’t be the only time you have to do this in your career, so pick up good habits now – and practice.


4 How can I say ‘no’ to assignments?

If you have too many tasks and find yourself staying at work more than your colleagues, it’s time to talk to your manager and get help to prioritise your tasks and perhaps be relieved from some of them.

If you have too much work and you’re given a new assignment, it’s important that you say something. It could be something like; if you’re going to do this new assignment, your boss must help you prioritise.

It’s only natural, and it’s your responsibility to make your boss aware that you have too much work. It’s also important to remember that you don’t necessarily have the insight it takes to prioritise your tasks in the way that is most important to the company right now, but your boss does.

Doubting if you are doing well enough? Or what the expectations of you are?