Activity: My Expectations Checklist

When you start a new job, there is lots of excitement, hope, and often undeclared expectations about what you will get from the job. These expectations don’t seem significant when you start the job, but they become very important when the proverbial s#&t happens – and you wonder if you should get out. Use those expectations to prepare a checklist.

This activity provides you with an objective way to deal with the s#&tty moments, and ways to avoid unnecessary negative emotions that keep you unstable.

Prepare a Checklist: List your Expectations

1. During your first week at a new job, use these prompts to write a list of five things. Write these down! Don’t be tempted just to remember them.

  • What are the things that attracted me to this job, role, and organisation?
  • What am I secretly hoping to get from this job?
  • What things do I keep repeating to others about why I took this job?Examples:
  • I’ll get to work with person X who I really admire.
  • There will be lots of valuable on-the-job training.
  • The vision of the organisation resonates strongly with me.
  • The space in which I will be working is modern and feels like it will enhance my creativity.
  • I will make lots of very useful professional contacts across this industry.
  • The person I will report to seems like a great leader.

[Note: The Value Exchange Activity is also a good prompter for things that are important, that you might be expecting.]

2. Put your finished list in a safe place. Consider sharing it with a trusted advisor or mentor.

Revisit your Expectations

So the s#&t has just happened, or has been happening for a while. You are losing patience and tolerance. It’s time to revisit the list!

1. Retrieve your checklist from your safe place, and review the contents.
2. For each item, ask yourself – Is this still true? Am I still getting this?
3. If the answer is Yes, you might be surprised about how tolerant you can continue to be. Change your mindset, and remind yourself of the reasons you have to stay.
4. If the answer is No, then you have a choice to make:

  • Choice 1: Leave this job and go find one that fits your expectations.
  • Choice 2: Change your list and reset your expectations of what can be met in the current job.

5. Enact your choice. Be at peace.


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