First Days Are Always a Little Scary

By: Glenda Lofton, Ph.D

Jun 16, 2020

Do you remember your first day at school, your first night to sleep over at a friend’s house, your first day on a new job?  Life has many firsts and brings many changes.  It has been said that the only constant in life is change itself.  Yet each change in our life, whether it be personal or professional, is accompanied by a variety of concerns, feelings, reactions, and attitudes, not necessarily anxiety, worry, or fear.  Researchers (Hord, Rutherford, Hurling-Austin & Hall, 1987) have identified three major stages of concern that individuals progress through in dealing with change: (1) self concerns; (2) task concerns; and (3) impact concerns.  We may progress through these stages at different rates and different intensities, but we all progress through them.  

Employees of Lofton Staffing Services are faced with many “first days” in a variety of job assignments. Understanding the stages of concern and where we are in the change process can assist us in adapting to ongoing changes in the workplace and in providing appropriate support to co-workers as we work together to achieve common goals.  When faced with a change or a new situation, early concerns focus on self: How will this affect me? What is my role here? Will I be able to meet the demands of the job? How will my coworkers view me?  Once our personal concerns have been alleviated, our attention becomes more focused on the task: How can I organize to do the task more effectively? How should I manage my time? What is the best use of information and resources? As we become skilled at managing the task, our concerns turn to the impact of our work on the organization’s goals and productivity.  We focus on coordinating and cooperating with others to enhance performance and outcomes. We explore changes or innovations that might work even better, recognizing that with each new change and innovation, the process starts all over again...and “first days are always a little scary.”


About Lofton: Founded in 1979, Lofton Services offers clients the best of all worlds. We provide the responsive, personal service and flexibility of a small local firm while having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the biggest players in our industry. Lofton Staffing can deliver the right people, with the right skills, right when you need them. Contact us today

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Relationships are built…one on one.
Know your people - match interest and talents to the tasks.
Don’t manage by numbers. (They just show if we’re on track.) People do the work.
People should feel better when they leave than when they came – and in turn we feel better.
When we help others, we help ourselves.
Great expectations: fair pay, fair treatment, teach me.
Have fun…and be better.
Work at having fun (51% of the time.) If you don’t feel it, fake it. Having fun is not slacking off. Work is more natural than play.