Columnist Sophie Dillman writes for Yahoo Lifestyle Australia. From her time on Home and Away to what it’s like to be in the spotlight and fall in love at work, Sophie will share intimate insights.
I’m travelling to my first day of Breakfast with Johnny Wilkenson rehearsals while I type this. This is my first job since leaving the sands of Summer Bay, and it’s a very amusing stage piece being produced by Wanstead stage Company in East London.
Sophie is returning to school, and I trust that the readers of this post are mature enough to recognise the allusion to Billy Madison in the title. I’ve always imagined myself as an actress in the theatre. My acting instructor actually told me that my best chance would be in theatre because of my chubby face, which wouldn’t translate well on television.
No matter what that guy said, I was a huge fan of stage work. My notion of utopia would be to be able to do a live show with audience participation, a tale told in chronological sequence, and just one take a night to make it perfect.
In equal measure, I was thrilled and terrified when this position was offered to me. Happy because the director, actors, and producers are wonderful, the story is amusing, and the character is a lot of fun. Right now, though, the emotion of being terrified is clearly stronger than the excitement.
I’ve spent the last seven years playing Ziggy, with the exception of one year when I played a retired and jobless Sophie. Suddenly, after taking months and months off, I’m putting myself into a completely different character, attempting to recall how to do my job while surrounded by complete strangers.
It’s not uncommon for people to feel uneasy about beginning a new career. I have solicited numerous recommendations and advice from friends and coworkers, and I am currently implementing some of the suggestions that I have received.
Sophie, you are not by yourself. Please gather your thoughts. You won’t be the last individual entering a new workplace; you aren’t the first either. It’s normal to feel uneasy and incompetent. Just give it some time; that’s all you need.
You didn’t threaten to shave these people’s heads and hold them captive. Because they thought you could add value to the team, they hired you. You HAVE done this before, you DO know what you’re doing, and you WILL do it again.
There are no expectations when one is starting again at work. Nobody is familiar with you or your methods. Now is the ideal time to experiment, change up your look, or start over from scratch. You are in complete control and hold the upper hand.
Alright, my tube stop is about to happen. I’m inhaling deeply, sipping my dubious English coffee, and fiddling with my bra. You and I both deserve to enjoy the experience and to give it our best shot at this.