My sister (almost author of Tiny Kitchen Food Project)* in all of her wisdom and glory once told me that the work place is really really hard on young twenty-somethings looking to change the world. They have all of these ideas and aspirations but they are at the bottom of the totem pole and ultimately have to slog through a lot of crap to finally reach a position where they feel they are affecting change.
At the time I wasn’t sure if I agreed with her but now I’m feeling the pain! Idealist recently posted an article entitled, “Got a new job? Eight tips for a successful start” . I read the post and realized that I struggle with quite a few of their tips, which may be why I haven’t had the most ideal start! Now, anything they say about being yourself, or remembering you’re awesome and that’s why you were hired – well I’m good on that front! No one has ever accused me of being humble or modest. But here’s where I have been struggling:
Example 1: Striking a balance between respecting what’s been done and making changes.
I’m an idealist and I definitely have a vision of what my organization could be, what we could do, and where we could go. It is difficult to reconcile this vision with the very real fact that I have been working here for a hot 3 months! Yeah…I’m not exactly the go-to person for organizational changes and that’s OK for now. At least it has to be or I’ll drive myself crazy.
Example 2: Stay away from office politics.
I’m improving on this because I have a mentor in the organization who is helping me see reason and who also has been here for a long time and seen organizational response to politics. But it’s so tempting to jump on the dramatic political bandwagon. It goes hand in hand with example 1 because you have a vision and other people may share that vision – that doesn’t mean you should stir up the pot without a bit of clout and perspective.
Example 3: If you struggle in your new position, give it some time.
Just as no one has ever accused me of being humble, no one has accused me of having patience either. It’s a flaw and I’m working on it, especially when it comes to work. I fully realize that my position has not come to fruition – there’s a lot that comes with trust and longevity (I hope). I may have the urge to bolt some days but I have to reign myself in and realize that I could miss opportunities and references if I don’t allow some of the dust to settle. This isn’t to say that I’m willing to settle or won’t advocate for myself at the appropriate times (or drink a lot of wine on the rough days).
It doesn’t surprise me that I’m having trouble in these areas but I do wish there could be easier more efficient conversations across generations to help ease the transition into a new work place. What about you? After reading through the idealist post do you see any tips that aren’t aligning with your current situation? Anyone have some sage advice for us young’ns?
*Please vote in the poll on the sidebar and guilt her into getting her butt in gear!