We’ve all been there. Our puppy eyes wide open and looking forward to our first day in our job. We were finally able to convince someone working in the HR department of some company that we actually know what we’re doing and, surprisingly, they take our word for it. The excitement, the anxiousness,, the butterflies in our stomach, the sleepless night, and the many outfits we tried are all witnesses to our new step. We don’t just panic, we ARE panic. We don’t have breakfast that morning and have a coffee instead. Everything seems to be surreal and amazing. We walk up to the office and meet the sweet HR lady who, for what we believe, is our only support in the new found land. We listen intently to every word she says. Induction… break time… new employee… parking… refrigerator… telephone… the list goes on. You hear some words and miss out much more. And if your workplace is big, you fear getting lost.
“meet your colleague, XYZ, he is assigned to be your ‘buddy’ and show you around. For the first two days, just be his shadow.”
And you look in the face of your new friend. Your only friend in this unknown land and you smile, thinking that this is going to get better, that this is not so bad after all. So you put all your trust in that one person and think that you have grown from being the newborn holding onto your HR mother to a toddler, happy to go a bit further and spread your wings.
Now, you took it as a given that XYZ is a good person. A person who will tell you the truth and give you insights as to how to conduct yourself in the workplace. Little did you know that many times XYZ turns out to be something else. Let’s take different scenarios:
XYZ is a
1- Loser. So you end up being stamped as a loser from day 1, thereby losing all your chances in ever being a part pf the in group
2-Disgruntled employee. So you end up hearing what a bad place your work is and you question your decision regarding taking the job
3- Lunatic. So you end up questioning everything including your sanity and you may also turn into a lunatic yourself (remember, this is your first job so you’re fairly young)
4- Optimist. So you see flowers everywhere you go and will end up falling flat on your face when reality strikes
5- Pessimist. Similar to disgruntled employee, a pessimist at work will show you how bad your work is. You leave your job and end up with somewhere worse, thereby wishing time would go back.
6- Mafia king. You can be taken under his wing if you are lucky and will feel like a part of the family until someone ends up sleeping with the fishes and you question your “luck”
7-Mean girl. You throw all caution (and your values) to the wind and be part of the group. You only question yourself if (and only if) something wrong happens because being a mean girl is just fun
8- Nerd. And thereby dig a grave for your social life.
But you could also end up meeting a friend. Someone who would always be there and who would always give you great advice.
Be careful who you hang out with once you go somewhere new, it could make or break you. Take things slowly, understand that the person introducing you is just doing his job and you can always find the circle you are most comfortable with.
After all, isn’t work just like school at a bigger scale? And isn’t life just the same?
Try to play by your own rules and be comfortable with who you are.