Aug 21, 2008

Fitting into a New Workspace

I start working soon, and I'm looking forward to it. I have been thinking about the process of "fitting in" again. It's been a long time since I started in a new office, and I don't know what it's like to be new somewhere anymore. I have a tendency to share and/or speak my mind a lot, things that aren't necessarily bad, but can be read the wrong way by people unaccustomed to forthrightness that is not (at least I hope) tied to ego. I just like to be comfortable with folks, you know?

But there are conventions and expectations in a lot of places about how you should act as the new person in the space (even if you aren't that young yourself). The convention for interns is pretty straightforward: do what you're asked, and share your opinion only in those rare moments when people actually, really care to hear it. But as a staff person, your opinion and input are usually part of the job - I guess it's just knowing when is the right time, and when is enough. In real life, I have the benefit of a partner who guides me a bit in social settings (particularly with people who I don't know and who don't know me).

So as I walk into this new space, I have to remember that I don't know my co-workers yet, or the orientation of the office, so I should try not to offend anyone in the first month until I know what's what. And I guess I shouldn't get offended by things either.

I suppose that means I won't be speaking about the elections at lunch or after hours at all. Maybe that means I'll be posting a lot more. Who knows.


Anonymous said...

Hahaha, I feel you man. I work in Atlanta which is so Obama-crazy right now that I feel like I can't ever bring up my third party leanings. Still though, you can only be you. Good luck with the new job, bro.


Rage said...

Hey Kori - thanks for the luck. And yeah, sometimes we just have to be judicious in our commentary. I guess it's a good thing to have a space like this. Enjoy the end of summer, and good to see your comments!