If you’re reading this, chances are you are either at the beginning of your career, or you’ve been in the game for a while and you just want to reminisce. To be honest, I can’t know exactly why you’re here – I’m just happy you are 🙂
Now, if you are at the beginning of your career, let me pour down some wisdom on you. Okay, maybe not wisdom, but more like a “big sister“-kind of advice.
You’ve already completed your resume, had (and passed) your first interview, and you’re about to start your new job. Let me tell you: the first day will be just like the first day of school. And while that may mean different things to different people, the basics are still the same for everyone – new people, new environment, new rules, etc.
Keep in mind that first impressions count and, even though you don’t want to pose as someone else just to please your boss, you might want to first observe, and then comment or act. By doing so, you will make sure you don’t offend anyone and your risk of embarrassing yourself will diminish (of course, this attitude is recommended to be kept for longer than 2-3 days -> this way, you will get the hang of things without being caught in the middle).
While you shouldn’t act unlike yourself (let’s say you are an introvert – no one will require you to change your personality just to fit in), make sure you are kind and understanding towards others, regardless of their hierarchic position. No one says you have to let them walk over you – just don’t seek out conflict and if the situation arises, make sure you find the most diplomatic way to handle it. A tension in the office can turn your working day into a continuous stress, and you clearly don’t want that 😉
Now, regardless of your job, you weren’t born already knowing how to do it, which implies you will need to be trained by someone as to how the requirements should be met. Please, for the love of what’s holy, take as many notes as you need, and if that isn’t enough, don’t be afraid to ask questions!
By doing so, you will fully understand what the job requires, how things should be done, and, probably the most important, you will do a good job from the very beginning, compared to the other case, where you will leave gaps where they are, and just… wing it.
Ok, enough about work work work. Let’s cover the breaks, shall we?
Everyone needs and takes breaks: you can’t work 8-9 hours straight without one, and if you do, it won’t be for long. Be it a smoking break (which I don’t necessarily condone, since I was a smoker myself but since quitting my overall health has improved), or a coffee break (still a vice, some people say, but I can’t hear them over my espresso machine), I can guarantee you you will never be alone on a break – other people exist. Shocking, I know.
Get to know them. Say hi, exchange a few words, maybe a little small talk. You don’t have to share your dog’s latest vomit seizure with them, keep it simple and non-awkward. Knowing people, even if you only know them by their faces or first name, makes adapting to a new environment much easier – I had to learn this the hard way, but you don’t have to!
In the end, what can I say more… do your best – your boss will notice the hard work, even if you might think he/she doesn’t, and it will count for something and, also, being thorough is a very good habit -> quality over quantity, and you can’t fail. Just remember that the next time you are having doubts about yourself and your place in the grand scheme of things.