Holly welcomes guest blogger James Mitchell-
Photo by viganhajdari
Being “the new guy” at a new job or internship can be quite overwhelming at first. Every five minutes you are meeting someone new or being taught another couple company acronyms that make you wonder, “Are they still speaking English to me?”
After you walk around the building frantically trying to grasp each detail uttered from your boss’s mouth, you arrive at your workstation. Whether you work alone or part of a large team, it is very important to make sure you and your boss are seeing eye to eye. I am not talking about personally agreeing on everything, but rather what you expect from your boss and vice versa. There have been very few interns or full time employee that have succeeded in the workplace without being on the same page as their boss. Here are a few tips to help you succeed at your new internship or job.
What are Your Boss’s Goals?
Coming into a new job or internship, you don’t know a lot about the long or short term goals your boss may have. Ask, and be sure you have a clear understanding of the roles each of your coworkers will be playing in the efforts to meet the goals. If you have a clear idea of what your boss is planning, then you can better understand what you should be doing and how you can help. Knowing the plan ahead of time gives you the opportunity to make a good impression on your new boss. If your boss is working on rebranding one of the services provided by your company, do some extra research on other similar rebranding efforts in your field. You can impress your boss and have extra research you both can use during the planning stages.
Honesty is Key
You need to be straight forward with your new boss. If you are constantly wondering what your boss expects of you or how the boss/employee relationship should work, you add copious amounts of stress to the workplace. Having both of you understand that you may not agree on everything or anything, is more productive than being dishonest about your relationship. Motivation is higher when both employee and boss see eye to eye about their relationship, even if they both saw their relationship as being less than amicable.
Having a bad day at your new job or internship? It is five minutes until your shift is over and you feel as if your boss has been on your case all day, even when you felt that you had been doing a great job. You start to feel the anxiety build up as the feeling of helplessness descends over you. Take a step back. Is it what your boss is saying or how he or she is saying it? People communicate differently and sometimes they are not the best at letting you know what or how to do something. Body language plays a huge role in how you feel when someone is speaking to you.
I once shared an office with one of my superiors and I would always feel my boss reading over my shoulder. This would make me nervous and annoyed, straining the relationship. Months later my boss looks at me and says “I’m not sure if you notice, but I don’t mean to be looking over your shoulder. I like your work, and am just not used to having another person in the office.” Sometimes you need to take things at face value, separating emotions and understanding that body language can affect someone’s message.
A Teachable Moment
There was not a day that went by at one of my past employers that my boss did not say those fateful words, “This is a teachable moment.” It may seem like a given when you are at a new job or internship, but you would be surprised as to how many people come off as being unteachable. If you come off as too arrogant, you could be passed up for some upcoming projects. Also, if you are shortsighted and feel as if you are above certain projects, you could be passed up by some other employee that is not only great at his or her job, but also ready to learn new aspects of the job on the job.
James Mitchell recently left a stressful career in finance because he wanted to find a more fulfilling career. Today, he is working as a freelance consultant. In addition to his new career, he enjoys volunteering for InternSolutions.net and finds it very rewarding to connect young people with lucrative career opportunities