40 hours is a lot of time.
40 hours is an especially long time to be in an office with the same people.
I just started a new job at a digital PR firm. On top of making sure I learn everything to my boss’s standards, meet my colleagues’ expectations and achieve my own goals, I am learning that the culture and more importantly – the people – I work with are just as crucial. Regardless of the size of the company you may be working (or interning) for, getting to know the people behind the work is just as essential.
If there’s one thing I have learned so far (and I learn a million new things each day), it’s that the work you do directly correlates with the office synergy. Everything is a team effort, whether you realize it or not.
Caroline’s co-workers at The Creative Company celebrating the great work they do.
It is crucial to make sure everyone is on the same page, regardless of a person’s tenure with the company.
Fewer things are more daunting than being the new person in an office where the systems and flow have already been perfected. You need to prove yourself, show why you deserve to a part of the team and get to know your new office environment. (Which printer do I print to? Where are the extra staples? Is there White-Out somewhere?!)
Within the chaos that can come with being “the new person,” always remember that everyone you are working with was new at one point, too.
They didn’t know what printer to print to or where to find extra staples. I was afraid to ask questions when I started my new job, but that’s selfishly jeopardizing my work and the work the team is supposed to accomplish.
They are your co-workers for a reason and they want you to succeed just as much as you do – if not more.
Through the long work hours and stressful phone calls, always remember to have fun. Talk about something funny you heard on the radio on your way to the office or how you are trying out a new exercise class after work. Plan an office potluck (extra points if it’s themed) or go out to lunch with everyone to re-energize.
Without the personal touches, the work you and your co-workers produce together won’t be half as good.
For example, since I live, work and play in Madison, Wisconsin — home of all things dairy, cheese and beer — our office planned a cheese curd crawl. That’s right, a cheese curd crawl. It’s a fun way to experience the city we live in and to get to know each other outside the walls of our office.
My boss told me one time she asks herself this question before she hires someone, “Would I like to spend time with him or her over dinner, getting to know their story?”
Get to know your co-workers stories. You may be pleasantly surprised. And you will have a better work life to boot.
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