A new job is stressful. We’ve heard for years that stress levels associated with starting a new job rate up there with buying a house and getting divorced. Not only do you have to learn the standard operating procedures of your new company, but you also have to make nice with people you might not ordinarily associate with. Just the other day, Bourke Accounting welcomed New Bookkeeper Chida into our warm embrace and we are all on our very best behavior. Thinking about New Chida and his current journey has led me to contemplate the ways we sort of sabotage ourselves when first joining a team.
I have only had a handful of serious jobs in my life, but here are some things I’ve noticed to make the transition into a different work environment a little easier:
1. Watch what you say. You’ve just met your co-workers and they are not your friends yet. If you’ve gone through a visceral divorce and someone asks your martial status, give a chagrined shrug, say, “I’m divorced,” and leave it at that. Don’t describe how you caught your ex with the nanny doing things that are illegal in 23 states. No one needs to know every single bad thing that’s happened, phobia or obsession you might have experienced, either. Once you develop an actual relationship with these people, you can expose your inner demons; if you do it before a friendship exists, you’re simply going to scare people. Also – as a libertine, I hate to say this – filter your opinions. We are living in sensitive times, so avoid repeating dirty jokes and deeply felt beliefs regarding politics, sex or religion. It is not going to kill you not to send your new Production Manager a link to “Blue Waf…” never mind. Just watch what you say (and send).
2. Your new boss is not your shrink (this one ties into the above and it’s important). At your last job, you might have had an amazing relationship with your boss. You might have spent the first 15 minutes of every day complaining about your significant other, that stubborn rash or money problems. Your new boss is not that person. If you have a chaotic life, keep it very far from your employer. If you need to take a day off because your kid is up on felony charges for the third time this year, do NOT tell your boss about it. A simple, “I have to handle a personal issue,” will usually suffice to explain your absence. Again, once you develop a real relationship with your boss, stark honesty is fine. Until that happens, let’s all pretend that we’re upstanding, well-balanced civilians with quiet lives.
3. Don’t get involved in office politics. Sometimes when you come onboard, you are obliviously walking onto a battlefield of deeply held animosities and long-established opposing camps. Don’t believe anything you hear about your co-workers. If you hear Chad is the office Lothario who breaks hearts for fun, reserve your judgement until you actually know Chad (or get your heart broken). Keep in mind that you’re showing up on the set mid-season and you don’t know the characters or the history. In addition, humans are social animals and we recruit for our side – so stay out of if until you know what (if any) side you want to be on.
The virus has displaced a lot of American workers. Good workers are being laid off after years of dedicated service and are desperately trying to land on their feet. If you are in this sadly leaking boat, please know that Bourke Accounting is rooting for you and wishing you the best of luck.
Being unemployed is scary. Although your Bourke Accounting expert can’t get you your old job back, they can offer advice regarding transferring your 401(k). In addition, if you’ve just landed your new dream job, your Bourke Accounting pro can help you make sense of the re-vamped and utterly confusing W-4.
Written by Sue H.