Day One | Work Series

From the interview process through the selection and to the job offer, the primary focus for any candidate is to get hired. The candidates are especially over-zealous if they are currently unemployed.

Read time: about 2 1/2 min.

Day one.

The new hire spends the first few weeks acclimatizing in the new environment. Most new employees make every effort to bring their best selves forward. Every piece of work, every email, every conversation, and every delivery gets finely polished before hitting the floor. The new employees, while adding value to the role, get to understand the environment a little better in the following weeks. They begin to notice the office politics at play, the inefficiencies in the ways of doing things, and the team dynamics. Each day they learn something new about their workplace and start to make a mental list of the good, the bad and the ugly.

But this is still a great place to work. The new employees are still unfazed and march on to add more value in the weeks and months to follow. They keep reminding themselves of the purpose for which they got hired, and the surrounding noise does not slow them down. The work contribution continues at the same pace. They overcome hurdles; they find ways around inefficiencies, and they continue to make every effort to prove their worth. Challenges are viewed as opportunities. They are part of the solution.

The change is now in the air.

The impression-proof shield preserving their zeal and focus of the new employees thus far beings to wear-off gradually as the surrounding weeds begin to take root. The inefficiencies appear to get in the way. The team flaws now become unbearable. Other colleagues’ contribution (or the lack of) becomes more apparent than what they do as if they got hired to compare their work with others. The hurdles that previously got overcome as the new hire stayed focused on their core purpose, now begins to appear as vast chasm holding them back. Side conversations with like-minded colleagues start to take root. Opportunities are now seen as challenges. They are now part of the problem.

Things are different now. Is it?

What changed here?

Let’s go back to day one. The gaps, the inefficiencies existed all along, but that did not stop the new employees from doing what they got hired for. The things that are different now – the duration and their attitude toward their workplace.

It’s human nature to grumble a little about the boss, the boring meeting, or some seemingly clueless directive from several layers above. Strictly speaking, such grumbling doesn’t cause real harm; everyone needs to vent now and then. But, what if this new employee got hired at this very period? This new hire would most likely do everything we mentioned on day one, and some of them, unfortunately, will end up in the same sad state where nothing seems to be good at all.

There is no perfect place. Every place has its challenges. As employees, our role besides our actual job is to contribute to the betterment of the workplace. Even if we fix all the cracks today, more will appear tomorrow, and that is just the way of life.

Instead of being a problem, we should become part of the solution. Instead of complaining, express yourself from a solutions vantage point. Turn office gossip into brain sprinkling sessions for answers. There will be much to complain about, and not everything can be resolved at once.

today_first_day

Adjust your attitude. Pick the right battles one day at a time. Make every day count as if it is your Day One Won.

Thank you for sharing some of your precious time with me each week.

Until next week.

Razak

CommonInterest

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