Q. I just got my first job so you can imagine my excitement. I really want to get along with my workmates and my boss. At the same time, I don’t want to come across as someone to eager to please everyone. Any advice for a first time employee on how to fit in professionally?
While it is important to a have professional relationship with your colleagues and manager, it is important to be careful not to create a false personality to impress others.
Some employees value ‘getting along’ to the detriment of the organisation. Take an example where there is a ‘corruption cartel’ in a department. As a new employee, you have a choice to either join the bandwagon of corruption or be the whistle-blower and risk being ostracised.
Your first priority should be to work as a team member to achieve the organisations objectives. However, to do this, there must be an enabling environment where you can be free to exchange and critique each other’s ideas. This requires that you have a certain level of camaraderie with each other.
The modern workplace expects all employees to be innovative and have possible solutions to the issues at hand, while at the same time having an open mind to receiving suggestions and ideas by other people. This is how organisations embed the culture of continuous improvement and innovation.
There are written and unwritten rules on how the organisation functions. You must learn them in an endeavour to fit in. You will be surprised that this information might come from the least expected source.
Along the way, you might make friends but it does not matter if someone is your friend or not, you must learn to interact with everyone on professional boundaries.
Most employees do not make any efforts to understand their managers’ dispositions and their management style, even though they have an impact on their career progression.
Some prefer constant updates on work progress while others trust the employees and don’t demand updates. Some are very strict on time and attendance while others are flexible as long as you meet your objectives and deadlines. Managing your boss is a very important attribute to develop.
It is your responsibility to learn their temperament and strive to create a conducive and professional working relationship with them.
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