Nothing is ever smooth-sailing when you’re an office newbie. You’re not just learning the ropes of your new job, but you’re also trying to gauge the working environment. There’s a lot of tasks to learn and a lot of mistakes to make.
Granted, you’ll be working on team so knowing how to properly relate with your officemates should also be on your list of priorities. This leads to a lot of awkward situations and you usually find yourself in tight spots.
When you’re the office newbie, expect to encounter the following difficulties and then some:
1. You have already asked a hundred questions and you have a couple more hundreds to ask.
You don’t want to be a bother, but there are so many things they didn’t tell you in the orientation. As much as you do not want to bother your seatmate for the 20th time today, you’re not quite sure how to finish your task. There’s a chance to make mistakes on your first few tasks, but as much as possible you want to minimize the errors. Of course you’ll ask questions, so you just have to be thick-skinned about it if you really want to learn.
The questions range from the technical to the most mundane. Is the bread at the pantry free for all? What time do you guys normally have lunch?
2. You have to face the fact that you’ll eat your meals alone for some time.
You know it’ll only last for a few days or maybe a few weeks, but there’s still sadness in having no one to talk to while you eat your lunch. Silently, you hope that someone will ask you to eat lunch with them. And if no one won’t, you desperately try to gather the courage to ask someone if you can eat with them. If neither of the two is happening, then you eat by yourself and try to hold conversation with anyone who happens to be in the pantry with you.
3. You feel useless, especially during crunch time.
As much as you’d love to stay and help, there are times when you just stand back and observe as everyone tries to meet the deadline. Since your’re new, very few important tasks are assigned to you. Meddling can cause some troubles, and you know that in time you’ll be in their shoes, too. For the meantime, you awkwardly leave the office on the dot, while everybody else raced with the clock.
4. You are overwhelmed with everything, but you just learn to suck it all in.
In your first team meeting, you could barely understand what they’re talking about. So you stand there, listen, and pray that no one asks you a question. And even if no one would, you still feel burdened by the fact that you didn’t really understood what’s going on.
5. You keep forgetting the names of your officemates.
Definitely you’ve been introduced already. However, there are suddenly 50 new faces, and you can’t possibly remember all their names at once. So you struggle how you’ll ask their names again when they engage you in a conversation. You try to keep track of matching the names to their corresponding owners, but the first few weeks will prove to be a challenge.
6. You try not to laugh whenever you overhead the jokes of people around you.
It’s so incredibly funny, but you know that laughing will make you seem like an eavesdropper. So you stifle your laughter and pretend you didn’t hear anything. At times, you want to butt in a conversation, especially when they’re talking about something you’re interested in. Yet, you know that doing so will make you seem like a snoop. And if you can’t hold it in, you just wish that they’ll at least let you join in the conversation.
7. You will make a lot of bumbling mistakes.
And it’s okay. Part of learning the ropes means making a few slips here and there. What’s important is that you learn from the mistakes. Sometimes, these mistakes are the ones you remember the most, and it even ends up becoming your strength. Going back to the office after committing a terrible mistake the previous seems an impossibility, but you trudge on.
During the first weeks, you’ll feel like a fish out of water. This feeling will dissipate after a while. But for the meantime, you bear with the little difficulties and hope that things will eventually turn for the best. Because trust me, it will.
Do you have unique office new experiences and difficulties? Share your stories in the comment section below!