Everything you didn't learn in school that will help you survive the world of work. A place for newbies, for working moms, for seasoned professionals and "free agents" to share strategies, tips and tales from the trenches.

Jun 8, 2011

The New People

Senior Thesis Proposal, Pam Beasley Halpert    

They are not new to the world of work, just to your world of work.  Help your new colleagues feel welcome and prepared without being overwhelming or condescending.

Having new people around is a little like having the Boss listen in on your meeting:  you are bound to be a lot more polite and discreet than you would ordinarily.  Suppressing the daily grouse can also make you want to avoid the new people, and that is unfair.  They are nervous, and lonesome, and eager to please....with very little to do while they watch the rest of you scramble around complaining in your secret insider language.  Try a little niceness.

"How's it going?" is a simple conversation starter that lets them take charge of steering the conversation.  A couple of moments in the day where they don't have to answer "I don't know" is a nice gift that costs you nothing.

Remember the personal questions.  Again, on the size of their family, the town they live in, and the source of that wall calendar there.... they are experts.

Invite them along to meetings and phone calls, even if you think they are tortuous and repetitive.  Every opportunity is a new opportunity, and you just may discover they have some background/inside info on the topic at hand.  This technique works best when you can brief them ahead of the meeting, and de-brief afterward, but you may not always have the time.  If you have to choose only one, choose the pre-brief, so at least they understand what is happening.

Never say it's tortuous and repetitive.  Self-discovery is another of the small joys of the new workplace.

Stop for lunchOr even dinner. 

Introduce them.  The walk-around is over-rated, but it does work.  What else works is simply introducing them to people you are standing there talking to.  You should do this for at least 6 months, at which time the no-longer-new should be responsible for, "We haven't met.  I'm...."   This is a good practice for you too, because there are new people... everywhere.

We are interested in hearing your New Kid stories, and Visiting Remote Worker stories.  Contact us at bwfinishingschool@gmail.com and share your Best and Worst.  Confidentially is always protected.

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