We have all been there, new at work and all excited about it. First day, first week, first month and first year. Amazing. However, there truly are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to it. Many people, including myself, have learned from our own mistakes. To spare you some, let us together go through them and share together. 

Grab a hot cup of tea, coffee or a cold beverage! Here we go!

Remember to Not Fall in Traps

It can be rather typical for some to use a new person, whether it is to throw them their tasks at work or simply to make them do their job. I like to point out to friends to watch their tongue and actions before they know how the workplace works. Who is whom and what are people’s positions. It would be too typical for a coworker to let our guard down and have us join coworkers in a gossip, just for us to be liked, and then have this backfire at us because we get dragged into something we really did not intend to. It can be a grouping at work that we would like to avoid and so on, therefore I like to give the advice to observe in the beginning. This to be able to make the decisions ourselves and go for the direction we want. So on avoid having someone doing the decision for us. 

Do Not Trust the Nice One Just at Once

I like to point out too that the nice person we meet can actually in fact end up as another one. Many times I have trusted myself with a coworker to realize enlightening my heart and afterwards understood it was a huge mistake! I am definitely on my guard way more nowadays, and while it can sound a bit too skeptical and sad, it does bring me peace in the end of the day to know that there is at least nothing to backstab me for. 

Telling a story of my own experience

Another experience I want to share, which I experienced myself together with another new coworker (starting at the same day). Suddenly our manager began to speak badly of the owner of the company. Not too badly, but small hints that eventually caused the other new coworker to start joining my manager in these. Soon, we found out the manager had a secret affair with the owner of the company, and her talking badly of him was probably just a result of a morning where she possibly fought with her secret boyfriend. This also means that the rest of 90% of the time spent, the manager actually liked the owner. Now when the fight between manager and owner was over, instead their tables turned into being on terms, the coworker who had spoken badly of the owner would not appear in good colors. It was a fact and of course something the manager had in mind, probably even gossiped to the owner – even if she would be the one who brought the negative talk up in the first place. But in the end of the day, the owner would never punish his mistress but instead put the focus on how bad the coworker had spoken of him, which did put her in bad weather. 

Always think before taking action

That day I found out about this secret relationship between them, I thanked myself for never uttering a bad word of the owner, as I politely had pushed the subject aside and expressed that for me to comment the situation of the owner was useless as I did not know him but had gotten nothing but a good first impression. This also stuck to the manager, and perhaps why when she quit, I was actually offered the position. What I like to give as advice, is to observe and analyze before making a move. Whether that be at work and so on forming our career, or if it is while we play poker – it is always need to think before acting. Always. 

Listen but do not speak

A good word can be to keep our ears open but mouth closed. If someone at work has gossip, we may hear it out. It can cause us to learn what we can do right at the workplace and how we do things wrong. What do people, managers and clients like and what do they absolutely hate? This will help us making “right” choices that hopefully will be in our favor. However we must never spread or share any sort of gossip, never really speculate in someone else’s business. Instead, again, we observe and learn of this new information and has it in the back of our minds. 

Never Speak Badly of Our Previous Work

This is a big no-no during an interview and also when being at a new place. Like with gossip, coworkers may think we will speak badly of them too when we move on to a new company. Often when I meet people and they start off by speaking badly of others, in general beaming negativity, I get this red flag and wonder if this is a pleasant person to have around. If they are gossiping this easily of others, why not me who they barely are any attached to? 

We associate the bad word to the person who uttered it

A thing I learned from a seminar, was actually that when we hear someone speak badly of something, we associate this person with a negative feeling. Even if the sensation shall be put over to the action or person in turn the one spoke of, we do actually associate the bad feeling with the one who gossiped, and indirectly think of this person the way it spoke of another one. Think of that. Truly a thing to keep in mind before uttering something bad of another one, as in my opinion, we never truly have a reason to do if we decide to refocus on positive things and what truly matters. 

Avoid Sharing Personal Information

At least in the beginning. There is a saying of being personal but never private, and that is something to go for. Also a very skeptical side, but not too unsupported opinion unfortunately anyways – that avoiding giving away too much of our private side is better than giving a coworker opportunity to use it against us. It happens all the time and we never really know when a coworker has to make a decision and our private side we have shared goes out to block our way. It can be as simple as we tell our coworker that we cooked all day yesterday for a birthday party, and they will use this against us. For example to have a lot of energy to be able to work harder, that we help out during a crisis in the office-restaurant. Or that they wonder why we did not finish something particular in time and bring up that the reason must be for us cooking for such a long time and so on.

There can be hundreds of reasons and we may even be taken by surprise by the coworker we thought we could trust. Many times people fall in the trap of trusting someone and while I believe many people are wonderful to work with, nice and lovely to be around, when it come to work most think of themselves first and therefore trusting others to the point of risking getting backstapped is just plain stupid. Unfortunately. Basically this has nothing to do with people being bad people. But in general that we do not know what problems may linger below surface, and when it comes to a critical point (which we may not see as critical ourselves) we may lose to other option. As simple as that.

Learn to ask questions

However showing a personal side, meaning more like sharing glimpses of our life can be nice to be able to bond easier with others. Here we should be cautious too. Never share too much. I like to go with more “too little” than too much. Sharing less is better, but still enough to make people get a (good) opinion of us. And when they keep questioning us, fishing for more about us, we need to learn to answer without giving away too much and perhaps instead learn to ask questions back. Many people just LOVE to talk about themselves, and to have a person like us, another advice from me can actually be to learn how to ask people questions and have them talk of themselves. Be a good listener, simple as that. And for that matter, going for a better example and never use their private confessions or so on against them. Just a genuine advice from me! 

Doing Everything Ourselves

In the beginning we are new to systems and routines at work. Even if they are similar to our old job. This means that when nice coworkers offer to help us out, it is a wonderful way to bond to each other by letting them help us. Also observe how they perhaps take grand credit for this in front of the manager or let us receive praise, again – observing and taking note of who we have and where we have them. It is a magnificent way to get to know the people and their personalities at work. To what grade can we trust someone and what can we expect from this person? 

Listening is the best trait we can have, both in the beginning at a workplace, but also during our time there. Using our ears and mind rather than our mouth is a go-go! 🙂 

Love, Emelena

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