Coworkers comes to the workplace with different expectations backgrounds, relationships and experiences. We have to be careful to pick and choose whom we confide in. If you aren’t sure, then wait. We are all anxious to settle in and get to know our new work family. Mindful execution will pay off. Here is how. In your first month you’re going to meet a bunch of people that you don’t know. It’s hard to know why someone joined a particular department. Their job may be the same but their path to this career is different than yours. While you’re learning about your coworkers, I suggest you create a blank board and see if others write on it first. I would withhold some personal information, particularly your opinions. You want to start off on a good foot but something you may say can hit a sensitive spot. Try the Give and Get sequence. Ask a question or two about a safe subject such as departmental goals or time in service, and see if you receive a response. If your questions are not answered with enthusiasm or accompanied by opinion, then hold back on your own. Work on slowly building a rapport before straying too far away from the day to day work routine. Creating an atmosphere where others can share their opinions will give you a test field on whether it is appropriate to share yours.
Early on in my career, I purchased a DayTimer planner. I kept in it all the important information: contacts, meeting notes, my calendar and technical rules of thumb. When I found myself in a difficult situation, particularly one that I created, I wrote it down to remind myself never to do it again. This summer, I will be releasing my first book, based on a collection of experiences throughout my career.
This retrospective look created an introspective environment. Consider starting a journal of your own. The journal doesn’t have to be in a leather bound book or even a fake leather three ring notebook!. It could be an 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper that you wad up and stick in the pocket of your book bag. Write down a key phrase to remind you of a recent experience, particularly those that went very well or poorly. The experience will likely be imprinted in your mind forever, and by reading the key work or phrase, you will have immediate recall, especially if it was embarrassing or harmful. Take it out, read it and shove it back in your book bag, once a week or once a month. By taking a look back at your journey, you can plan for your future.