20071121

Comb moon ick ate shun

Being a new hire is difficult for a number of reasons irregardless of where you work. This is a fundamental truth I have encountered, and there isn't a whole lot a company can do about it. It's an inherent issue stemming from the method by which we educate our youth, and the generational gaps that stem from this.

For the first 18-22 years of our lives, we are sheltered in an environment comprised almost entirely of people our own age. Thus, outside of a few authority figures, we grow accustomed to our generation's culture, our methods of communication, and our own "language" of sorts. What no one tells you is that outside of the interactions you'll have with people your own age post-education, none of that will be very helpful for communication in the working world.

When bright, dewey-eyed intern/new hire enters their first job, they will probably be as oblivious as I was to the nuances of office communication. I'm most certainly still ignorant of many fundamental necessities that doubtless are obvious to the people who have been here for years. Basically, I have found that everything I knew was true about communication in college is not true here.

For example, e-mail. In college, e-mail was the cornerstone of communication. With the volatile schedules and activities of college students, phones and instant messages were very inadequate. If you wanted someone to get a message, you sent them an e-mail, and whenever they checked their e-mail they'd respond back.

On the job, things are very different. E-mail very often vanishes without a trace into the ether, or so it seems as no response is forthcoming even after a week. This unfortunately leads the inattentive new hire to simply sit on their hands and wait, rather than send reminders or actively pursue the person. They'll get back to you when they can, right?

I've found myself battling my college habits in terms of time management and communication on a daily basis. A number of times significant balls have been dropped because I hadn't grasped that people outside my generation do not religiously respond to e-mail. Even now as I write about it, I'm sure that I'll have to consciously work to avoid falling into habit and just sitting around wondering why no one ever gets back to me.

2 comments:

jocelyn said...

I hear you. It's annoying when people don't treat e-mail as important as voicemail. But at the same time, it's really ridiculous the way some people use voicemail nowadays, or the amount of indirect communication that happens via e-mail.

I think that everyone who graduates college, AND everyone who is currently in the workforce should be required to take a 2-hour reminder course on effective interpersonal/interoffice communication. BLAH.

RAGE said...

People learned not to e-mail me, as I check maybe once a day. And it should be common knowledge by now that every office on the face of the Earth uses a mail system designed specifically to obliterate your messages before they are ever received.