This past spring, I re-entered the workforce with a new job offer. There were reservations due to the low salary, so I took one day to make a final decision. After consulting my friends, boyfriend and weighing the pros and cons, I bit the bullet and accepted the offer.
What should have been a joyful moment actually made my stomach turn. What have I just done? I can’t believe I accepted that low salary. I’ve been doing this type of work for years and now I’m set back. Okay, it will be a regular paycheck, but…..damn…. That stomach turn was a sign of what was to come.
My first day was met with a single-person HR session. That meeting took about 1 hour and then I was given a meet and greet tour. Next, I met my new boss. She welcomed me and then proceeded to give a 15 minute ‘welcome to the team’ introduction. After that, I was taken to my desk where I sat for 8 hours reading company materials and industry news. This went on for a full month.
Here is my first issue. I understand that the first couple of weeks at a new job is going to be easygoing. The new folks have to get acquainted with the company and train for their role. There is a problem if one spends a WHOLE month, just reading company materials and industry news. There was training, however training consisted of “shadowing” with team members that had their own system of performing tasks. Shadowing sessions were rushed most of the time because the department was seriously overwhelmed with work.
One particular day when I was “over it” with reading industry news, I offered to help some team mates. This was met with an awkward non-response. Okaaayyyyyyy. Back to my desk for more industry insight.
There were red flags, but I ignored them. Give it time, it’s just new job anxiety. A week later I begin to express this to friends. “My manager seems a little…. standoffish,“. My friend replied that she could be busy. Yes, that was true. But, she was too standoffish when dealing with us new people. I’m used to managers being a little bit more involved with new team mates – asking how everything is going, if they need help, having department training sessions, etc.
Now that’s two red flags on my list – standoffish manager and training, but not really training (for a whole month).
If you are a new manager, soon-to-be manager or would like to be a manager DO NOT lead and/or manage this way. On the outside it can look as if you don’t care and makes you appear unapproachable as a manager. Trust me, it does. If this is your style of leadership, you need the Good Reverend Doctor of Management 101.
On a positive note, good times happened during month 1 of surfing the net. I finally passed two certification tests that I spent most of my time unemployed prepping for. After a string of bad run ins, something great had to happened.
Then it happened. There was something that began to bother me. One of my team mates, who was 2 weeks fresh was not well liked. In my first team meeting I witnessed glares, sneers and eye rolling towards him. Scanning my new co-workers I thought, What. the. fuck. could he have done in two weeks to have half a team hate on him? The behavior was noticeable and I was truly shocked at what I was witnessed. Aren’t we all adults here? I feel as if I’m back in 9th grade.
Here I was, an adult back in 9th grade all over again. Telling myself to stay positive, I kept my head low and tried to remain positive.
As the days went by, I continued to hope that I made the right choice.