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11/29/06
“Culture Shock” in a new position
Filed under: First Year on Job
Posted by: site admin @ 10:54 am
Dan/[….]:
 
Today’s Wall Street Journal (Career Journal, p. B6) had a
timely article on “Culture Shock:  Learning Customs of a
New Office.”  Very pertinent to our First Year on the Job
segment on this topic, with lots of good examples of why
you need to learn the culture of a company to be successful.

……
.
 
Joel

This article, by Erin White http://www.careerjournal.com/jobhunting/jungle/20061129-jungle.html?cjpos=jobhunting_whatsnew

is so good it deserves some attention.
 
To succeed in most institutions, we often point to the wisdom
of understanding certain critical habits, developing and improving
communications, making performance reviews work for you,
becoming an effective continuous learner and fitting in to the
organization’s customs and culture. 

The author states, “Learning a workplace’s customs can be a major
challenge.  Regardless of prior work experience, people often
struggle to discern protocols, etiquette and culture when they change
employers…  They … will not be described in the job description…”

 
“There can be lasting consequences to breaking unwriten rules…”
 
Several listed in the article represent the tip of the iceberg. 
  “Tolerance for questioning the boss.”
  “how much to lean on administrative suport.”
  “Asking for help…”
  “send instant messages to colleagues before calling them, to see
if the person could chat just then…”
  “weekend email checking”
 
Erin White states to “take advantage of their ‘grace period’ to
ask lots of questions in their first months on the job.”  “Closely
observe others and follow their lead.”  Ask others for feedback,
“if they unknowingly violated an unwritten rule.”  Get help in
learning and knowing…”that’s how it’s done” items that are large
(involve many people or higher ups) and small (not urgent, not
important, and involve few people).  
 
Please send in any other cultural sensitivities that you have observed
or heard about.
 
Dan

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