You might have been in your job for a while. You know the ropes. You know the best time of day to get the lift. You have a routine. But have you also stopped noticing the weirdness that surrounds you?
Have you stopped questioning why certain things are done? Have you subconsciously accepted the dysfunctions in your workplace?
Recently my friend ‘The Suzinator’ (founder of wonder woman workshops) came to the office to talk about the importance of female strength training. After I took her on a tour of the floor to show her what a big corporation office environment is like. She made a few observations:
- ‘F*ck Me it’s quiet’ (she’s an Aussie so she swears a lot)
- ‘Wow, what an incredible view – I bet you never get bored of looking at that?’
- ‘Do those people sitting next to each other even know each other?‘
- ‘Why is hardly anyone talking?‘
- ‘I couldn’t do this – it’s too f*cking weird’ (told you she swears a lot)
Her comments made me smile at the time, and I brushed them aside as flippant and the view of an outsider who doesn’t get it. On reflection, she got it better than anyone there. What she saw is right in front of my eyes all the time, because she was seeing it for the first time, and she was right – it’s totally dysfunctional.
After a certain period of time, we adapt and become used to what surrounds us. We accept weird things as the norm. We stop challenging the status quo.
Now compare this with your first day in a new job.
You’re alert. Hyper-aware of your surroundings. You make a tonne of observations. You easily sense the underlying energy of the environment and your colleagues. You give yourself permission to ask silly or obvious questions. You find yourself invited along to lunch or coffee. You show interest in the people your going to be working with. You pick up the nuances or tones of voice people use when talking. Your intuition is high. You take pride in your appearance. You introduce yourself to any new people that you see. Your gut feelings are strong. Hell, even going to the toilet can be an adventure (but that’s a whole other blog post)…
Anyway, when you are new, you don’t just do things, but you ask how and (more importantly) why you need to do it.
You are still the same old you, but because of the new environment and first day mindset everything seems different.
It’s that first day mindset of wanting to soak up as much as poss, as soon as poss. Of wanting to make a good impression and a positive impact in a short space of time.
This mindset can change the way you look at your current surroundings. This mindset can move your day from boring and ordinary to new and exciting. This mindset is there for you to take to work TODAY.
All sorts of questions may spring to mind like:
- Won’t this feeling just fade really quickly?
- What if I realise I’ve been accepting nonsense?
- When did I begin to ignore the dysfunctional behaviour?
- How did I allow this?
- What if I look stupid?
Don’t worry, they don’t matter. What’s matters is today, the present. Being the alert, interested, and inquisitive version of yourself. Being the person who approaches things with an open mind, willing to learn. Attacking the day with a fresh approach and a positive attitude.
Try it out for yourself and let me know what the impact is and what you spotted that was right there the whole time.
Enjoy your first day.