Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

New Job & Feel Like Giving Up

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This topic contains 43 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by avatar Ange 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 12 posts - 13 through 24 (of 44 total)
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  • #698724 Reply

    I mean, yeah, that’s a little upsetting, but in no way is it a reason to quit and go back to that toxic situation with your dad. Just keep being friendly and helpful and see how things develop over time.

    #698725 Reply

    It’s still so early, maybe eventually they will open up over time. Some people are the type to immediately invite new coworkers out to lunch. Some people would rather get to know a new coworker first, or need more time to warm up to someone new.

    #698733 Reply

    If it makes you feel any better, I would feel kinda hurt having not been invited to lunch with my team. It would sting a bit. My office has a “lunch” email group and whenever someone needs to get food they email around if anyone wants to join. It’s really casual. Perhaps you could do this with your team, as a less direct way than asking in person?

    I work in a similar field, and if you were working in my office in the same capacity, I would probably not be sure what you could help me out with right away. It’s possible that people are just too busy or preoccupied to delegate work to you? It’s annoying, because your purpose is to help them be less busy. Would you be able to ask your colleagues one on one about their projects, to get an idea of what they are working on, and what they might see you helping with in the future? You might need to proactively seek them out, and not expect them to come over to you.

    Also, if your hours are billable, can you ask your manager if your hours have been assigned to a specific project? You could use that as a starting point.

    #698734 Reply

    I just want you to know that engineers are incredibly bright people but aren’t really natural socialisers. This obviously is a generalization, but if there was an experiment a few years ago revealing that scientists and engineers are likely to be on the austic scale. So if you’re expecting easy friendships, then…but if you do good work for them then you’ll win their respect. This actually applies to life generally.

    #698739 Reply
    Northern Star

    You’re not “being the bigger person” by asking a coworker/boss what they need you to work on. These people aren’t slighting you when they don’t bring projects to your desks—they’re busy with work and apparently not in the hang of handing off paperwork. That’s ALL.

    And none of your coworkers know you. They’re not going to ask a brand-new person to bring a gift to the office baby shower, because that’s not right to do to someone. They might be shy themselves (especially if they’re engineers) and can’t think of any small talk. It would be nice if they were friendlier—but if you’re viewing their (non)actions as a personal insult, I can imagine how fraught with awkwardness conversations with you might be.

    If you’re bored and have nothing to do, that’s one thing—but it’s a real mistake to take this situation as personally as you have. I think the bigger danger is being let go if work never materializes. So you should definitely take Ron’s advice.

    #698742 Reply

    I’ve worked in marketing at an A/E firm my entire adult life. I started right out of college and still in it. As someone who is not an engineer, it takes a long time to earn their trust and to feel like part of the team.

    So the not being invited to lunch thing… I think you should try and chat up people in other admin positions. If it’s a smaller firm, they might take a more hierarchical view.

    As for workload, do what Kate said.

    It sucks, but it will take some time for them to warm up and value you as an employee and know your worth. Get one person on your side, and things will take off from there.

    #698744 Reply

    Thank you @ktfran and @moneypenny. Your response really helped. Everyone’s responses are very helpful, but it’s nice to get the perspective of someone who’s worked in a similar environment. I definitely have befriended all the admin team and some of accounting. They are the only ones I talk to.

    @northernstar: it’s definitely crossed my mind a few times that maybe they really don’t need this position and they’ll just let me go. That’s why I leave a spreadsheet open on my computer screen to pretend I have something I’m working on. lol.

    #698747 Reply

    Once in a previous job the entire team used to go to lunch and lock the office door behind them, they literally didn’t even notice I was still sitting there. They’d put my desk in another section by itself against a window wall in the middle of winter and I was at my desk with gloves and a thick jacket on while they were behind the partition in the nice heated office part. This was in between them ignoring my emails and phone calls and then berating me because all the stuff I couldn’t complete without their authorisation wasn’t done. So it could always be worse! lol.

    I think you’ll get by if you just start hustling for work. You don’t have to be pushy about it, just lightheartedly keep offering your help and work within their existing dynamics.

    #698756 Reply

    As you were hired to help with paperwork, when you meet with the engineers individually, as was suggested, you could ask if they could provide you with copies of the sort of paperwork you would normally be helping with, so you can review it and see what you might be asked to do. (Assuming you’d be helping fill it out and not just file it.)

    Do you have a background with civil engineering? If not, look for resources online that cover the specific lingo or other “intro to civil eng” type resources and review those to get a contextual grounding.

    I don’t know the specifics of what they do there or what you’d be doing, but I hope you catch my drift about taking on a little self-training.

    You mention having a spreadsheet open, so it sounds like you know something about Excel. If not, take some online Excel courses. Tons of free resources out there. If you already know the basics of Excel, then look into intermediate or advanced resources. Or Word. Or Powerpoint. Or some other software program that your company uses that you might brush up on. Maybe see what the other admins use.

    The first weeks (and months sometimes!) as others have mentioned CAN suck. I once had a temp job where I was hired to take to load off someone who was covering 2 other positions in addition to her own, but she was too busy to train me. I spent my hours answering maybe 5 calls all summer, typed up a sweet old Bolivian gentleman’s resume, and fetching the mail. I started bringing a book every day, but hey, they wanted me there and they paid me.

    #698769 Reply

    Jessica, I’m in my sixth week and yesterday was a real turning point. My first week I wanted to cry because it felt so strange and there wasn’t enough to do and I couldn’t hear anyone talking so I thought no one had a personality, and it’s a really small office. My role is a new one too, that they had to find funding for. I was scared I wouldn’t meet expectations.

    But I’m getting busier. The woman who works on the other coast and supports me remotely just gave notice that she’s leaving to go to a Seattle tech company, so I have to take on some of her role while we hire her replacement. Yesterday I was flat out from 9-7. It was crazy. And I’m getting friendly with the other people in the office just by interacting with them over time. Things are starting to feel familiar and comfortable. And you know what? If it’s not a great fit in 9 months or so, I can look around. Leaving now is not really an option because I need a story about what I’ve accomplished and why I’m moving on, and I don’t have that yet. So I have to stay positive and keep on keeping on. So do you.

    #698780 Reply

    I’m reading comments and learning it’s hard to earn an engineers trust. I am an engineer by trade and I do have a hard time with the new folks. My issues at my last job was wanting to sound professional and my team sounding so. I used to proof SO MANY emails to other management from my Admin and my Techs. It got to the point where they just knew to ask me, and reply with what I told them to instead of giving it too much fluff. It was months before I felt like they were able to reply without my department sounding like a group of idiots.

    #698787 Reply

    You don’t take it personally by reminding yourself that they didn’t intentionally exclude you. It’s alright to be disappointed but don’t assign them blame for forgetting you. People aren’t conspiring to exclude you, you just haven’t become familiar enough to remember to invite you.

    If you’re shy about asking an entire group of people to lunch, then just ask one person, or a small group if they’d like to try X restaurant.

    I also agree with Ron’s advise about setting up meetings with each individual engineer to ask them what you can help with. If you’re not getting enough work, you need to be proactive about finding it. Ask the office manager for more work or for the names of other people who might need assistance. Ask questions and talk to people whenever you can. You’ll have more work, and the more you get your face out there, the more likely people will be to think of you next time some social is being planned.

    Also – Good for you for getting yourself out of your Dad’s business! Use that same drive in a different way to make yourself successful at your new job.

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