I recently changed jobs and am learning that I need to relax. I went from a very large organization to one that is minute in comparison. I knew that there would be an adjustment period, but I didn’t go much farther with that thought. I’m actually going through culture shock. CULTURE SHOCK. Not only with the fact that I’m working in an organization that’s the extreme opposite in terms of numbers, but now I’m traveling from small town to small town. It’s a beautiful drive and I’m so thankful that my commute isn’t anything like it was before, but I’m realizing just how much of a city girl I am.
This is something I’ve always known about myself. I had no idea that it would really play a role in my professional life. My [what was] typical day is what my new coworkers would consider an insanely busy day. My emails explaining to someone that ‘since X didn’t happen, Y will be the outcome’ are considered ‘aggressive’. Which then made me completely rethink my ways of communication and how I would things. I’m constantly being reminded to write ‘very nice’ emails. (I inquired about this, “Have I been writing rude emails?” “No, it’s just that when X was running this office they weren’t very nice and made a lot of enemies and now we are getting back to a friendly place with everyone.” Okay, well, now that we got that piece of history explained let’s continue with the present and building those friendly relationships!). I was even told by a few people “you’re in Small Town America, that will take awhile to get done,” WHAT? I even encountered a few Small Town Lifers if I was ever mugged. (No, thank God). Exclamation points are very popular. So are emoticons. In work emails.
I’ve only met a small amount of my new extended coworkers, but have met most of the immediate coworkers. Everyone has been nice, but the local cafeteria is such an awkward place. I opted for the cafeteria lunch one day and thought about how going to four different high schools was easier than this. I feel like I’m Nemo taken from the ocean and put into the fish tank, only I made the decision to leave the ocean (hello, living expenses!) and enter the small fish tank. But really, four high schools was easier than this. I never thought that trying to fit in as an adult would be so challenging!
Aside from trying to fit in as an adult, my days aren’t anything like they used to be and I’m trying to learn how to relax. Again, I’m a city person, so I’m used to getting things done quickly and moving quickly with things… no slowing down! Welp, now I’ve slowed down and have a lot of energy that needs to go somewhere other than working out and adding things to my never ending To Clean & To Organize list.
I had the opportunity to hang out with my previous boss and had asked their opinions about some of the struggles I’ve been having in my transition. Given that they know this side of me so well, plus knowing my strengths and weaknesses, they gave me great advice. I’d so thankful that my relationship is still in existence with them, as they’re an amazing and brilliant individual! Most people can’t ask their previous boss, “Do you have any suggestions for me about this? Since you know what makes me professionally tick, what makes me frustrated and what I’ve accomplished in the last eight years of my life?”
Have you made major job changes that created culture shock?
Have you ever had a struggle with fitting in as an adult?
Any advice or suggestions?!