They’re no different to us!
Starting at a new company can be a difficult, anxious, sometimes a scary time for anyone, even more so for juniors only just breaking into that sector. One of the biggest fears, that at least I had (but I am sure there are others!), was being seen as inferior, lesser or not quite ‘one of them’, just because I am a graduate who’s starting a training scheme. This was felt both within the group I was training with, as some of my colleagues have come from much more technical degrees and backgrounds, as well as in the wider business, seeing as these are people who have lived and breathed coding for years, have written countless literature, created amazing things and know (what feels like) infinitely more than I do!
I’ve only been at this company for less than a week and have already noticed that everyone is incredibly friendly, helpful, chatty and welcoming. They have made me feel like I belong here already and without even doing anything in particular! No one has looked down at me, no one has made me feel like I’m ‘only’ a grad and certainly no one has made me feel inferior. I have the feeling that I could go and talk to anyone in the building right now and that would be fine, they wouldn’t judge me and instead would simply treat me as a colleague, as one of ‘theirs’. The biggest and yet simplest way that makes me feel as though I fit in is that I have a staff lanyard around my neck; it’s not in any way different to someone who has worked here for ten years, it makes me feel like I belong.
The company itself has made me feel at home, but so have all the individuals working at the company and the fellow graduates. It’s such a simple and yet a meaningful thing for a company to achieve: “Don’t alienate people”. When you put it like that, it’s simple to action, however, I don’t think all companies manage to achieve this. If you keep people happy and make them feel that they belong, there’s a bigger chance they’ll produce higher quality work and remain at the company longer, though of course these are not the only factors to ensure the success of a business!
The first time I truly realised this was when I went to the bathroom at work and I smiled to myself as the thought ran through my head: “We all use the same bathroom” (well, mostly). At this point, it really made sense to me that we are all just the same. Yes, we are of different ages, sexes, roles, titles and departments, but in essence we are all the same. Working at the same company, for mostly the same reasons, aiming for the same goal. So I urge you, if you’re a new starter or a junior, when you next go to the work bathroom just think of this.
I guess what I am trying to say in this article is that it is completely understandable to be anxious before starting, after all it is a new place and perhaps new experiences! Anxiety is a normal feeling to have and everyone has it, so don’t be afraid that things won’t work out, because they will. Everyone has been in your shoes at one point or another, and you’ve been hired for a reason! Next time you are in a situation like this, just remember everyone uses the same bathroom.