Over the past 5 months, I’ve started as a new intern at 5 different organizations. Don’t worry. I’m not a bad employee. I’m just doing my pharmacy rotations. All of which are 5 weeks each.
So, every 5 weeks, I start all over again at a new location. Yes, that means I’ve been through orientation week 5 times in 5 different ways at 5 different organizations. And I’m not even done yet. I still have 3 more first weeks to go before the end of my fourth year.
But, no need to focus on that tiny detail of my life. Let’s move on to something even greater. What I noticed about different organizations. I also learned a lot about how people supervise. But we’ll save that for later on.
There are a couple of important things that I noticed are important when you start at a new organization. These are the things that you need to pay attention to. This might determine how long your stay will be.
For some people, this may be as long as the interview to figure out you don’t belong there. For others, it might take longer. Another person may realize that they absolutely love their new environment within seconds of being there.
Here’s what I’ve noticed about different organizations.
Training is everything
I will repeat this again. TRAINING IS EVERYTHING. This will set you up for your time at the organization. Also, you can tell a lot about an organization by how they train. Is train one day or a whole week? This can tell you whether the organization is about speed versus quality?
You ever heard of the saying that you can only have two of the three choices: quality, cheap, or fast? Well, the same goes for training. You can tell whether a company just wants the job done or also cares about its employee confidence and ability. Different organizations value different things.
You can learn about the company culture too. Are you being trained by technology, people, or a mixture of both? That will set the tone for the rest of your time there. You may learn that people don’t want to be bothered with in-person communication or the opposite, that in-person communication is preferred.
A quality training session might be very thorough and take about a week. It could consist of practice situations, meeting new people, and learning the ins and outs of the organization’s structure in addition to your actual role. It will increase your buy-in with the organization or just your overall connectedness. And that I think is very important for both the company and the employee when it comes to doing your job well and just having a better overall mental state.
What is the company’s morale like?
This is important because you can have all the greatest benefits on paper and still have low morale. Just look at everyone that’s working alongside you. Talk to people before you get there (off the record, of course). How do they feel about working at the organization? What’s the general overall mood like?
Is everyone happy or does everyone hate it?
Do people walk in with a cloud over their heads? Are they faking happiness? Because sometimes it’s not that difficult to tell that the happiness or kindness is fake.
Did you catch one of the employees crying at their desks over the stress? Don’t ignore the signs in front of your face. The environment is toxic! You know what a stressed unhappy person looks like. If that’s not the way you want to look, turn around and go back. Run!
Is everyone happy? How can you tell? Every time you mention the organization, everyone has positive things to say. You’re in awe of how happy their employees are. They joke around but are still professional. Even off the record, the news is still positive. They work in a healthy environment.
How they treat lunches and/ or breaks?
They don’t. If taking your lunch is like a crime, you may want to run in the other direction. However, if you love working through lunch, don’t let me stop you. That’s all I have to say. I feel like this section needs no more. You know how I feel about working through lunch. Sometimes you have to but I would rather not. It ruins your digestion.
Do you get breaks? Is your lunch one hour or 30 minutes? That may all depend on your profession and where you work. But that can also be a deal-breaker for you.
How comfortable is everyone with the boss?
Does everyone tiptoe around the boss? Or is everyone so close and comfortable? Are there still professional boundaries although the employees are comfortable? Or is there no respect at all happening? All these are important things to consider and look for when you are at an organization.
But the most important question of all is…
Is it all okay with you?
Are you okay with everything that is going on at the organization? Yeah, people are a little too comfortable with the boss and they don’t know what the professional boundaries are. But you absolutely love it. Or maybe that just makes you uncomfortable. You’d like to be respected for all the hard work it took you to get to this managerial position.
Or maybe long training sessions bore you. You’re a fast learner and there’s no need to reiterate the same dry information over and over again. You don’t care. And what better way to learn about your job than being thrown into the fire, right?
All that matters is that you find the right organization that fits you. I can talk about my opinions about the first weeks and how it defines a company. But you might have a differing opinion.
I personally love an in-depth training week and when employees have full buy-in on what they’re selling me. If you’re a believer, I want to become a believer too. However, if you don’t believe what you’re regurgitating from some packet, I can tell. And I want nothing to do with it. That’s what I’ve noticed over my 5 first weeks at 5 different organizations.
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