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Be you ...... but maybe wait until people get to know you.

My entire life people have either liked me or did not, very few are sort of "on the fence". I can threaten the hell out of people that are not secure/confident and maybe do not have the work ethic I have. I am opinionated, like change and challenges and REALLLLLY LIKE TO PROBLEM SOLVE but know that this scares a lot of people. So, I do TRY to tone it down when I meet new people. This self awareness is essential when you are starting a new job or interviewing for a new job.

Once people get to know what to expect from each other some compassion and understanding kicks in. That understanding grows with time and shared experiences. Your first 6 months with an organization are really important for building and assessing who your "go to" people are and how to "fit" into the organization.

I would try and coach staff that were on temporary assignments to work hard, learn the job and the group before offering suggestions/changes on processes and system as it sometimes takes some time to understand why they are doing what they are doing. Most times they would listen but every once in a while, someone would go in a "different direction".

Try and not to be super weird during your first few months. Usually, when we did temp assignments the first term was always for 3 months to see if they were going to fit in to that group. This is not the time to suddenly decide you want to change your name. Ya, this happened. We had a candidate in a role and 2 months into the 3-month term (which was eligible for a 6 month renewal) I get a call from the person saying they are changing their first name ....... why would you do that I ask trying to understand ...... their response was because I like it.


Now in the back of my brain I am panicking as the group we had them placed in was a very conservative group and I had done a check with the supervisor 1 week previous to see how things were going. They were doing ok but not killing it. I was already playing out how that conversation with that supervisor was going to go ........... I tried to discourage it but was unsuccessful. So I said that once they legally changed the name to send us the documentation and we would change payroll, etc. They said they would but wanted to be call this name immediately at work. I said I would call them.


I sat with my head on my desk for a while ....... trying to figure out a conversation script where a successful outcome was possible ........ I knew there was not going to be one. I called and communicated the situation to which there was a lot of silence on the other end. Ya, I so guess what ....... that person's term was not renewed ...... shocking!! This was about 10 - 12 years ago so a different time then now, where I think it might be ok if they had been doing a rock star job as well. Anyway, I communicated to the person that their term was not being renewed and they were completely surprised ........ this is a good example of someone with no self awareness and was not trying to fit into the team. Pretty funny when I look back and tell the story to others but at the time I was not impressed. Any guess what they wanted to change their name too? It too was weird ....... just to help this situation ha ha

Bottom line ..... fitting into a group is part of the job. Having a sense of humor goes a long way and so does being kind and a great listener. If you are all these things, you will know already how you are fitting into the group. Self Awareness ........


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