Being the new guy in your work place can be intimidating. It can cause anxiety, frustration, and hamper your productivity. Sometimes its your coworkers not making it easy for you, sometimes its just you, your mindset, willingness to stretch your limits.
I’m one of the new guys at OrderedList and I’d like to share three things that helped me jumpstart my productivity at OrderedList and catapult me to being a key part of the team.
This is something we should all apply, regardless of whether we’re the new guy, but its especially helpful when trying to fit into a new environment. Having a servants heart means you are constantly looking for the best way to serve those around you.
You notice someone has a stuffy nose, grab them some kleenex. A coworker is frustrated with what he’s working on, ask him if he’d like to use you as a sounding board.
Being aware of others needs and acting on it makes you instantly useful to the team and endears you to them.
Find A Mentor
Starting a new job means learning how to do new things. Some people can just jump in without help and do an amazing job, I’m not one of those people. I found at this job that watching, recognizing, and imitating patterns of work was the quickest way for me to get directly involved in what we do.
Thankfully I have the opportunity almost every day to pair program with our other new guy, Brandon, who has years more experience than I do. I do the best I can as a pair partner, catching typos, helping with decisions, and more, but most importantly I’m watching every line of code he writes, understanding it, and asking questions when I don’t, so that later I can imitate and create beautiful code.
I could just dive in on projects and do things the way I know how to do them, but finding someone smarter than you to imitate pushes you to continue expanding what you know how to do.
Do What You Know
The past month and a few days we’ve been working on a new product, Gauges, in our spare time. A lot of the tech on this project I had never used before, so initially I found it hard to jump in and help. I paired and helped when I could, but I really wanted to contribute on my own. Then the opportunity arose to work on the admin section, something I knew how to do.
I dove right in, here was something I could contribute with little to no help from my team, and it was something that they could appreciate day to day. Sometimes you need to step back, do what you know, and get that instant rush of being a valuable member on the team, a contributor, and not so much the new guy anymore.