Having recently changed jobs, I find myself in a new office environment where I’m trying to find my feet, adapt to the culture and most importantly the politics of the workplace. You know, who is approachable, who are respected by others, who are the troublemakers and who not to have coffee with.
Coming from a relatively senior position previously, I’m doing my best to fit in as part of the team rather than leading the team and this is more difficult than I first imagined.
I find myself accepting more basic (sometimes questionable) tasks through gritted teeth, while smiling, nodding and being as helpful as I can be. I do have ambition to make progress back up the managerial ladder but realise I’ll have to play the long game and ensure I can gain some respect from those around me in order to be accepted if I do get promoted in the future.
Many of the staff in the team are probably ten to fifteen years younger than me. That doesn’t bother me too much and I still think I can relate to them, even if technically I’m more like their older brother, or more likely an embarrassing uncle.
However I have had a few conversations where just when I felt like I was fitting in and getting along fine, I have inadvertently drifted off topic.
When one of your anecdotes is about the time you went to see “St Elmo’s Fire” and three sub 30 year old faces stare at you blankly, it’s time to accept where you belong and go and have coffee with the wrinklies.