transcript of “how do I start a new job on the right foot?”

This is a transcription of the Ask a Manager podcast episode “How do I start a new job on the right foot?”.

Alison: Starting a new job can be nerve-wracking. Getting to know a bunch of new people and new information, learning a new culture, making a good impression, figuring out new expectations — all while you’re still figuring out where the bathrooms are and where to get a good burrito for lunch. Our guest today is about to start a new job and she has questions. Hi and welcome to the show.

Guest: Hi Alison, thanks for having me.

Alison: Thanks for being here. So you are about to start a new job and it’s been a while since you were the new person somewhere, and you have a bunch of questions that you want to talk through, all centered around getting off on the right foot at the new place. Does that about sum it up?

Guest: That’s absolutely right. I’ve been in my current role for about five years and in the industry for about ten, and this is just very new to me, for a while anyway. I haven’t started a new job in a while, so I want to make sure I get going right.

Alison: It’s weird to start a new job, I think, after you’ve been somewhere else for awhile. I’m going to give you a bunch of general advice about starting a new job and then let’s dive into your specific questions if that sounds good.

Guest: Perfect.

Alison: Okay. I think that one big thing to frame the whole conversation around is, don’t get overwhelmed. And at the same time you are going to get overwhelmed because there’s going to be a huge amount of new information getting thrown at you during your first week. Everything from who to talk to about the retirement plan, to how to actually do your job. And you are not going to retain all of it and that is completely normal, so don’t panic if you feel like you can’t remember everything that is coming at you. It would be really surprising if you could remember it all. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a new hire who could remember everything they were told during their first week, so don’t freak out if you feel like you’re not retaining everything. Now to the extent that you can, it’s smart to write things down and you should keep all that paperwork that they give you on your first day. I think people never look at it again after day one, but actually if you hold onto it, on your third or fourth week you should pull it out again and take a look at it then, because you’re much more likely to retain more of it then. It’s going to have more meaning to you once you have a bit of a structure built in your brain to place it all in at that point, if that makes sense.

Guest: Yeah, it does. And three or four weeks in, it’s still appropriate to go back and ask more questions, right?

Alison: Absolutely, yeah. And really, I think in most jobs it takes at least a few months to feel like you know what you’re doing and you’re not realizing that you have constant questions that you need to ask someone, and sometimes it’s even more like six months depending on the job. So if you’re a month in and you still feel a little over your head and you still realize you have questions, that is completely normal. And in the vast majority of cases, that is going to go away in time. There’s usually a point later where suddenly you realize that everything has clicked and you’re in a flow, but it takes a few months for most people.

Guest: Yeah, I bet. Great (laughs).

Alison: And then, related to feeling overwhelmed, take notes because you are going to have all these details coming at you. There’s no way you’re going to remember all of them. So just carry something to take notes with you everywhere you go. You know, I say that, but I know a lot of people religiously take notes and then never look at them again.

Guest: Yes, I’m one of those for sure.

Alison: There is something for some people about the act of writing things down that does seem to lodge it in your brain a little bit more than if you never wrote it down. So I still think there’s some benefit to doing it even if you aren’t really good about going back and looking at them. But this is a time I think where like, the end of your first week, beginning of your second week — pull out the notes and take a look because I bet there will be something in there where you’ll think, “Oh, I’m so glad that I am remembering this.”

Guest: Yeah, definitely. I’m the type of person, I’ll write a note and it’ll just jog the whole conversation for me when I look back at it, so that makes sense.

Alison: Exactly. And sometimes you might realize you didn’t have a question about the topic at the time it was being discussed when you were taking notes, but now a week and a half in you have more context and it’s going to jog questions for you that you’ll realize you need to ask.

Guest: Yeah, for sure.

Alison: Let’s see. Another big thing is culture. You want to really make a point of paying attention to the office culture. Every office is going to have these sort of unwritten rules about how we do things here. And sometimes they’re so ingrained in the culture that people who work there can’t even spot them in order to articulate them to newcomers, but they can tell when someone’s not following them. So for your first couple of months I would say, pay a lot of attention to how people operate. So watch things like, are they all exactly on time for meetings to the minute and it’s a huge faux pas to walk in a few minutes late, or same thing for time of arrival in the morning, actually. Some offices are pretty laissez faire about it and others are not. And stuff like, do people mainly use email or Slack to communicate, or do they pop by in person, and how do they handle lunch, and who gets copied on emails. All of those little things about how the office operates that you really just pick up by watching. Pay attention to that stuff, because you’re going to learn it eventually anyway, but if you make a concerted point of watching for it in the beginning I think it’ll help you learn the culture more quickly, and it’s going to feel like a more familiar environment where you fit in more quickly as well.

Guest: I hadn’t even thought of that — little office quirks that I’ve gotten used to and now that I’m looking back I’m thinking, did I set that example for other people who were new at my last job? That’s really interesting.

Alison: And I think it’s going to feel weird to you — it would feel weird to anyone starting a new job because you’re so used to the culture at your old office and you’re going to see differences, and some of them will be things that I bet you wouldn’t have even thought of if someone said, “Tell me about what your current office is like. What’s the culture like?” There are things that are so ingrained and so unconscious that you wouldn’t even think to name them, but you’re going to become really aware of them at this next job because of the contrast.

Guest: Yeah, definitely. Well, I’m coming from a very small company and it’s very casual, and going into a much more corporate office and there’s hundreds of people in the building. That that alone is very overwhelming, but to consider each of those cultural nuances within that larger corporation is a big deal for me. So that makes a lot of sense to follow that.

Alison: By the way, do you know if you’re going to be in your own office, or in a cube, or in an open office space?

Guest: I don’t know yet. I believe it’s going to be a cubicle kind of situation.

Alison: Okay. If it were a completely open office, well, first of all you would have my sympathies, but second, if it were an open office, I would say there’s even more practices that you would find that had evolved about how people work in that space: stuff like, no one ever takes the call on speakerphone if you’re lucky, and will be really irate if you do, or just like modulating their voices or so forth. If you did end up in a shared space, I would say really watch how people navigate that. Because it’s so easy to run afoul of unspoken rules in that kind of environment.

Guest: Yeah, definitely.

Alison: And then I think there is a whole category of stuff about getting aligned with your boss. Do you have a feel for your new boss yet? Do you have a sense of what that relationship might be like?

Guest: Yeah, it seems very friendly, very open. He both interviewed me with a very open and honest kind of tone and then also called me just a few weeks ago to welcome me once I did formally accept. And so far seems really open, really friendly and welcoming and considerate. He seems like he’ll be open to working with me and seeing how we’re going to work together. So it feels good. It feels really, really good.

Alison: Good. Your boss may initiate this when you start, but if he doesn’t, sometime during your first week try to sit down with him and talk about what your goals should be for your first month and your first six months. And ask if there are things that you should be reading or reviewing, or people you should be meeting with to help you get up to speed. That is stuff that your manager should proactively take care of talking to you about, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he will because many managers are pretty bad at training and orienting people. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the sign of a bad manager. I think training is a whole separate skill set unto itself, and some people are pretty decent managers but not super thoughtful trainers. So if you aren’t getting this stuff flowing at you from him, don’t hesitate to raise it on your own.

Guest: Oh, that’s great. I’ve never thought of that, of sitting down and just asking, “What do you expect of me for this particular time period?” But that would be actually really helpful for me. I thrive on that kind of thing where having set goals is really important to me. And meeting those goals or exceeding those goals is a feel good moment for me and also shows them what I can do. I really like that idea.

Alison: Good, yeah. And I think there’s this weird feeling when you’re new at a job where you’re just kind of floating and you’re not anchored to any specific expectations yet the way that you might be six months down the road. Often, not always. And it can be hard to know, “I feel really overwhelmed. Am I even doing an okay job? Am I where they would expect me to be? Or am I really messing this up?” And if you’ve talked explicitly like, “Okay, here’s what we’re expecting from your first month, your first three months, your first six months,” then you do have something to anchor those feelings against. And you’ll be able to tell, “Okay, we talked about I should accomplish a, b, c, and d in my first month that I’m on track to do that.” And it’s going to take away some of that free-floating anxiety that I think otherwise can be really common when you’re new.

Guest: Oh, that sounds great.

Alison: Along the same lines, don’t hesitate to ask your manager questions about anything. It’s okay to ask, “What can I look at to get a better understanding of X?” Or “With this project that you’re asking me to do, are there samples of this type of project from the past that I could look at to see how it’s been approached previously?” Really, anything like that. If I were your manager and you were asking me those questions, I would be thrilled, so don’t be shy about doing that. And it’s also totally okay to check in with your boss and ask how things are going. After you’ve been there a couple of weeks, maybe two or three weeks, you can check in with him and you can ask if there’s anything he wants you doing differently or if there are areas where he wants you to focus in more. And again, that is stuff that he should tell you proactively, but not all managers are on the ball with that kind of thing — some just take longer to get around to it. So by you asking the question and making it clear that you really welcome feedback, you can sometimes get useful input earlier. And sometimes, often actually, it’s just going to be, “Yeah, everything is going great. You’re picking up what we want you to pick up.” And it’s really nice to have that reassurance.

Guest: Oh yeah. And honestly, one of the reasons that I’m leaving my current company is I never got feedback. Or if I got feedback, it really only felt negative. And I think everybody wants to feel like they’re doing a good job sometimes. So I was ready for something like that. And one of the things that sold me on my new job is, they actually showed me a little bit about their feedback formula. And it’s basically a three segment: this is what you’re doing good, keep doing it; this is something that I can deal with from a manager’s perspective, but you could improve upon it; these are deal breakers I need to change. And what they told me is that most people never have anything on that third part, but it’s there in case we do come across that. And it was just really reassuring to see that they have a formalized standard for giving that feedback both good and bad.

Alison: Yeah, I love that because it says that they’re being really intentional about making it a normal, ongoing part of their culture and it’s not going to be an office hopefully where the one time you get feedback is on your annual performance evaluation in December.

Guest: Exactly. And I never had a performance evaluation with my old company, so super excited to have anything.

Alison: You’re like the only person in the world who’s excited about the prospect of a performance evaluation.

Guest: (Laughs) That’s okay.

Alison: I’m actually right there with you. I think they’re really helpful frankly. One other thing I would say is, and we touched on this a little bit earlier, but I want to really draw it out: don’t be shy about asking for help when you need it. Because sometimes I think when people are new, they hesitate to ask for help because they worry that it’ll make them look like they don’t know what they’re doing, but you’re new and it’s normal to not know exactly what you’re doing. People expect you to have questions and to need help and frankly, it’s more alarming if a new person doesn’t ask any questions. And most people will be perfectly happy to answer questions for you, especially if you save them up in batches as opposed to peppering people throughout the day with them. But most people will be very open to it if you say, “Hey, do you have 10 or 15 minutes later this week where I could sit down with you and go over some of this?”

Guest: Okay. That’s great. One other thing kind of on that note, I know that there’s another person in the group who is going to be doing the exact same work that I’m doing, and she’s been doing it of course for longer. Would it be okay if as I finish a part of a project or a project, to just ask her, “Can you check this, make sure I’m doing it right?” I don’t want to sound not confident, but I want to make sure before I get too far ahead that I’m not just totally scaring their system up.

Alison: Yes, absolutely. I think for sure the first one or two times that you do it, absolutely. Whether or not to continue doing it after the first one or two times I think depends on how complicated and difficult the work is generally understood to be. But you could ask that too. You could say, “Is this the kind of thing that would make sense to have you do maybe for my first month, or does it make more sense to just do it my first one or two times?”

Guest: Okay. Makes sense.

Alison: Before we get into your questions, actually one other thought that I have that people don’t always think about when they start a new job is to avoid getting drawn into office cliques or office politics. You want to be friendly to people of course, but just have in the back of your head that you don’t have all of the context yet, and you can’t truly understand what might be going on in a particular disagreement or a particular conflict — and you can harm your own standing if you take a side prematurely. So in your first month or so, if people try to get you to weigh in on any office conflicts, I would stay neutral. And that is especially true if you hear anyone badmouthing your boss — or badmouthing anyone really, because it could be that they’re 100 percent right, but maybe you’re talking to the office slacker, or the person with the worst judgment in the company, and you don’t know it yet because you’re new. I would just say, avoid wading into that kind of thing for a while.

Guest: Yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense. I hadn’t even thought of that, all the office gossip. I don’t want to deal with it!

Alison: I think it’s so easy to get ensnared into it early on because someone starts being friendly and you think, “Oh great. Someone’s being friendly.” And then before you know it, you’re being pulled into that kind of conversation.

Guest: Yeah, yeah. I’ll be cognizant to that for sure.

Alison: Well, so that is my initial monologue here. Does that all make sense? Is there anything that you want to ask about there before we get into your list of questions?

Guest: I think it’s really helpful. Like I said, it’s just been so long that I feel like I’m ingrained in what I know, and now I’m going into a totally unknown situation and things have probably really changed since I last started a job. So this is really helpful, for sure.

Alison: Good. Okay. Tell me what’s on your list.

Guest: Oh, this is a big one. How do I introduce myself to my new coworkers? The elevator talk has always been something I’ve really struggled with — that first burst of explaining who I am, what’s the best way to do that that exudes confidence but not arrogance?

Alison: And that’s a great question. If your office is good about this, your manager or someone else is going to do a lot of the introductions for you, but if that doesn’t happen or if it doesn’t happen with everyone, it’s totally okay for you to just initiate it yourself. You can literally just walk up to someone and say, “Hi, I’m Jane Smith and I’m the new graphic designer,” or whatever your role is. And then you say, “I just wanted to introduce myself and say hi.” And then you can kind of tailor it from there. If it’s someone who you think you’ll be working with pretty closely, you could say, “I think we’ll probably be doing a lot of work together. I’d love to sit down and talk through any upcoming projects anytime you want,” or anything along those lines, but people are usually going to take it from there. They’ll introduce themselves, they’ll welcome you. Some people will stop there — at that point for them, the introduction is done and then they’re going back to work and that’s it, but other people will ask you questions, like what you were doing before this or so forth. So just watch for cues from them, because you’ll usually get a feel for whether someone wants extended conversation or not. If you can’t tell and it’s not somewhere like the elevator where obviously they don’t need to instantly turn back to their laptop, I would say if you can’t tell, assume they’re busy, say something like, “It was great meeting you, I’m looking forward to working with you.” But generally people will be pretty friendly and will make this pretty easy for you. And if someone doesn’t, I would assume that is more about them, not about you. You may have just found the office grump.

Guest: Oh, okay. Yeah, that makes sense. And then on that same note, is there any informational no-nos — stuff that I don’t need to share right away? Stuff maybe my previous company, if it were negative? It’s not particularly negative, but I did leave for a reason. Or anything personal. Is there anything that I just shouldn’t divulge right away for some reason?

Alison: I would avoid badmouthing your old company or getting into heavy details about why you left. If you left because you couldn’t get a raise or your manager sucked or your job had become horribly boring, don’t get into that stuff. People won’t usually ask why you left anyway, although they might ask what drew you to this job, the new one, or the new company. And if anyone does ask why you left and you don’t really want to get into it, a good answer is to just respond with why you came to this new one. Or you could just say, “Oh, I’ve been there five years. I was ready for something new.” You can’t say that if you were only there a year or two, that would sound odd. But I think you actually were there for a while.

Guest: Yeah, it was. I was there for just over five years.

Alison: Yeah. So something like, “You know, I’d been there five years. I was excited to do something new, and this job appealed to me because of blank.” That works perfectly well. And other topics I would avoid, I think the only ones are really the ones that you would avoid with a client. So no religion, no politics, no sex, the usual off-limits ones — but nothing special just because you’re new. Actually, I’m going to caveat that. You don’t want to overshare, because once you’ve been there a while and you formed closer relationships with some people, you might find that you do talk to them in a similar way to how you talk to friends outside of work. You might share a little bit more about your dating life or your family. But while you’re new there’s more of a danger of seeming to overshare before you’ve really made those connections. I think a good litmus test is: would I share this with a client who I liked and had a warm relationship with but still had real professional boundaries up with? So be warm, be friendly, don’t feel like you have to hide major things like having a spouse or having kids, but at the same time don’t get really personal until there’s more of a foundation and you know people better.

Guest: That’s great. That’s really good. That’s helpful. And then I know, I mentioned earlier, I will be working with one person I think is about my age. I know she just got married. And we’re going to be doing the same thing, I believe we’re going to be working a lot together. What’s a great way to start off on the right foot aside from just general niceties and don’t be a jerk?

Alison: Don’t be a jerk is a good one. I would say, be warm and friendly towards her, but pay attention to her cues. If she is someone who is all business, she’s probably not up for a long conversation about Game of Thrones. And that doesn’t mean that she’s being cold — she might just be focused on getting you trained because she’s got other work that she has to get back to. So don’t take it personally if you’re not getting signs that she’s open to chatting, but keep your tone warm and really pay attention to the training that she’s giving you. Take notes and be engaged, because if you’ve ever trained anyone, you know how unsettling it is when the person you’re training isn’t showing any external signs that they’re getting it, like taking notes or nodding or showing that it’s registering. So be the opposite of that. Do take notes and do stay engaged — and that’s a really good way to get on the good side of someone who’s training you. The other thing is that you could ask her for her preferences for how you work together. If you expect you’re going to have a lot of questions for her, you could ask how she prefers you handle that. Does she want them piecemeal as they come up? Does she want you to save them up and ask them all in a bunch once a day? That kind of thing. Because that’ll show consideration for her. But really as long as you’re nice and you’re paying attention, I think it should go fine.

Guest: Oh, that’s great. That makes a lot of sense. And that’s really funny too because as I was training someone who’s going to be replacing some of my duties at my last job, he actually fell asleep.

Alison: (Gasps) Oh no.

Guest: While I was training him.

Alison: What did you do?

Guest: I just kind of nudged him and reminded him that I’m not going to be here tomorrow.

Alison: So you were literally sitting there next to him talking to him and he fell asleep.

Guest: Yeah.

Alison: That is alarming.

Guest: He’s young. It’s software stuff, so I know it’s really boring, but it was just the head nodding kind of thing. And I’m like, “Oh boy.”

Alison: Oh, no. I will say that years and years ago, in my early twenties, I had been in a job where I had been working from home for a couple of years and so I got to keep my own schedule. I am by nature a night owl. And I was working this ridiculous schedule where I would sleep until like noon, I would get up, I would work until late in the night. I was working all the hours, I was just doing them at odd times. Well, I changed positions within the organization and I had to work from the office again. And my first day in the office, it was after lunch when, of course you’re always a little sleepier. And I remember sitting in my new manager’s office and she was training me just like in this situation, and I remember the horror of realizing that I was physically struggling to keep my eyelids open and that she could probably see it. It was mortifying. So hopefully this guy had the sense to be a little embarrassed by it.

Guest: I made sure I wrote a lot of notes and left a lot of [inaudible]. It was interesting for sure. So I guess maybe rule number one, don’t fall asleep.

Alison: Yeah, I mean to answer your question about how to get off on a good foot with the person who’s training you, I think you’ve had a very good example of what not to do.

Guest: Yeah, I think so.

Alison: What else is on your list?

Guest: I think the last thing I had was just, how do I get people to like me? I’ve been with this other company for five years, I’ve gotten to know the people who are going to laugh at my jokes — I’m kind of a jokester I guess — but how do I make sure people like me or at least don’t hate me?

Alison: I think it helps to think about what you have appreciated from new colleagues who were the new hires in your old company, because probably most of the time you were just hoping that they were going to be a reasonably normal, nice person without any horribly annoying habits. And so if you show that you’re that, that is going to get you a lot of the way there. It does help though I think to make a point of getting to know people, so even if you are someone who normally wouldn’t spend a lot of time socializing with coworkers, I think during your first month or two it’s helpful to put in the effort to do it. Even if you’re not going to keep it up, doing it at the beginning can help. That just means stuff like asking a coworker to get coffee with you or to grab lunch. And if you feel weird about doing that as a purely social overture, you can make it about work. You could say, “Hey, I’d love to learn more about the work that you do,” or, “Would you want to grab coffee and talk to me about project X, Y, and Z?” Or even more low key if you’re not up for that, you can even just ask people advice for things like where to get lunch near the office or where there’s a good dry cleaners. People love to be asked for advice. And actually this is really interesting — there is research that shows that when someone is helpful to you or does you a favor, they actually like you more afterward.

Guest: Really?

Alison: Yeah. Which is pretty interesting. So ask for advice — and allegedly, according to science, that will help people feel warm and fuzzy thoughts toward you.

Guest: Oh, I like science.

Alison: Yeah.

Guest: Awesome. That’s really helpful and that makes a lot of sense. I mean, I’m naturally a helpful person. I like to help other people too. So that does align with what I want to be doing and how I want to be connecting with people. So that’s great. That makes a lot of sense.

Alison: I am someone who likes, obviously, to give advice and likes to be helpful, and I can actually see that at work. When someone takes the time to ask me for my opinion and I take the time to give them advice in return, I do feel good toward them. I feel like, “Oh, they respected me enough to ask for my opinion.” And now we’ve sort of had this thing that we connected over and I do have warm thoughts toward them afterward.

Guest: Yes, for sure. I do too.

Alison: Let’s see. Other stuff, low key stuff. Ask about people’s weekends. Ask about the photos they have on their desks. Pick up on any mentions of common interests. One other thing too, actually — figure out if there is a connector type in your office. The person who is the office social director, who’s friendly with everyone and always seems to be involved in anyone making plans. Make them one of the first people on your list to ask to coffee, because if you connect with that person, that can be sort of an entry point to other people too. And sometimes if you mention to that person that you are eager to get to know other people better, they will kind of take you under their wing and help you do it. So if you spot someone like that, make a point of making an overture towards them.

Guest: Oh, interesting. Yeah, I hadn’t even thought of that. There’s always somebody who is kind of the connector, the person who puts everybody together. That makes a lot of sense too.

Alison: Yeah, target that person (laughs)

Guest: Okay, I can do that (laughs)

Alison: One thing we haven’t talked about – -and maybe it’s not a question that you have, but the question of what to wear on your first day. Do you feel like you’re set there in terms of how dressed up to be?

Guest: That is a perfect question that I have agonized over. My office for several years now has been casual and low key to the point of jeans and a sweatshirt are perfectly appropriate. And so yeah, I actually went on a bit of a shopping spree and bought all new business casual slacks and nice tops or dresses — sweater dresses, it’s Minnesota, so it’s a little cooler — that kind of stuff. But is there something that’s most appropriate for your first day of work?

Alison: So your sense from being there for your interview, is that they’re business casual as opposed to formal business?

Guest: Definitely. The senior-level men were all in suits mostly, and the women who were going to be on my level were all wearing slacks and a nice shirt, a scarf or something like that. Definitely more business casual. Not very formal, but not the jeans and sweatshirts that I’m used to.

Alison: Yeah. That is a real change. I think for your first day I might go just a very slight bit more formal than you will the rest of the time. If you would normally wear nice pants and a nice top, I might just fancy it up a little bit. If you’re someone who wears skirts, maybe you wear a skirt that day, maybe you just were the nicest of the new outfits that you’ve bought. Just like a fraction of a tad nicer. A fraction of a tad. I don’t know if that’s a unit of measurement, but I’ve made it one. Just a little bit more formal than what you’re going to wear the rest of the time. But it sounds like you have a good feel for what people in the office are wearing and you’ve already assembled the clothes that you need to do that.

Guest: Yeah, I think so. I mean, I didn’t see everyone but I did see the people who I would be mostly working with. And it’s kind of hard to gauge as a woman knowing that your superiors, the two senior people above me are men and they were both wearing suits when I met with them. But the woman who I’m going to be working with, I kind of tried to match her style. So whatever she was going with, I bought all of that.

Alison: That’s smart. During the hiring process, did you happen to interact with anyone who was a woman, like anyone in recruiting? Or were you only dealing with men?

Guest: Just the woman who I was going to be working with directly. I had email and phone conversations with the HR representatives who were women, but aside from that, the only one I met is the person that I’m actually gonna be working with.

Alison: Okay. Because if you wanted to, you could email even the HR person who you only talked to on the phone. You could email her or you could email the coworker who you who you did meet and you could just say, “Hey, from being there my sense of the dress code is that it’s this, but I just want to run that by you and make sure that that’s right.” But that’s only if you really feel like you don’t know. If you’re pretty confident that that you know what it is, then I think you’re fine going with that.

Guest: I’m pretty comfortable, but that is a good point. And the people in HR were very approachable and easy to call and easy to talk to, so that I could do as well. That makes sense.

Alison: And they get that question all the time, so that’s not going to seem weird.

Guest: Okay, good. That’s good.

Alison: Anything else that you’re wondering about?

Guest: I don’t think so. I mean I start in four days and I’m less nervous now. I’ve finished up my past job so I’m just wrapping up. I’ve got a couple of days off here, so I’m ready and raring to go. And this has been super helpful. I feel much more at ease about starting to meet new people. I’m a little bit anxious when I meet new people at first, but this has been really helpful.

Alison: Good. I think it’ll go great. Well, thank you so much for coming on.

Guest: Yes, thank you Alison. I appreciate it.

Alison: Thanks for listening to the Ask a Manager podcast. If you’d like to come on the show to talk through your own question, email it to – or you can leave a recording of your question by calling 855-426-9675. You can get more Ask a Manager at, or in my book Ask a Manager: How to Navigate Clueless Colleagues, Lunch-Stealing Bosses, and the Rest of Your Life at Work. The Ask a Manager show is a partnership with How Stuff Works and is produced by Paul Dechant. If you liked what you heard, please take a minute to subscribe, rate, and review the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Play. I’m Alison Green and I’ll be back next week with another one of your questions.

Transcript provided by MJ Brodie.

You can see past podcast transcripts here.