Co-Op Confessions: Good Employee or Annoying Newbie?

By Sabrina Safran

Is there a fine line between being a good employee and being an annoying “newbie?”

(Image credit: Victor1558)

No matter what the circumstance, no one likes being the new kid on the block. Whether you’re moving somewhere new, starting a new job, or just picking up a new hobby where socializing can seem strenuous at first, change is something that makes many people feel hesitant. I was especially hesitant when I initially began working at Logo TV. Of course I was excited to begin a new chapter in my life, even though I had the inevitable first day “butterflies” that a new employees tend to experience. Though I’ve become acclimated to the new faces around my office as well as the job itself, sometimes I wonder if I’m actually trying too hard to get on everyone’s good side as the “newbie” on my floor. Now after having read that last sentence you may be thinking: “Is there even such a thing as being too nice in the workplace? Of course you have to be nice. You do want a job, don’t you?” Well…yes, a job after graduation would be spectacular. However, it’s always intimidating to talk to my superiors at work because I don’t want to burden or interrupt them even if it’s to ask them if they’d like me to get them lunch or to make copies of documents if I overhear that they have their hands full. Sometimes I can’t help but wonder: Do they appreciate my reaching out? Or am I perceived as the annoying “kiss-up” around the office?

When you’re starting a new job, especially when you’re starting at the bottom, having to interact with such important people can be intimidating. However, I heard a quote yesterday during an array of presentations in my senior seminar class that really left an impression on me: “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.” For these presentations, each of us had to go out and interview a professional in our areas of study and present what we learned to the class. Though I do not recall who shared that quote, I do remember the feeling of relief I felt when that person decided to share that with the class.

Though it can be hard to judge whether or not you’re perceived as being nice and friendly versus being annoying and overbearing, being nice is something that leaves a long-lasting impression. Even if your superiors stare you down if you ask if there’s anything you can do for them, the point is that you’re making an effort to reach out and juggle their needs along with your miscellaneous tasks. Though the quote I heard in class was so simple, it made me realize that it’s okay to go out of your comfort zone. And besides, if I or my co-workers were really acting like an annoying “newbie,” then our superiors would tell us, since they’re used to being so direct. So what’s the moral of this story? Don’t be afraid to go in there, be confident, and kill ‘em with kindness. I know I’m still learning and I have to admit, I’m the worst at taking my own advice. But just remember, the worst they’ll respond with is “no thank you” and maybe sometimes “yes please,” leaving you to wonder if you should have even asked at all…

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