Views from the Bottom: How to Survive the First Week of Work

Take it from someone who has survived his first week in a new office: beginning a new job and entering a space filled with unfamiliar faces can be as pleasant as going on a supply run in a post-apocalyptic, walking dead-esque environment. Speaking from my own personal experiences, quickly ingratiating yourself with your coworkers is the difference between becoming etched in the office’s established camaraderie and slowly deteriorating alone in an undecorated cubicle—your metaphorical tomb. Morbid? Yes. Vital information? Absolutely. Here are a few tips, Five for Friday-style, to become a dynamic member of the office environment.

1.  First impressions only live twice 

One life is spent on physical appearance and the other is spent on the quality of your work. Selling plays a prominent role in marketing, and you have to sell yourself. No one wants to be remembered as the guy/girl who showed up on their first day dressed in hobo-chic. GQ is a man’s most trusted companion, and Vogue is a gal’s glamorous aunt who has seen it all professionally.

Moreover, whether you work in creative, sales or are a member of an account team, the quality of your work is the main reason you were hired. Prove to your superiors that your talent is authentic and you aren’t a pretender.

2.  No half measures

Believe it or not, having the mentality of a provocateur or a provocatrix can be beneficial if applied to your work properly. Who enjoys working with someone who timidly offers ideas or someone who is bereft of confidence? Push boundaries—respectfully—and show everyone you are ambitious and have the perspicacity to operate outside of the proverbial box. Do not shy away from a bold idea out of fear that it’ll be rejected. During my first week at Imaginuity, many of my ideas have been goal-tended with, “You shall not pass!” However, I have gained respect; the lead writer and creative director know my mind is filled with big ideas. Go all the way in everything you do. Taking full measures is the best policy.

3.  Be vivacious and helpful

Digital marketing is a fast-paced business that is not for the faint of heart. Everyone is swamped with work. So it’s easy, sometimes convenient, to forget the pleasantries of saying, “Hello. Good morning. How are you doing?” Speaking to people in passing is a lot better than pretending that everyone are ghosts.

4.  Office currency

Offering a helping hand builds long-term equity throughout the office. If a member of the account team asks you to write an impromptu blog post or copy for a client, do not hesitate to say, “YES!” If you spot the director of digital strategy lifting boxes or the office manager taking out the garbage, you should help. Helping people proves you are a part of the team, the office family. Goodwill is created and word spreads around the office. People will say, “Yeah. He’s a goodfella,” or “Of course. She’s awesome.”

5.  Surviving a Darwinian world

Entering a digital marketing agency’s work environment for the first time could mirror an episode of “The Walking Dead” or an episode of “Mad Men.” Learn from your leaders, earn your keep and follow my sage advice. Your coworkers will consider you family or an integral of the team in no time.

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