Why work is like school

2008

If you want a rumor to spread faster than you've ever seen, you need only whisper it within an office. Sometimes it makes you wonder if you're still in high school.

The first thing you're likely to come up against at work that will remind you of school are the bullies. Yes, the same kind of people shoving others into lockers and stealing their lunch money, are now the same people you might be working beside. They will dismiss your ideas or berate you in a company meeting.

Second, you will need to learn how to dodge workplace gossip. Just like the gossip that spread from locker to locker, a farm of cubicles is the perfect "firetrap" for rumors.

Third, you will need to make friends just like you had to that first day in high school. However, as scary as this still is, forming relationships is key to keeping you sane in a crazy working environment.

Fourth, you may need to find a mentor. Just like that teacher who taught you as much about life as shop, finding someone who has been through the ringer at the company can help you learn from their mistakes.

Finally, and fifth, you may need to participate in extracurricular activities. In the work place this means taking the time to get out of your house and not taking work home with you every night can be very important just like sports was in high school.

Keeping these things in your mind as you enter the new office environment may actually provide a comfort for you. You survived it once, and you can do it again with a higher salary.

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