If You Are a Newbie, Don’t Act Like a Pro!

Date: 01.Sep 2006 | Reading Time: 1 minute, 57 seconds

We met our new interns today and they all seemed very nice. One of them made a little bad impression though. Not only was he new in the company, but he also made bold statements about his future work. And he had never touched that area before, so what he said was either over the top or just wrong. Both things made him look like an arrogant guy or someone who has no clue at all (I am not sure which one fits better).

I think he could have avoided that hint of a bad impression with a little reality check before opening his mouth. He was the new guy, so the first thing he said should not have been to disagree with the two residents of our company who do this job for over two years now. At least not about a thing he obviously has no clue about. So before you start braging, check first how things in your future work environment work. And even if you think, you know better then all the guys, who did this job way longer then you, there are smarter ways to show you know something. Don’t make a statement. Formulate a question.

For example, instead of “To do job X like that isn’t smart, because that will give you crappy quality”, try to formulate it as a question that doesn’t insult your conversation partner (even if you think you are right). Say something like “I heard, that doing job X like this means loosing quality. Is that right or did you find a way around it?”. It’s a win-win situation.

If you are right about it, your (probably more experienced) future co-workers, will be impressed because although you never worked in the area you have done your homework.
If you are wrong, you don’t make the impression of someone who didn’t do his homework, because you didn’t make a statement, you asked a question. And because you asked a question, you also have the chance to learn, because what you will now get is an answer.

Of course this basically is true for every situation where you come into a group of people. You first should find out where you stand before you burn bridges.

I just had to get this off my chest.