Okay, so maybe you weren’t planning to share your digestion updates with your new boss. But the sentiment still rings true.
Learning to communicate with a boss or executive at a company is often different than communicating with professors, peers, or other environments. Many college students report that the transition to work is a significant change particularly because of the culture of feedback and communication.
Let’s think for a moment. In college you are writing paper after paper. Getting regular feedback week after week. “A, great job. B, it was pretty good. C, here’s where you can improve.”
Most projects have an exact rubric attached so you know what you have to do to achieve success.
Not always so with work.
The feedback in the workplace may not be as regular or as structured. This can be a tough switch.
At your job you may go weeks or months before you get feedback about the work you are doing. You may have to learn and ask questions to see what defines success.
At a recent conference, I heard a story of a recent hire who took a picture with the CEO whilst having a beverage and later tweeted out the message and pic in much too casual way on her personal twitter account.
The company was not pleased to say the least.
It’s great to be your authentic self; but we all need to be able to interpret the culture and expectations of the environment in which we work.
Different circumstances call for different parts of who we are.
So while your boss may care about your presence on the team, that doesn’t necessarily mean s/he wants to be your buddy.
Or, if they are your buddy, there are times when they are simply the CEO first. Just like the cartoon above, sometimes supervisors or CEO’s are working through some heavy stuff for the company. Which is why your satisfaction may not be the first thing they are thinking about that morning. (Though, don’t worry, you still matter).
The key is, feedback and communication styles vary greatly from place to place, so you have to interpret the expectations of where you are.