Tips for starting a new job as a Young Adult Part 1
Managing and leading part of a missions organization with many responsibilities as a 26 year old single female is something I never imagined I would do. Having a large non-profit with a history of 125 years of service, take a chance and believe in me is the most empowering and life giving responsibility I've ever had the privilege to steward and I'm constantly blown away that God chose me. As I've served in this position for almost a year, I've realized that organizations and non profits all around are too taking the same chances and hiring young adults as leaders in their established organizations and many of them are some of you reading this. You're the next managers, directors, CEO's and leaders within organizations that are ready to pass the baton on. So before that baton is passed to you, I thought I'd share with you all, some lessons and advice.
Don't try to change anything in your first 3 months
Young Adults today are quite possibly the most creative generation that has ever existed and I have to say that a lot of that has to do with all of the technological advancements at our fingertips today. We are constantly inspired through things like instagram and pinterest. When we go throughout our normal routine of checking our social media, we see the world differently through another person's eyes, and are inspired. We see a DIY project that looks pretty simple on pinterest and before we know it we are at home depot building a dining room table. As a result of our constant trolling and access to see what's trending, what's hot, what's working, we bring in this different perspective to existing companies and tons of ideas to make them better. And our ideas are awesome, and this ministry, boy do they need it.
The classic mistake that young adults make is going into an existing business that's been around, sometimes longer than we've been alive and we have this agenda and 'list' of things that need to change. We come in with all this passion and all this excitement because we are going to take this place into the twentieth century single handed! Our heart is in the right place, we want to help and grow this organization that we believe in so much.
But often times, we make the classic mistake of having WAY too many opinions and voicing those to people who have been with the company 20 years vs your 2 months. As a result we find our passion dead just 3 months into the job, feeling like our creativity is put in a box, and like a robot just doing menial boring tasks, day in, day out.
So where did we go wrong? Why do we find ourselves job hopping every 6 months, and unhappy with every job?
We never took the time to listen.
My Dad gave me the best advice when I started my job last year. I was on the phone with him right after my final interview and I knew there were some changes immediately I wanted to make if I was offered the job. My dad cut me off mid conversation and said:
'Monica, that's great and I'm sure your discernment is good and your heart in this is right, but these people don't know you. If you take this job, you have to take the first three months to listen and learn. You make zero changes.'
The ideas you have, the dreams you have, the things you want to implement within the organization you're in, are likely EXACTLY what the organization needs, but you can't do any of that without establishing a foundation of trust. How do you do that? You walk in on your first day and you listen. As you spend time getting to know the people you work with. Ask them what they like about their job, what they like about the company. Go to lunch with them and show that you're eager to learn and that they have something to teach you. TRUST ME THEY DO. Find out what changes they have been hoping for, get a feel for the culture, and establish some great relationships. Yes, do your job with excellence, but as you do it, keep both ears open and your mouth shut. You'll be amazed at how much this will help you have more influence and a voice at higher tables far quicker than others who may have been vying for it, but going about it the wrong way.
Now let me say that this principle is not something I made up, it's Biblical. Jesus himself came to serve first. The God of the universe came down, with all the answers, but didn't shout it out, guns blazing right away. He waited, He watched, He observed, He built relationships, and then at just the right time, He came on the scene and changed the world.
I know we are the 'microwave' generation, but if you really want to make long lasting impact on this world, then you need to re-evaluate the way we go about doing it. We want people to see our hearts, not our agenda's. The best way for that to happen is to to first Listen and Learn. Then make changes.
Listening is vital to success. Relationships are vital to success. And the ability for you to master both will reap an investment far greater than even you can comprehend.