I am just in the final stages of wrapping up a project where I worked with a client on-site for several months to deliver the solution. Our company has a fantastic office, and so sometimes it is difficult to give up the comforts and the routine we are accustomed to for another location. I’ve been thinking about this a bit and decided to post some ideas on making the most of working on-site. Here are a few key things that I’ve thought about :
1. Expect a bit of culture shock. Every company has its own culture and way of doing things. For better or worse, things will be different. Expect it. Embrace it. Take it as an opportunity to learn more about how things are done in other places.
2. Be ready to adapt. You are going to have to be able to quickly adapt in order to be productive. Initially, listen more than you talk. Ask questions. Think carefully to ask the right questions. First try to understand how things are done and why before you go assuming that they are wrong.
3. Work in a way that builds trust. You might have the respect and trust of your co-workers and colleagues, but you will always have to build it in new environments. Don’t demand or expect respect and trust – earn it. Take pride in your work. Do a good job and people will be more willing to listen to your advice.
4. Get to know some people. I like to make a point of eating with the people I’m working with whenever possible. I don’t know of a better way during work hours to get to know people. If you’re going to spend all day with people, they might as well be your friends. Sitting at your desk and eating your lunch by yourself is for lamers.
5. Find some things to look forward to. Maybe it’s the elderly gentleman that sells buns every week for a dollar. Maybe it’s the dude with a good sense of humour and an eye for detail. Maybe it’s the drive in and a stop at your favourite coffee shop. Maybe it’s the beetle that lives in the bathroom. Who knows! But I bet there are some things that you can think of that just make every day that little bit more enjoyable.
In summary, maybe attitude is everything? Maybe anywhere can be awesome. I don’t know. I haven’t been everywhere. Just don’t be lame. If you’re bored, you’re boring. If you put a bit of effort in mixed with a good attitude, you’ll be sure to find something to enjoy.