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Low and Slow: Advice For Joining A New Company

Low and Slow: Advice For Joining A New Company

“That’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard. Why would you do it that way?” My fellow country-people (in lieu of countrymen, just trying to be PC here), I give you an example of what not to say when coming in new to a company.

Two years ago, I was hired to work at IDEAS. A company who’s history dates back to pre-Justin Bieber times (ah the good ole days). Anyway, coming in new to IDEAS was something that needed to be done, “low and slow.” This is an expression I had actually been taught in college years ago and has stuck with me over time. The idea is that you are coming into an environment and culture that already runs a certain way. Sure, things may not be done the most efficiently or in what would seem like the best way, but you can’t walk in and change everything all at once, expecting people to roll with it. As an outsider coming in, you do have an advantage to maybe see things in a new light or bring a new perspective to the table, but it all has to be done slowly and with a lot of sensitivity to the people who were there before you.

For one thing, just because it may seem to be a weird way to do things TO YOU, maybe there’s an actual reason it works for that company/culture. Take time to learn about how and why things are done a certain way and you may be surprised to find it really does just work well. Once you have been in place for a little while and taken the time to get to know the culture and the people, then you can begin to slowly implement changes in things, where it makes sense to do so. Again, be cautious in how you move forward because the reality is, a company is really just people; people who have feelings and a history within the company.

Who cares about that? Just want to hurry up and make the office more efficient or do it your way? Alrighty! Have fun working with people who don’t like you and won’t go out of their way to help you out. Enjoy working at a company where people don’t have much respect for you and you’re probably about as popular and awesome as Justin Bieber….ok that sounded a little harsh. And the reality is Justin Bieber is really popular with pre-teen girls….so if you work somewhere with a bunch of 11 year old girls, you’re all set (thumbs up!)! Anyway, the point is, “low and slow.” Think turtles…low to the ground turtles…alright you can be a little faster than a turtle, but not too much! So my friends, go be a moderately fast turtle!