3 ‘Office’ Things You’re NOT Expected to Know

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3 ‘Office’ Things You’re NOT Expected to Know

It’s one thing battling your personal expectations but predicting what your manager/team/office require from you can take up some much mental time and energy.
Image: Zara


So you’ve started a new office job today or last week or even a month ago. It’s one thing battling your personal expectations but predicting what your manager/team/office require from you can take up some much needed mental time and energy. Hold onto these 3 reminders of what your NOT expected to know from day 1.

You’re not expected to know absolutely everything…

There is and will always be a carefully considered amount of ‘bullshit’ on your CV.

CV says ‘Proficient in excel’ – But that one time I was handed a LFW dinner list and asked to:

  • Put it in alphabetical order
  • Make all the first letters of each name capital
  • Keep an eye on email confirmations/update accordingly
  • Present a total number by the end of the day, which would then be forwarded to the company CEO…

I froze and then googled the hell out of all the questions I was too embarrassed to ask. With the first one being “Can I die now?” The computer said no btw.

The truth is, my basic knowledge in excel didn’t even stretch as far as this task. Experience has since taught me never to lie about word, excel or powerpoint skills because you WILL be tested. We all want to be the best at the best of times, but understand this – YOU HAVE BEEN HIRED TO LEARN and no employer expects the newbie to know everything from day one. You can ask questions or for some help! It’s perfectly normal and it will save you from having a constant split-screen between google and your actual work. (First world office problems)

You’re not expected to remember where everything is. Especially the toilet!

10.47am -“I’m popping to the loo” you said

…and then you get lost on the way! “FOUND IT” – 10 whole minutes have passed – panic!! You fire out your pee so intensely that it actually could be used as sound effects for a mass water fight. Not because you’re bursting but because TIME IS NOT ON YOUR SIDE.

11.02am – Many many minutes have passed since you made your big announcement, your computer has probably gone to sleep and you’re convinced that everyone is curious about your empty chair. They might as well file a missing persons report because you’ve been THAT long.

But worse of all, you’re panicking and convinced that everyone thinks that you’ve already started doing office ‘number twos’ in your first week – Eeeek!!!

Relax – they actually have REAL work to do and haven’t looked up since you left. You’ll slip back into your seat and not a single office soul would have even noticed. Everyone gets lost in the building when they’re new, it took me a month to get used to the office layout at my old job.

You’re not expected to know where to get good food…

Q: Which single activity takes place before you get to the office, during work and after hours?

A: Eating!

Do fashion people even eat?! YES – we do, a lot! Not to mention the constant thoughts and conversations about food, diets and snacking.

So it’s lunchtime and sure you know where to grab a quick bite, your morning commute took you passed Pret, Itsu, Subway and whatever huge food chain was smart enough to huddle around the corporate community. But the reason for 12pm being the happiest time in any given work day is hugely due to the bonding exercise it promotes.

Ask a colleague if you can walk down to grab some lunch together. Outside of the office environment, the conversation may wonder onto more personal topics and real relationships will start to build.

I’ve found that people love to be asked for recommendations, it means you look at them as some sort of expert. Even if it’s just a tip about the little Italian eatery, where the greasy fish and chips shop is (fry-day treats) or if there is a really really good salad and soup place close by?

Now that you have survived your first day/week/month, just know that you will get stronger – knowledge, confidence and connections. You may not feel that ‘Wow – I’ve had a good day feeling’ because you messed up a task or haven’t really made friends with anyone yet. But, every day in the office provides a brand new opportunity to learn, so allow yourself room for growth.


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