The Workplace Environment: Stepping Outside of my Comfort Zone


During my first couple of weeks, there have been a lot of aspects that are new experiences for me. I have found that lessons read in our book by Alexandra Levit and other readings regarding generational relationships, have been front-and-center.

I am the youngest worker in the office. Most of the people I work with are Gen X or older. I have to admit, during my first week I was a little intimidated. I have made sure to show up early, communicate clearly and ask questions when I needed the assistance. At a non-profit, I understand that time is valuable, so I try to self-administer new skills where I can.

This has helped me teach myself new programs and platforms that the organization uses. One of my tasks has been to post a lot of written content for the blog and website. I have never used the blog or social media platform they use at this organization. I have worked hard to familiarize myself with

the programs so that I can post content in a timely manner. (Check out the social media platform HootSuite, pretty cool). Because I am doing the things I enjoy, and I am passionate about non-profit work, I look forward to walking in the front doors each day.

All in all, my experience has been a pleasant one. I think it is making me a stronger professional, especially working with individuals that are much older than myself.

by Desirae MacGillivray

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6 Responses to The Workplace Environment: Stepping Outside of my Comfort Zone

  1. pdxsx says:

    Hooray! Super psyched that you are enjoying your internship so much and are able to apply your classwork and readings to the workplace.

  2. Jaclyn Chelf says:

    Good post Dez, I agree that sometimes it can be intimidating working with people from different generations can be challenging, but I think what you said about showing up early, (and that kind of thing) is a great way to bridge the gap.

  3. Nick Smith says:

    Thanks for the insight Dez! I am such a creature of habit that stepping out of my comfort zone is a constant struggle. However, I think it is a great way to grow individually and professionally. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  4. I agree. Working with older generations can be intimidating. My supervisor and his colleagues are Baby Boomers, so I was a little nervous too. In the end, everyone has been very nice. I had nothing to fear — we are all just people.

  5. megmarieshea says:

    It looks like you are gaining some valuable tools and experience from your internship, which is one of the reasons why we are participating in the Portland Experience. I am also learning new systems and programs which I think is fun and interesting as well. Thanks for sharing your generational relationships at your internship because I like hearing about what others are having to deal with as well.

  6. littlebrittanyb says:

    I certainly agree that working with people who are older than you can be quite intimidating. I know that whenever the partner (who is a Baby Boomer) walks through the door everyone stands up a little straighter. Stepping out of your comfort zone is a tough step to take, but once you have it is usually worth it. Great post!

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