The New Kid on the Block


46-im-newIt’s hard to be the “new kid,” especially when, as an intern, your knee-jerk reaction when you first step into the office is to try to follow the lead or the legacy of interns that came before you or your geographically closest coworker. Which is good – to an extent.

By following the lead of someone within the organization that’s more experience, you’re likely to gain a valuable reference for what the company likes and what drives your boss crazy. But don’t lose your individuality at the office.

They hired you, not a carbon-copy of an asset that they already have, didn’t they?

Although you’ve most likely been hired to fulfill a certain role in your organization, you’ve still been chosen as a unique asset to the company. Over the course of your interviewing and on-boarding process, someone higher-up liked you and wanted to develop your skill-set within the organization – and that’s awesome for you. Take advantage of every opportunity to standout that you’re given.

You never know when an opportunity is your big break – Oprah, anyone?

Taking advice from my internship supervisor and mentor, I’ve found the confidence to go after more writing assignments and be proactive in securing a variety of assignments that play to my natural skillset. As a result, I pitched a story that turned into the opportunity to write a paid story.

Although this story may not be the platform to launch my career into Oprah-status, super-stardom, it’s still a big step in the right direction.

So, despite it being difficult to be the new kid entering into a small, creative office, being proactive and dedicated can make the difference between being an asset or a liability. But I’ll let you in on a secret: When you trust yourself, ask for guidance, and have faith in what those higher-ups saw in you when they chose you for the position, you’ll do just fine.

Claire Colby

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8 Responses to The New Kid on the Block

  1. After a couple weeks in my internship, I am starting to realize that the company you work for plays a big role in whether you feel comfortable showing your true colors (along with your own personal comfort with that, of course). I think you make a great point that you got hired because of who you are and often times this is because they believe your personality would fit well within the rest of the company. If you find yourself changing your personality to fit in with your coworkers, you have to start thinking that maybe this isn’t a good fit for you.

  2. Ryan Delaney says:

    I love what you had to say about not being a carbon copy of something they once had. We all went through an interview process to see if we would be good fits for a team. If we focus on doing great work and continue to allow ourselves to bring our personality and character that we got hired for, then it helps us be more confident in the workplace. Can’t wait to read your next write up!

  3. pdxsx says:

    Well done, Claire. You make some great points and you definitely want to set yourself apart from previous interns, while learning what you can from their wins and, perhaps, mistakes. 🙂

  4. andrewbantly says:

    I like your “new kid on the block,” comparison because the new kid is unfamiliar (obviously), so his or her skill sets, personality and unique characteristics are unknown. So when you’re hired, as a new kid on the block, what are you hired for exactly? Let’s be real for a moment, no interview can truly identify a new hire completely. You mention being a unique asset to the company, but isn’t every individual a unique asset to the company? So, being the new kid on the block, I’d argue that no one really knows who you’ll be or what signifiant role you’ll play until, well, you’re no longer the new kid on the block.

  5. hmaarchive says:

    Congrats on the paid opportunity! This is a great testimonial for interns to keep plugging away at what they love and do best. I think a lot of the time, we find ourselves excelling in areas we didn’t expect or plan to excel in- like writing a story and having it get published.

  6. kalinske says:

    very true! Individuality is the American way!

  7. I love what you had to say about keeping your individuality. I think when someone is new at an organization it is easy to try and blend in with more experienced coworkers by following their lead. What we have to keep in mind is that our individuality is what made us get chosen out of a stack of applicants with similar credentials in the first place. Congrats on the paid writing opportunity Claire!

  8. horsttyler says:

    Individuality is key when finding your role in a organization. I agree that it’s good to follow the lead of someone else in the company in order to feel out what’s good to do and what’s not good to do within the organization but that it’s essential to also use your niche skill/talent that they hired you for to make you stand out and differentiate yourself.

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