Learning How To Learn Again


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As I left the the comforts of the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon for an internship in Portland, I entered into a whole new world of information.

This came as a surprise to me, for I thought my education was behind me. At my internship I was thrown into the deep end of office life. No, not like The Office, much different, much more serious. I was shocked as to how things changed around me when I was in an office setting. E-mail became the new texting and my desk doubled as a lunch table.

Learning these types of things can really make or break how you enter the work place. Don’t worry though, there are a couple tips that will help you learn the office language on they fly.

  1. Watch how your co-workers interact with each other. If they send E-mails about sending an E-mail. Chances are, you shouldn’t go and ask too many questions in person. Instead sum up your questions in an E-mail and send it to your co-worker.
  2. Be vigilant about using your phone at work. If your co-workers use their phones openly but not constantly, it is probably alright to check your messages a time or two during the day. Obviously, use your best judgement in any situation.
  3. Lastly, be sure to engage with your co-workers. If there is a chance to get to know them while not being in a professional setting, take advantage. These people are the ones who will be writing you letters of recommendation soon or referring you to someone about employment elsewhere. Take the opportunity to learn something about them and create a lasting relationships.

So to wrap up, it will always come down to a case by case basis, for which you should use your best judgement. Just keep in mind to use the preferred method of communication, be aware of your personal distractions and have a conversation with your co-workers. They were new once too.

Chris Ouverson

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