Being a Space Man is Something I Have to Do

Being a Space Man is Something I Have to Do

By: Stephanie Ngo
  6575 reads

"When I found out about this I went through a wide range of emotions; first I was nervous, then anxious, then weary, apprehensive, then kinda sleepy...then worried and then concerned. But now I realize that being a space man is something you have to do."  - Marge Simpson in Deep Space Homer Episode

This is exactly how I felt when I found out that I was selected as the Special Projects Assistant for SFU Career Services, especially the part about being sleepy...kidding.

Transitioning into a workplace can be intimidating and exciting, but what I enjoyed most about my work term was how my coworkers instantly made me feel like a part of the family.  Within the first couple weeks of starting this new position, I felt overwhelmed with the list of projects that needed to be completed by the end of the summer. However, the staff's friendly attitude and willingness to lend a hand put me at ease knowing that I had support.

What I enjoy the most about working with Career Services is the open communication amongst the team because they were not only patient with my progression, but were constantly giving me constructive criticism on my work. For example, I was provided the opportunity to design stickers for a book as one of my first projects despite having minimal design experience. I was very fortunate that I had people believing in me and I was given the chance to develop my skills and further challenge myself.

Having said that, here are some tips that I learned from my colleagues that have helped ease my transition into the workplace:

  • Communicate with your supervisor and establish what his or her expectations are    (i.e. dress code, policies and asking for time off).
  • Ask questions! Do not hesitate to ask your supervisor if you are unsure about your tasks and responsibilities. There's no such thing as a dumb question.
  • Take notes during your first week of training. There will be a lot of information and they do not expect you to know everything right away.
  • Come to work early to get acquainted  with your work environment.
  • Take note of key staff and what their roles are.  When I first started,  I scheduled brief 10-15 minute informal meetings to help me understand what they did and how they fit into the work place.
  • Set achievable learning objectives and consult with your supervisor.  By doing so, it shows that you are taking responsibility for your own growth within the work place.
  • Last tip - Breathe and smile! Everyone makes mistakes. Don't sweat it. Be polite, friendly and confident.

Nobody expects you to walk into your new job knowing everything. There is always something new to learn in every workplace. Navigating through a new culture can be stressful.  Believe me, I made it hard on myself thinking that everything had to be done quickly. I tried to do too much too soon. Haste makes waste! 

Always remember to enjoy your time working because not only have I gained new skills but I felt like I was an important part of the team which was the best thing about my co-op experience!

Posted on September 27, 2012