Trying hard to impress
Q. I recently started a new job after being unemployed for almost a year.
In the mornings, I am one of the first in and in the evenings I am one of the last to leave. I try to take the initiative, as much as I can, and I'm generally very helpful.
However, this does not seem to be going over very well with a few of my co-workers.
A. Congratulations on getting a job in a difficult economy.
First of all, you need to understand this new work environment's culture and ethos. Sometimes reaching work too early and leaving too late, when it is not necessary, could be a turn off and lead to the perception that you do not have a social life or are unhappy at home. And that could send a signal of not being a well-rounded person and a potential problem person.
Some workplaces expect the new employee to be orientated and to be a learner rather than a trendsetter. Some people do not like to feel threatened that someone new is after their job or some new employee is trying to show them up as not punctual or hard-working.
It is good to be helpful once you are not grovelling and seeking attention. And that you take the initiative is very good. It shows that you are a leader and can manage with minimum supervision.
In due time, you will get the reward and respect for your work. You might be too hasty in your judgement of your boss and her evaluation of your efforts. You have not spent a year at the workplace. You need to wait until after your yearly assessment to determine whether you and your work are being appreciated.
Remember, not everybody will like you and appreciate your work and your style. You need, therefore, to relax, take it easy and just do your best and be yourself in your new job.