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The New Employee Barter System for Creatives
By: Tom Roarty
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One thing that many people who have not been in the creative industry (or any other industry for that matter), might not know about is the new employee barter system. Although an unwritten rule, it is one that will make your transition at your new job a much smoother one. It is a simple gesture that can make your first and most impressionable days a set-up for success.
So, it's your first day of work at the new gig. The stress and anxiety of this day has been mounting since you accepted the offer. Waiting for you at your new place of employment is a group of people that have taken a gamble on the fact that you are going to be able to deliver what they need. As with any family situation, which is what long-term coworkers eventually turn into, adding an outsider is sometimes met with resistance. Basically, even though most people try to be welcoming that first day, you are the contagion, and any help you can get to change that persona will be welcomed as you approach that door!
When I was younger I would just show up for work and get jumped on like I was trying to get into a gang then attending my first day of work, but then during one of my job changes, I wanted so badly not to take any mental lumps that I thought of bringing in donuts for my new coworkers. A simple gesture? Yes, but the first impression I had made really made during my first days a lot easier. Could this have just been the exception to the rule? I thought so at first, but I made it a staple to my first day at a new job ritual, and in every instance, it was met with positive results.
There is no shame in treating your coworkers to something as simple as donuts. In fact, creatives who don't always get time for a lunch will appreciate you delivering them what may be their only meal of the day, possibly because they'll get stuck training you. Not to mention that bringing in snacks is a great way to break down the new guy/gal barrier. Most importantly, it will make people want to help you, as opposed to having them feel as if they have to.
Although I swear by the simple first-day introductory gesture, it does not guarantee that you will have a long and prosperous career at your new home. All it does is set you up to learn from people that know more than you. What you do with that information will determine your future success. If nothing else, you to will most likely get a donut or other snack out of the situation, and that is in no way a bad way to start off the day.

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