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I am new to management and have started settling in.

However, I still feel a little awkward in the company of only seniors, specially in office sponsored parties or events.

I am invited to a company sponsored 2 day "off-site" event and I am the junior-most person in the invitees (both in designation and experience), with some seniors almost double my age.

I am just trying to prepare myself so that I don't look too awkward and out-of-place there. Unfortunately, there is no agenda in the invite and whomever I've asked they just say "it's an off-site" with a smile.

What should I expect in the event and what preparations I must do so that I don't have too many deer in headlights moments.

Appreciate all your help.

12

What should I expect in the event and what preparations I must do so that I don't have too many deer in headlights moments.

First, consider what intentions you have about this event. If you're thinking, "I'm not going to look awkward. I'm not going to look stupid." and other similar thoughts with a "not" in them, I don't really see this going particularly well. If I ask you not to think of a lemon, did you just think of a lemon?

"I'm going to learn how seniors behave. I'm going to learn something about the company's strategic vision. I'm going to build relationships among upper management." These would be much better to my mind. Additionally, do you think anyone is really going to keep track of each time you are awkward like some kind of blooper counter against you?

This could be some form of initiation and thus I'd be aware that some things may happen as a way to "break you in" so that you have a story like the other senior managers may have. That would be my guess of what that smile is meant to send.

While not exactly the same, I have had opportunities in the past year to help run some courses where I can remember what happened to me in the course that if someone brings up that they are taking it, I can smile that smile to remind me of how I felt when I had the course.

6

You are not comfortable? Fake it. Fake being comfortable and fake it good - And eventually, the fake will become real :) To quote the comment from A_worker_bee: "fake it till you make it!" :)

They may be seniors but they are people and as a group of people, they are no better or worse than you :) If they are inviting you, part of the reason is that they want you to be comfortable with them, just as they want to be comfortable with you - it's a process of mutual adjustment that goes two ways, so enjoy the free food :)

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You are really overthinking it. Be prepared for some non-specific schmoozing but mostly boozing. There may be an actual agenda or presentation of some sort when you get there, but if you're not told in advance, then you're not expected to do anything.

Relax. Don't drink too much.

  • 1
    Hello and welcome to The Workplace. This post seems very similar to Vietnhi's. Is there any way you can differentiate it further as per our "don't repeat others" guidelines in the help center? Good luck and thanks for participating. – jmort253 May 18 '14 at 15:42

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