I applied for the job shadow opportunity at LinkedIn because I don’t have a lot of office experience, and I don’t feel completely comfortable in that type of environment. As an athlete, I train all day and love being on my feet. Staying in one place for extended periods of time is difficult for me, but I am determined to figure out how to be happy and comfortable outside of the gym.
The first thing I learned when I walked into LinkedIn, is that tech companies are fancy. Tech is a very exciting and fast-paced industry, and companies want to attract the most talented and innovative employees. Because of this, they offer numerous perks in their offices. The LinkedIn office had pool tables, ping pong, video game room, ergonomic desks, free catered lunch, and a yoga studio (to be used within reason during the work day). I was shocked when I showed up for my interview (in a shirt and tie) and walked past people in shorts and tank tops on their way to yoga. This taught me office life isn’t as strict and boring as I’d imagined it to be, and to research the company culture before choosing my interview outfit.
The second thing I learned is every workplace has its own language filled with acronyms and buzz words. This can be intimidating looking from the outside in, but the best way to become more comfortable is to choose a company and immerse yourself in it. The more you engage with company jargon the better you’ll be able to understand it and recognize it for what it is in the workplace.
The third thing I learned is that LinkedIn has a greater sense of team, opposed to hierarchy. I was surprised by how many one-on-one meetings my manager had with his team. They were almost weekly and they were very casual. Thirty minutes of the day would be scheduled to chat about life and work. My manager would often catch up with team members like friends would, and if something work-related needed to be discussed they would get to it after. It was really nice to see employees treating each other like friends instead of obliging their manager due to the office hierarchy.
I’m still not completely comfortable in an office environment, but this experience has changed my perspective for the better. I look forward to the next eye-opening opportunity Game Plan has to offer.