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Feeling of “being a part of...”

Yesterday was my first day at work as a full time employee of a company. Six months ago I had a similar experience of the first day of work at work but as an intern and not a full time employee. Though both the times I was excited and eager there was a considerable difference in my goals and perception.
Firstly when I joined as an intern I knew this is going to be a short-term assignment. The goal was to make the most of it, try to gain as much knowledge as I can and try to get a full time position if the work and environment is favorable. I was never interested in company structure, policies or internal affairs. I remember when I just joined the company’s vice president left the company which somehow created a panic situation. Everyone was concerned about the company’s future and organizational change it will create. But I was least concerned, I was more focused on the task I was assigned and setting my foot in a completely new area. As an intern you are more focused on solving the current problem at hand (so that you can make that initial impression on your supervisor) and coming up with quick results. As my internship was in the research labs I was also interested in publishing papers and filing patents which will strengthen my resume. I never tried to get a broad understanding of field I was working. Everything was task specific and anything else was categorized as ‘others’.
On the contrary yesterday’s experience was completely different. The excitement level was may be the same but my perception and goal was completely different. I was more focused on understanding the company structure, organizational internal policies and broad understanding of my work responsibilities. I was scheduled for various meetings with “other” departments, meeting with HR and a welcome lunch with my manager. There was a certainly a feeling of “being a part of” as against being a foreigner. Also there was much more respect and importance given (that does not mean that in the earlier case there was no respect) where my whole team welcomed me and there were introductions with some senior members of the company. In the earlier case nobody knew (except my supervisor and core team) that I was a new employee (sorry… intern) in the company. Feeling of “belonging” to something makes you act and think in a different way. I hope I do a good job as a full time employee as I did when I was an intern (which helped me to get this job). Wish me best luck.

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