day 282: Orientation (redux)

While I am completing my vacation time this week, I will be running some repeats of post from the last year that seem to have resonated with many of you. Thanks and look for new posts beginning on Monday November 16

Wednesday, May 20, 2009
day 160: Orientation
When we start a new job there is always some sort of orientation session that we have to go through to learn about the company. Most times it is not as thorough or as useful as we hoped, but at least we get the baseline human resources information that we need like how to fill our benefits forms, get paid correctly, and some understanding of the baseline policies, procedures and rules. What is usually missed though, unless the company’s HR team is really good and have buy-in from senior management, is the information on how things “really work around here”. That’s the orientation that we really need. We need to know who is important, how communication flows, the unspoken rules and expectations, the buzzwords and language, etc. What we are looking for is the inside look at the culture and the behaviors that will make us feel, as quickly as possible, that we are “insiders”. This kind of information is hard to obtain and for the most part even if we were told what these things were we would still have a hard time understanding what is what until we had lived and worked in the culture for awhile. Unfortunately, many companies are not very forgiving and the mistakes made in those first few weeks or days can be hard to repair. How are we supposed to know that you don’t just walk into so and so’s office without and appointment, or that such and such doesn’t read his emails so sending him an email is like sending a message in a bottle into the ocean only to wonder if it will ever arrive. These are the unspoken things we need to know that we just don’t receive in orientation. The same is true in the bigger scheme of life and how we are to deal with other people and conduct ourselves in situations that are presented to us. We learn throughout our lives from teachers, role models, trial and error and of course the Biblical teachings that we have at our fingertips but it is a life-long orientation in which we are enrolled. David gives us a prayer to God that helps us with this orientation. He says in Psalm 119:7; “Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live. For your instructions are my delight.” What a great prayer for us to pray each and every day. Lord, give me your tender mercies so that I might experience life and let me delight in your instructions. If we were to say that prayer and then enter into His word each day with a spirit of learning and orientation He will fill us with those instructions so that we gain the knowledge and the “rules of the road” of life. You may be in a situation at work today where you don’t really know which is the right path to take. When you go left, everyone else goes right. When you make a suggestion people look at you like you don’t know what you are talking about. You wish you could just go back into orientation and start all over and this time be told everything you really need to know. Well, you do know by now that there is no remedial orientation so you have to now figure it out on your own, or so you think. You don’t have to figure it out all on your own. God will help you understand what you need to know if you will only bring those questions to Him as well. He will open the ears and minds of those who can help you at work and he will show you the paths to take and give you confidence in the decisions that you make. Pray David’s prayer today and and look for His instructions and then look to His orientation program. There is no better one that has ever been written.

Reference: Psalm 119:7 (New Living Testament)