Many of you may have recently began a new job, a new semester, or possibly even a new school. The first weeks and months of any new experience involve the formative nature of relationship building. You are making acquaintances, and possibly friends, over the water cooler, in class, and many other places in your daily life. It is important to stop and think about your actions along the way though.
How many times have you walked by a group of people, and because of what you know about some of the group, you make a sweeping assumption about the group as a whole? This is a common phenomenon no matter the setting in which one finds themselves.
Is it right?
Of course not. But we all know that it happens. The real question is, how can you avoid being typecast in your job?
When you are in your new position, no matter the scope of it, seek out someone in a leadership role to turn to for guidance. Develop a mentor-mentee relationship with this person. Not only will you be able to learn a wealth of information from your mentor, you will become associated with them as well by others. At the same time, be aware of the social dynamics throughout the office. If you notice that a group of people are developing a reputation for gossiping, for example, while in the hallway, you may be well served to avoid getting caught up in that activity, no matter how interesting or juicy the information may be.
Just remember, you are always judged based around the company you keep. Don't damage your reputation early in your career at an organization by surrounding yourself with the "wrong" crowd.