How to deal with not fitting in at work?

Analyst 1 in RE - Comm

Been at this firm for a month now, fresh out of college, in a new city. I'm one of three analysts in my department at my office and the other two started around the same time a few months before me and are pretty close (their cubicles are right next to each other, so it's easy for them to talk all day whereas I'm facing across from them but in my cubicle as well). The other older members on my team are also pretty close even with the two other analysts. As I've been here a month, nobody really strikes many conversations up with me unless it's work related compared to each other. Outside of work, we've been to a few happy hours and I feel more part of the "team" there and included for the most part, but at the office I just feel left out. Anyone go through this and how did you manage it?

Comments (24)

Dec 3, 2019

I listen to podcasts/ have Siri read me white papers about stuff to learn about. With headphones on. My coworkers talk constantly about Trump. I'm very anti Trump but am smart enough to not openly say that. I say I don't want to discuss politics and they seem to not talk to me much after that. Oh well, I continue to learn and get better. Probably not helpful for you.

I would say try to genuinely talk to them about stuff that interests you. I love asking people what got them interested in what they do and what they did to get where they are (assuming they're higher up than you). You're working in the same industry so you have at least some common ground. Build on that.

"The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary." - Nassim Taleb

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Dec 4, 2019
Malta Monkey:

Build on that.

....wall.

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Dec 4, 2019

Can't tell if that's a Trump wall joke or a joke saying wall between people. Either way, I laughed

"The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary." - Nassim Taleb

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Dec 4, 2019

Cringe.

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Dec 3, 2019

Strike up conversations with them. I always ask the other guys in the office what crazy plans they've got for the weekend, that's a great time to see what mutual interests you all have.

Also I wouldn't worry too much, at my old firm, I had a guy I barely talked to for six months, but fast forward a few years and we hang out at-least a few times a month even though we haven;t worked together in probably 2.5+ years.

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Most Helpful
Dec 4, 2019

HeY GuYs whAt CraAaAaaAAzY PLAns HaVe YoU gOt FoR tHiS WeKeNdDd

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Dec 3, 2019

This one is on you. Seeing as how you're not in a good spot for daily convo, go out of your way to join theirs when you overhear and have something to contribute. Make sure you don't disturb people, but you're going to have to make an effort.

"Out the garage is how you end up in charge
It's how you end up in penthouses, end up in cars, it's how you
Start off a curb servin', end up a boss"

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Dec 3, 2019

Don't talk about controversial topics like politics or anything in that matter. I would just strike a conversation with someone about something average like plans for the weekend or how is everything with you. Also make sure not to bother them while they are working.

"It's okay, I'll see you on the other side"

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Dec 4, 2019

Way too early to judge. You'll be the new guy for the first 6 months. Just be nice, be interested in others, and don't come off too strong or try too hard (this is key). If after 3-4 months still no traction then you might have a problem.

Also - find friends outside of work by picking up an interesting hobby. I got licensed to skydive solo and have made some really good friends doing it. It also is something different to talk about that seems to make people more interested in me. Spearfishing, sailing, anything really. Just do something cool

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Dec 4, 2019

A month in is way too early to worry. Invite people to lunch. Get to know them.

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Dec 4, 2019

Reminds me of when I used to intern at X firm and the analyst next to me would NEVER make convo to talk. Was supposed to be my mentor, but didn't even use to say good morning. Hate when people don't have manners and I made many attempts to talk to her. Long story short, didn't end up going back there. Some people are just assess.

I would say try to branch out w others, especially someone a little more senior/mentor like who can vouch for you or give you good advice.

Idk how anyone on this forum will feel about this one, but I found that only one or two people can be genuine friends during internships/full time. Many won't agree, but for me, hanging out with co workers on weekends is just extra. Or even doing happy hours w coworkers every thursday night, those folks are probably from out of state or don't have a gf to be around. I'd rather just go home or be with legit company. Be yourself, and don't be fake just to fit it in!

Array

Dec 4, 2019

Whatever you do don't base most of your small talk around "Where do you think about the market these days?" I hated when younger kids would catch me off guard with questions like this. I'd always have to BS my way through the answer, when in reality I haven't read anything in weeks that wasn't related to a deal I was working on.

Talk Sports, restaurants, etc. Get people's mind off work :D

EDIT: Also, this is when you have the job already. Feel free to be more nerdy during interviews. When you already have the job, I'm not interested in testing your intelligence, your work product shows me your intelligence or lack thereof.

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Dec 5, 2019

A month is not nearly enough time. My fellow analysts at my first job became and remain some of my closest friends (we still regularly hang out on weekends), but it took 6-12+ months to really establish that closeness. Give it time and don't stress about it.

Array

Dec 5, 2019

Just focus on doing great work. Small talk, sports, etc. is not important, they can do that with anyone - barber, coffee guy/girl, admin, etc. The quickest way to make friends at the office is to be reliable and doors will open up. It sounds like it's still early days, nothing to worry about.

Dec 6, 2019

I too have autism and struggle to hold a conversation. Best of luck.

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Dec 6, 2019

I quit. Granted I stayed there as an analyst for less than a year and a half before jumping to PE as an associate by some sick miracle, but I knew I didn't fit and I knew my time was better spent by not making efforts to fit in. My MD didn't care as long as I put in the work and I did. I ended up getting closer to one of the Directors later on, but at some point I just started isolating myself to get shit done more efficiently rather than overhearing conversations I wasn't part of to begin with and getting needlessly distracted. Now I fit right in at my fund and I absolutely no issues with anyone whatsoever.

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Dec 7, 2019

Glad it worked out, Cornelius. Sometimes people aren't just natural fits.

Dec 7, 2019
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