16 Things We Have Learned at Work

Posted on Wednesday, November 1st, 2017 by
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16 things learned at work - affinis

Over the last several months, many new graduates have been settling into their first job. They’re figuring out how to use the copy machine and the names of their co-workers, but over the course of their careers, they will discover a lot. We asked 16 co-workers to share what they’ve learned since they started working.


Here’s what they had to say:

      1. “A paperless office is impossible. Culture trumps strategy. And, energy, passion, and a smile are contagious,” Rick Worrel, PE, President.
      2. “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask a question. It’s ok to admit that you don’t know everything and be comfortable asking about something you are unfamiliar with. I think that humbly asking a simple question is one of the quickest ways to learn,” Kellan Gregory, PLS, Professional Land Surveyor/Utility Coordinator.
      3. “Even when you own a professional engineering company your bosses don’t want you wearing flip flops to work,” Mike McKenna, PE, PTOE, ENV SP, Principal, Senior Traffic Engineer.
      4. “Think very carefully before saying that you can’t do something. More often than not, you can. Having a can-do attitude and making the effort to grow your skillset will make the biggest impact on the trajectory of your career,” Aubrey Meyer, PLS, Professional Land Surveyor.
      5. “I’ve learned the reward and challenge of flexibility. In a unique way, being a firm of our size requires flexibility. Flexibility in approach, in dealing with clients, going after new work, and day to day focus. Flexibility is key to making life easier for others,” Brad Schleeter, PE CFM, ENV SP, Senior Project Engineer.
      6. “I have learned to trust quality over quantity, a lot of firms chase quantity and I have seen that when you produce quality work, clients chase you,” Lee Baer, EI, Traffic Engineer.
      7. “That work/life balance doesn’t mean no work outside of office hours and no life inside of work. It means fitting them together in a way that fits best at the time. It changes across your career and life,” Peggy Amor, CPSM, Marketing Manager.
      8. “I’ve learned the importance of communication. It is the key to ensuring processes run smoothly, not only in the field and office, but also in every facet of the engineering and construction profession,” John McCanless, Senior Project Representative.
      9. “Don’t rush a decision to get a task done more quickly, but rather take time to make sure it’s well thought out, so you will be comfortable with the results,” Ryan Fleming, PE, ENV SP, Senior Project Engineer.
      10. “I’ve learned that a lot of people do something completely different than they expected to when they were younger or in college. You will learn a lot in college, but it’s mostly a foundation for how to learn. I learn something new practically every day on the job. You are never done learning,” Kristen Kocen, Administrative Support.
      11. “I have learned how to be versatile by using multiple programs and helping out in our different teams,” Troy LaVelle, Design Technician.
      12. “A wise colleague once told me – make sure you aren’t engineering a ‘bad’ solution; meaning fix today’s problem with a solution that will last for the life of the project,” Kristen Leathers, PE, Assoc. DBIA, Project Manager.
      13. “What I’ve learned most in my time at Affinis is that they are a company that sticks to their values. They care about each and every co-worker and the balance we have between our work and personal lives. They encourage us to be servant leaders by giving incentives to complete community service hours. We form internal teams to complete tasks that require trust and collaboration. We even have our values written on a wall in the office!” Daphne LaTendresse, Accounting Assistant.
      14. “I’ve learned that there’s always more to the story and to never jump on the bandwagon without hearing both sides of the story,” Cindy Martens, SPHR-SCP, Manager of Recruiting and Retention.
      15. “I’ve learned the value of writing quick concise emails. Long emails that try to make 42 points just don’t fully get read,” Cliff Speegle, PE, LEED AP, Project Engineer.
      16. “Being flexible and ready to make changes on the fly is something that I’ve learned. I even have a fortune cookie note taped on my monitor as reminder that says, ‘Be prepared to modify your plans,’” Tony Roush, Design Technician.


What have you learned since you started working? Share your ideas with #AffinisAtWork.

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