Outside of gaining a greater understanding of my gender identity, over the course of the past few months I’ve learned a great deal about adapting to a workplace’s demands and expectations, as well as learned where and when I can push those expectations to meet mine.
Whenever I enter a new workplace, I find that I don’t have any trouble fitting in on the surface. I’m a very social person, and I easily get caught up on the employer’s traditions and in-jokes and find ways in which to integrate myself into the work environment. However, I also find that I struggle internally with the gradual adjustments a new workplace makes. A lot of this struggle can be encapsulated in my adaptation to my gender identity and presentation, but it is also present in small things, such as how our staff washrooms automatically turn off the lights after a few minutes, the in-joke about how all my-coworkers have “rapper” nicknames, and in general the already well-established social corporate culture of the office.
This co-op employment has also brought me into contact with a wide range of personalities, running a gamut from diplomatic to domineering. While my supervisor has applauded me for my ability to work well with everyone, I frequently stress out about my interactions with others, and I often work myself too hard. Coincidentally (or perhaps not), my health hasn’t been in a great place these past few months, as I had a month-long respiratory infection which I needed antibiotics to finally get rid of. However, I’m confident that with time to adjust more to the workplace, my stress will go down and my health will improve.