Thoughts During Coffee: Information Hoarding

At least I have lots of time to drink coffee at work

At least I have lots of time to drink coffee at work

Have you ever felt that other people at your workplace hoarded information that would be helpful (or is critical) for you to know?

At my last job, I was occasionally but purposefully prevented from getting information I needed to make good decisions. I inherited these little power plays among different co-workers and departments. It took me years to “fix” them by earning back trust that my predecessors had lost for me, and after 10 years, the uneasiness never quite went away.

At my current job, no one consciously hoards information or wants to prevent me from getting my work done well. So that’s an improvement. But it does still happen sometimes that I am kept out of the loop on things, apparently because I’m such a nobody. Admittedly, this unhappy feeling is related to my tiny ego at this job. I’d like to be in on some of the higher level discussions—even as a listener—because I find them interesting and helpful to understand more about the company. I’ve worked here for a year, but I still feel so new because I don’t really see much of the big picture. And to set aside my humility for just a moment, I probably even have other things to offer this organization, except that it’s challenging to figure out what those things are when I’m not included in much.

I guess that’s what a survival job is. And I’m getting some really great experiences here anyway, so I’m really working at focusing on the positive part of this job. To use my experience for good someday, I’m making a note to myself that, if I am ever a more seasoned employee somewhere and a new person joins us who wants more information, I will willingly share anything (within ethical boundaries, of course) that could make that person feel more like a part of the team, more productive and enthusiastic, and more motivated. I’m a pretty self-motivated person, but occasionally it’s nice to have someone else’s encouragement and feedback, too.

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