Werner (2022) defines organizational socialization as the process by which an individual acquires the social knowledge and skills necessary to assume an organizational role (Werner, 2022). In short, it is the process of becoming an insider (Werner, 2022). Daniel Feldman has divided socialization into a three-stage model. The first stage is anticipatory socialization, in which a potential candidate has a preconceived notion about an organization prior to even applying. This impression may be formed after doing research on the organization, reading online reviews, or listening to word of mouth conversations about the company. The second stage is the encounter stage. The encounter stage takes place after an individual has accepted the offer of employment with the company. I would describe this stage as being similar to when the honeymoon has worn off. A candidate may join an organization with a certain set of beliefs about the company only to find that their expectations were completely wrong. The third stage in Feldman’s 3-stage model is called change and acquisition. During this stage, if an employee survives the first two stages he or she has now settled in. They have accepted the norms of the company (Werner, 2022). They know their place and how to do their job successfully.
I have only worked for two/three different organizations in my career. At both jobs, I was placed their through a staffing company. So, I really did not take the time to research either company. This is very different from the mindset of so many young people starting their first job. In an article written by He, Gao, and Yan (2020), they identify people who were born 1985 and after as Millennial Employees. These young people grew up in a time of economic growth and the expansion of the Internet. These young people have the highest preference for intrinsic rewards such as sense of accomplishment, a feeling of personal worth, and self-assurance (He et al., 2020). I could not relate to this generation’s mindset. For me, I was simply thankful to have gotten a job. I was dreadfully unprepared for corporate life, but I had (and still have) a very good work ethic and this was recognized by the management staff; and my “temp job” became full time. I try to remember that the Bible tells us in Colossians 3:23 that we should do our work heartily, as unto the Lord. This remembrance has served me well as I have had long tenures will the companies I’ve worked at.
After nine years with that company, they were purchased by another company and most of the office staff knew that they were likely looking at a layoff. During this time, I polished my resume and started job search. I had barely started to scratch the surface of Human Resources, but somehow a recruiter contacted me and asked if I was interested in interviewing for a high level HR position at another company. I told him I was not qualified, but he talked me into it. I went for the interview – a panel interview with the leadership team of this international packaging company. It did not go well.
I did end up getting laid off, but only for a month. The new company that purchased us called me back and asked if I was interested in returning. So I went back to familiar job with people I mostly already knew. So I would say I jumped right into the change and acquisition stage with this “second” job. After five years, the company went through a downsizing and I was again laid off.
I share all of that back story to say that the same staffing agency that placed me at the first company 14 years earlier, called me with an opportunity to work for a company that needed some help on their HR team. I of course said yes and I was placed at an international packaging company that I had BOMBED an interview with five years earlier. So I was smack in the middle of the anticipatory socialization stage prior to starting. I had memories of sitting in that conference room completely terrified of so many suits. I had a preconceived notion that this organization was very formal and professional. The encounter stage after I accepted the position was a bundle of nerves. I was simply thankful to have a job. Fourteen years later, I am still at that international packing company, so I would say I have navigated the change and acquisition stage as well.
He, H., Gao, J., & Yan, L. (2020). Understanding career advancement of newcomers from perspective of organizational socialization: A moderated mediating model. Chinese Management Studies, 14(3), 789-809.
Hodder & Stoughton Ltd. (2009). Niv bible.
Werner, J. M. (2022). Human resource development: Talent development (8th ed.). Cengage Learning Asia Pte Ltd.
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