Fit Into Your New Work Environment In 5 Easy Steps
April 14, 2017
Starting a new job or internship can be both exciting and terrifying. Each workplace has its own culture and norms, and figuring out how to fit in smoothly can make a big difference in your future with the company.
Introduce Yourself to Everyone
Make a point of saying hello and introducing yourself to your new co-workers. Your first few weeks at the new job are no time to be shy. This may be easier in smaller and friendlier workplaces, but it's particularly essential in larger ones when people may be too busy to come over and introduce themselves. Once you've met your co-workers, remind them of who you are by reaching out to them on social media. However, stick to more professional platforms, such as LinkedIn. Looking up someone's personal social media accounts may seem invasive and rude.
Learn the Unspoken Rules
Every workplace has its quirks, and learning those quickly can help you settle into your new job without ruffling anybody's feathers. Pay attention to little things, such as which refrigerator to use in the break room and who is in charge of cleaning the coffeemaker. Try to make a more experienced friend or two, and don't be afraid to ask them all those small questions, such as where to find the office supplies. It's generally better to ask a co-worker rather than pestering your boss constantly. Be sure to thank the workers who help you, and try to time your questions for slower times so you can minimize the hassle and avoid distracting them from their jobs.
Stay Organized From the Start
Your first few weeks at a new job are the perfect time to set good work habits. Before you start, identify any bad habits and think about things you want to improve, whether it's making sure to always have a calendar handy so you never miss another meeting or improving your note-taking and time management skills. Work on those habits from your very first day on the job. The new environment makes it easier to retrain yourself, and you can avoid making any silly mistakes or careless errors that might make a bad impression. Pay attention during your job orientation and early meetings to see which skills the company values, and build any of yours that are lacking.
Make the Most Of Your Work Lunch
Breaks are a great time to network and make new friends in the office. Instead of leaving to go to a restaurant, consider bringing a sandwich box from home and eating with co-workers in the break room. If everyone tends to go out, ask if you can join them. Try to avoid eating lunch or taking longer breaks alone, particularly in your first few weeks. Focus on co-workers who work closely with you, but don't be afraid to branch out. You never know who might be a valuable connection at your new job.
Remind Them Why They Hired You
Don't sit around waiting for people to tell you what to do. Instead, jump in with both feet and get started. Think about what your resume and interview focused on, and then work on showing off those skills. That may involve starting a new project or simply streamlining and reorganizing existing ones, but your first weeks at a new job is a great time to take initiative. Think of it like an extended job interview, since this is when people are going to be forming their first impressions of you. Make sure they're good impressions.
An internship can be a valuable stepping stone to a full-time career, and your bosses and co-workers can turn into powerful allies who can help you land opportunities you might otherwise miss. Take some initiative and avoid stepping on any toes the first few days at the new job, and your new colleagues will love having you around.
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