Home > Employment Relations > Fitting in With the Team

Fitting in With the Team

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 27 Jul 2010 | comments*Discuss
Fitting In With The Team Fitting In At

Beginning a new job with a whole new set of colleagues can produce a mixed range of emotions. You might be excited by your new role and can’t wait to start, but as the day draws closer you may be overcome with nerves and apprehension and start thinking about things such as how you’re going to have to prove yourself all over again and thoughts of “will I fit in with my new colleagues?” Everybody tends to feel a little daunted to one degree or another when they start working with a new bunch of people, most of whom will have already formed a close-knit team but there are certain things you can do to help yourself fit in more quickly and Impress in Your New Job.

First Rule – Remember THEY hired YOU!
When HR departments are looking to recruit a new member of staff, they are looking for someone who meets all the credentials in terms of skills, personal qualities etc, which the job advertisement specified.

However, when it comes to interview time, things aren’t quite as straightforward as that and this is the time when they’re not only looking to see if you can DO the job but, perhaps even more importantly, they’re looking to see whether or not you’re likely to fit in with the rest of the team. Many HR managers will tell you that they can teach people the relevant aspects of the job but they can’t teach them to fit in with the rest of the staff, so if they think you’ll slot in with the rest of team easily, you’re going to be considered very seriously. Therefore, once you’ve been hired, there’s a likely chance that you’ll find you’ll fit in anyway.

What You Can do to Help Fit in
First impressions count, so before you start your first day at work, you should find out what the dress code is and dress appropriately when you arrive. A common answer to this question is ‘smart/casual’ but that can mean very different things in a variety of settings, so seek clarification if you’re not sure. You’ll probably have a good idea of this anyway from when you attended the interview.

Try to get your bearings when you first arrive. You’ll probably get taken on a ‘guided tour’ during your first day so get to know where the toilets are, any refreshment areas, cloakrooms etc. Then, find out where any essential equipment to help you do your job is located, e.g. stationery cupboard, fax machine, photocopier etc. This is just to prevent you from having to constantly interrupt someone to ask these kinds of questions.

If you’ve completed your work, don’t just sit there twiddling your thumbs – ask your colleagues if there is anything you can help them with. Not only will this be viewed as a positive gesture but you’ll get to learn things a whole lot quicker too which will boost your confidence further.

Don’t abuse the e-mail or the phones and, before you head off to work, ask your friends not to call or e-mail you at work even if they’ve been used to doing so at your previous job.

Remember, you’re the ‘new’ person on board and, what might have been taken for granted at your previous job may be entirely different in the new one. Find out about lunch breaks – when you can go, how long you have etc. Be natural but be careful. In other words, you’ll have been employed for your personality as well as your skills but, if you’re a bit of an extrovert by nature, you may need to dampen that down during work hours until you get to understand your new working environment and how people tend to communicate with each other there. You’ll be able to release your full personality in good time, the more comfortable you settle in and have had a chance to see how others behave.

And, get off on the right foot and don’t indulge in idle gossip. You don’t know if the person who’s gossiping themselves has a grudge against somebody or the company in general and if you’re seen to encourage the gossip and indulge in it yourself, it will ultimately make you very unpopular and untrustworthy.

Learning Names and Being Social
It’s a daunting task to learn everybody’s name on your first day and perfectly natural to forget the name of any of your colleagues. After all, you may have to learn the names of many co-workers, they’ll only have to learn yours. The more sociable you are, however, the easier it will be, so take up any invites to nights out (within reason) and interact with people as much as you can, especially in the early stages when you want to be accepted quickly. Work hard too. No-one wants a new member of staff to be a slack worker.

Providing you make an effort to fit in with others, you’ll almost certainly find that your new colleagues will warm to you quickly and, before too long, there’ll be another ‘new’ employee to welcome and you’ll simply be part of the close-knit team too. Do remember though that, in spite of your efforts, there’s always possibly going to be someone who doesn’t ‘take’ to you or you to them. That’s just the way of the world.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • abdi
    Re: Violence at Work
    a colleague had threaten to kill me, once i informed it to the Managing Director he said just drop it, ill have a chat with him. what should i do?
    21 November 2019
  • Morrigan
    Re: Safe Working Temperatures
    I work in a kitchen and in summer we were reaching temperatures of 39-40°c away from the equipment. Now it's winter we are.currently…
    21 November 2019
  • Vera
    Re: Where do I Stand in regards to Workplace Law?
    Good afternoon, I leave on the state of CT . I’m a food worker at school district. This morning I got at…
    20 November 2019
  • Anon
    Re: Bullying at Work
    I suffered violent bullying and was forced out of long term career at HMRC Revenue & Customs aka HMRC. I learned through that process that they…
    20 November 2019
  • Liz
    Re: When Your Employer Changes Your Working Hours
    I've worked night shift at my company for best part of 10 years, I've worked days when they have requested…
    19 November 2019
  • Boaner
    Re: Can my Employer Fire Me?
    I have a coffee tract that says I would to night shift as and when required. It actually works that I am in 2 weeks day shift and two…
    19 November 2019
  • Stuart Gallagher
    Re: Food Safety and the Law
    I only eat haggis and drink IRNBRU i dont really eat KFC so i wouldnt know. IRNBRU and haggis is the best diet to have. Andy Murry is my…
    19 November 2019
  • Patti
    Re: Sickness: Your Rights
    I had knee surgery and have been off for11 weeks. My Dr told me I could go back with restrictions. Can I be fired or demoted because of this?
    18 November 2019
  • Buzzy Bee !
    Re: Employer Has Changed My Shifts: What Are My Rights?
    After 25 years my employer wants every day and afternoon shift worker to work some nights. I do not…
    17 November 2019
  • Jay
    Re: Sickness: Your Rights
    I have been with my company for 2 years me and my partner was expecting our 1st child but 11 days to when our baby was due she sadly passed…
    17 November 2019