Beginning a new job and fitting in at work with a whole new set of colleagues can produce a mixed range of emotions. You might be excited by your new role and cant wait to start, but as the day draws closer you may be overcome with nerves and apprehension.
You may be thinking about things such as how you’re going to have to prove yourself all over again and battling 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. After all, most of them will have already formed a close-knit team. But, there are things you can do to help yourself fit in more quickly and Impress in Your New Job.
Top Tips For Fitting in at Work
A lot of fears about fitting in at work during the first few days are down to nerves. Just try to remain confident and calm, and follow our simple steps to make that transition from newbie to a solid team member smooth and seamless.
1. 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 arent quite as straightforward as that. This is the time when they’re looking to see if you can DO the job. But, perhaps 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, theres a likely chance that you’ll find you fit in anyway.
2. 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. Do seek clarification if you’re not sure. You’ll probably have a good idea of this anyway from when you attended the interview.
Get Your Bearings
Try to get your bearings when you first arrive. You’ll probably get taken on a guided tour during your first day.
Get to know where the toilets are, any refreshment areas, and cloakrooms. Then, find out where any essential equipment to help you do your job is located.
For example stationery cupboard, fax machine, photocopier. 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 which will boost your confidence further.
Dont abuse the e-mail or the phones. 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.
Probably the first thing you’ll want to know before you even start work, is what the appropriate dress code is.
You don’t want to look as if you’re going to a dinner dance if you turn up and everyone is dressed casually.
Yet, neither will you want to turn up in jeans if everyone’s wearing business suits so, in order that you ‘blend in’ on your first day, it’s important to dress appropriately.
Don’t just assume that “it’s this type of company so it will probably be OK to wear that”. Even within the same industry, there can be very different accepted dress codes.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions of both your immediate supervisor, your colleagues and your boss.
They can’t expect you to know everything straight away so they’ll be expecting a barrage of questions from you anyway so you shouldn’t feel stupid asking a lot of questions.
Remember, companies would rather you asked a hundred questions than blindly try to carry out your duties without really knowing what you’re doing as it can prove very costly both in monetary times and in time lost if you carry on regardless only to find that the errors you’ve made need to all be fixed later so, if you have any doubts about anything, you should just ask.
Be Aware of Office Etiquette
Remember, you’re the new person on board. 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, and how long you have. Be natural, but be careful. In other words, you’ll have been employed for your personality as well as your skills. However, if you’re a bit of an extrovert by nature, you may need to dampen that down during work hours.
At least 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, as you settle in and have had a chance to see how others behave.
And, get off on the right foot and dont 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. If you’re seen to encourage the gossip and indulge in it yourself, it will ultimately make you very unpopular and untrustworthy.
3. Learning Names and Being Social at Work
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).
Also 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. 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, theres always possibly going to be someone who doesnt take to you or you to them. That’s just the way of the world.
Fitting in At Work Doesn’t Have to be Difficult
Finally, remember just to be yourself and don’t overthink the process of fitting in and settling into your new team. A new job is a two way street and it is highly likely that your new employer and new team will be keen to help you transition. It’s in everyone’s interest to move as swiftly as possible to a cohesive group.