How to survive the first days at a new job.

By:Sinem Günel
Photo by Bethany Legg on Unsplash

A new job is a major life milestone in most people’s lives.

It comes with many new and in most cases better things. Right?

Unfortunately, it can also open up your life to new stressors.

Leaving familiar colleagues and comfortable routines that had become part of your life to venture in a new territory takes more than courage.

You will need a clear strategy and a good approach to adapt to this new environment.

A couple of months ago my boyfriend and I both started a new job and now decided to take some time to reflect on our learnings, here is the outcome.

Concentrate on the positive aspects

Photo by Alex Block on Unsplash

It is normal to compare your new workplace to the previous one.

In this case, too often the negatives tend to stand out.

Make intentional efforts to concentrate on the positive aspects of the company. If your former place of work had no defined dress code, and the new place has a uniform, enjoy the new feeling of putting on the uniform.

This is basically a general rule for everything in life:

What you focus on grows.

If you focus on the positive aspects you will see more of them.

Adjust your mind to enjoy the good things in the new place.

Since every organization has its strengths and downside, focusing on the good side will make you adapt faster.

Do not point out the negatives in comparison to your former place of work. Undermining your new employer will work against you.

Ask questions and learn

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Be ready to learn even the most basic things.

Different places have different cultures and different ways of doing things. Exporting your way of doing things to a new place may not only frustrate you but also strain the relationships you are trying to build. Ask questions whenever you do not understand anything.

Appreciate the fact that organizations have different ways of doing things.

Learn the way your new organization operates.

The easiest way to get frustrated is comparing your new workstation to the former one.

Just like people are unique, so are establishments.

Be open to learning the new ways, challenges, and people that are now part of your life.

Socialize and be friendly

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

In a new environment, you get a lot of attention.

Any move misinterpreted may make your life harder than necessary.

Some people are naturally shy or tend to take time before warming up to strangers. Your new colleagues may equate that to snobbishness.

A quick way to adapt in a different work environment is to make deliberate efforts to socialize. Start with a greeting and introduce yourself.

Wear a smile often and try to be approachable at all times. Offer to help when a need arises. In your efforts to reach out and be friendly, make sure you do not appear desperate as some people may take advantage. You can be friendly and professional.

Do not ask intrusive and personal questions that may make people uncomfortable. Also, avoid sensitive topics. Keep people at ease and let relationships form naturally. Soon, you will realize there are people who open up to you and confide in you. Slowly you can promote colleagues into the ‘friend zone’.

If you have a good memory, try and get the names of people you meet in your new workstation. It is easy to connect with someone calling you by name. In case your memory fails and you do not remember everyone’s name, do not kill yourself. Ask again, and again if the opportunity arises.

Remember the same old advice? Shake hands firmly and maintain eye contact when talking. Keep your interactions official and avoid flirting.

Stay neutral

Like any other interactive place, most workplaces have cliques.

As a newcomer, both sides of the divide will try to win you over to their side. Keep off the battles you do not understand.

Stay neutral, and if possible, be the voice of reason. Strife and unhealthy competition in the workplaces compromise output. When colleagues choose to settle scores in the workplace, lots of energy and time is lost in the wrong things.

Maintaining neutral ground will earn you respect among your peers and colleagues. Avoid small talks and steer clear from gossip and meaningless discussion. Topics like politics and religion may rub people the wrong way. Talk about general things and preferably informative discussions. Technology and business are always safe niches to indulge.

Seek to add value

Any organization that recruits a new employee has seen potential in them. As a business, they seek to maximize their output hence count on your contribution. In a new workplace, endeavor to add value in every possible way.

From the wealth of your experience, and professional knowledge, share your expertise with your new colleagues and employer at large.

Use this chance to export what worked best in your past places of work and seek to correct previous mistakes. Offer solutions to any shortfalls you may encounter. If, for example, clients complain of delayed deliveries, contact courier service providers and enquire the duration they take to deliver. While at it, try and negotiate the most favorable arrangement. Make sure even with the best offers the charges remain low.

Familiarize yourself with the new environment

Change is hard, but time makes it possible and enjoyable. Take time and learn the new place. Get to know where the restrooms are, offices that affect your work, restaurants, bus or train stations, among others. When you know your environment, settling in becomes easier as your anxiety levels drop.

Bottom Line

Most organizations show new colleagues around as part of the induction process. For the ones who do not, get a workmate to show you the places you need to know.

When seeking greener pastures, people tend to focus on the paycheck and the better package an employer offers. Depending on how long you have been in a company, leaving is one of the hardest parts. We all spend most of our adult life at our workplaces, with our colleagues. A few years on and they become part of our lives. The above points will help anyone changing jobs have an easier transition.

What are your experiences with new working places? Would you give any additional advice? Let me know in the comments! 🙂