You know that anxious feeling you had on the first day of a new school? You didn’t know anyone; you weren’t entirely sure where your classes were; and most frightening, you didn’t know who you would eat lunch with.
That’s what it can feel like to start a new job. Those pre-office butterflies might feel awfully familiar to your first day of high school. Like your formal educational years, there’s a new social order to understand and figure out how you fit. That alone can be enough to send you into a tizzy, let alone excelling at your job. Tuck these tips into your back pocket when you embark on a new career. They’ll help you settle into the office landscape in no time.
When you start a new job, you might know a few people in the office (thanks to your network), but there’s a chance you might not know anyone apart from the employee who hired you. No matter the case, make an effort to get to know your co-workers from the onset by accepting any social offers they extend you. If a few people from your team are heading out for lunch, accept their invite to come; it’ll be much more enjoyable than eating at your desk. On the flip side, you can lead the charge by initiating social gatherings, such as a happy hour at the end of a long week.
Show Your Face
In the same vein as saying yes to social invitations, make an effort to show you face around the office as best you can. Meeting coworkers can be harder in non-open office environments, so if that’s how your new workplace is modeled, be conscious of making the most of the time you have outside of your office. If you work in an open office environment, join in conversations and introduce yourself to those around you. When you pop into the break room to get your morning caffeine kick, join the conversations that are transpiring. Asserting yourself shows your confidence and charisma.
Rise Above Office Gossip
As you are establishing relationships with your new co-workers, be mindful of any office gossip that might pop up during conversations. You never want to be branded as an office gossip but especially so during your first days. Don’t add anything to these convos, and if you happen to find yourself in one, try to redirect the discussion to one that is more helpful and proactive. These first few days and weeks at a new job are pivotal moments that will set the foundation for the rest of your time with the company; thus, they will affect your career going forward. Reputations are hard to break, so set a good one for yourself on the onset.
This is a little more ambiguous, but when you start any new job, take some time to get a lay of the land. Do your coworkers eat at their desks if they don’t go out, or is there a common area where everyone eats together? Are people out the door right at 5 p.m., or do some linger to shoot the breeze? Pick up on the nuances and quirks of the office so that you can blend seamlessly.
Burchard & Associates is an executive search firm specialized in accounting and finance recruiting across all business sectors, including manufacturing, retail, wholesale/distribution, healthcare, financial services, and more.