Finally, it’s your first day at a new job. New peers, managers, different traditions and style of communication. And you even do not know how to use a coffee machine in your new office. Everyone gets nervous and feels butterflies in the stomach at first. In this article, we will not give you a cure to avoid this feeling, as it is just a normal reaction to changes:) But we will provide valuable tips that will help you to feel settled in a new team much faster and start achieving results without being emotionally exhausted!
Almost all the surveys indicate that 70% of employees of any specialization and personality type start feeling comfortable at a new workplace after three months. Not such a long time, right?:)
Just follow several tips for newbies and remember that being a new team player is just fine and you will definitely make it through!
Take your time to prepare
Our advice number one is to set the groundwork for the first weeks in a new company. How to use the time between getting an offer and your first day to reduce anxiety as much as possible? Below are the three most important recommendations:
- Make your own research about the company, its products and market positions – it will help you to start speaking with a team on the same language from day one and get into the sense of things much faster.
- Google your future colleagues. Social media, Linkedin and Google can give you many interesting insights into the professional lives of your colleagues and managers. Use this opportunity to learn about the things you might have in common. Who worked on a position before you and for how long? What are the similarities in your colleagues’ professional background? Try to understand with whom you are going to deal with at a new job.
- Take time to mentally prepare yourself for a new position. The best scenario here is when you have a small gap between quitting the previous job and having the first day at a new one – a week or a long weekend, for example. Get some rest, try to think about a new role as an exciting journey rather than a challenge – form a positive attitude and get refreshed.
The journey has started. How to behave?
First of all, be attentive, listen more, and do not hesitate to ask questions, even if they seem to be stupid. Then, learn the following DOs and DONTs – they will provide you with good guidance for the majority of situations you will face during the first weeks at a new job:
- Properly introduce yourself to team members. If you have onsite employment – opt for a personal introduction, in case of remote work – write a letter to your team or drop several lines in a work chat. Tell colleagues about your new position and professional background, share your excitement about joining a team. Start establishing contacts from the start – it will be much easier to navigate through the new environment if you know who is responsible for what in a company. And what are the names of your team members;)
- A small addition to the first point – do not hesitate to take the initiative. All your colleagues already know each other and have work processes coordinated, while you are a newbie. So, who is more motivated to establish contacts?
- Start building relationships from day one. Have chats with your team members, ask them questions about their life and work, share your impressions from the first weeks in office. A coffee break or lunch together will be a great idea to get to know your peers closer.
- Find out what traditions a company/team has. Friday beer? Quarterly team building sessions? Going out for drinks to celebrate colleagues’ birthdays? Use these opportunities to mingle with your colleagues.
- Embrace changes. No one wants to hear about how much better your old job was – try to bring solutions instead of criticism. Learn your new team’s way of doing things instead of expecting them to adjust to yours. This applies to even such tiny details as booking a meeting room or using an office kitchen.
- Be aware of the expectations from you. Speak to your manager or a team leader to clear this issue. Have an honest talk about your KPIs and timeline for the goals you are responsible to accomplish. If you know what particular things you are suggested to achieve at this position, your disappointment and frustration levels will not be very high even during the first weeks.
- Think about what you can add. Once you have figured out how things work, think about what new ideas/solutions you can add to the existing processes. We are not talking about twisting everything in a way you accustomed to at your previous job – think about small changes that could bring value to the business in perspective. Being able to show you are adding value to the team is vital for integrating swiftly.
- Be positive and open. Show your teammates and managers that you are eager to learn, excited about new opportunities and ready to absorb new information. Do not underestimate the importance of likability and try to stay positive even if something does not go as planned.
- Impose your views on others. It is not the best strategy to be super categorical and put everything in question during your first time at a new job. Otherwise, you can encounter resistance and negativity from a team. After doing the homework, make your project-related suggestions at the appropriate time with the appropriate person.
- Be a wallflower. It’s OK to feel constrained and hesitate to actively act during the first time in a position, as during the first weeks you find yourself in a completely new environment. However, as time passes, you would have to show your value for the team and the company.
- Criticize. Sometimes, it takes time to understand why things are done in a certain way. And there are two learnings you will get out of it: you will learn that it does make sense to do things the way they are done in the company, OR you will learn that it is indeed a wrong way to do things. Nevertheless, keep in mind that the world is not perfect and a dubious way of doing things is quite common. So, don’t be another “new guy” who knows how to make things better from the first minute in the office. Take some time to establish yourself within the group, establish trust and then changing the world will be much easier.
- Be afraid to make mistakes. Every mistake you make is a brick in the wall of your experience. No one expects that you will start to do everything brilliantly from the first day in office. Give to yourself permission for not being perfect and learn lessons from every mistake you make:)