How to Fit In at Your New Job Quickly

Starting a new job is always an exciting time, but it can also be an anxiety-inducing one, especially if you’re not a people-person and you don’t know anyone in your new company. Sometimes, that anxiety can get in the way of you doing what you were hired to do. While fully adjusting to your new job can take some time, there are steps that you can take to ease into your role faster.

Make a great first impression

First impressions last, so make your first day on the job count. Starting a new job, dress up in a snappy ensemble, arrive in the office early, and display an approachable attitude. The latter may be a challenge if you’re not a natural extrovert, but try your best to step out from your comfort zone and start up some small talk with your boss and colleagues. Above all else, put your phone away and stay focused on making a good impression. And avoid punching out early—at least, not earlier than everyone else. It’s imperative that you fight this urge during your first few months on the job.

Meet with your boss and ask the right questions

It’s important to meet with your boss on your first day to review your roles and responsibilities. During your meeting, ask questions and show a genuine interest in the company and its people. It can help to brush up on information about your team, department or company ahead of time so you can be on the same page with your manager from the get-go. Get as much insight as you can online and from people in the company that you may know.

Ask to be introduced to your team members one by one

This is customary in most companies, but if the company that hired you simply sends you to your desk to start working, request your boss or HR head to acquaint you with the other members of your team, if not your entire department. Getting to know the people you’ll be working with on the first day takes away some of the overwhelming or intimidating feelings that you may experience when you first arrive.

As you are being introduced, make sure to remember their names and job positions. Ask about the nature of their work if you’re not familiar with their job titles. This tells your colleagues that you are someone who wants a smooth and professional work environment and gives the impression that you are a good team player.

Maintain a positive attitude

People generally like being around someone easygoing, with asense of humor, who doesn’t take themselves too seriously. Keep conversations lighthearted, and if pressed about your past work, avoid speaking ill of your former company and colleagues. Likewise, avoid divulging too much about your private life. You’ll probably feel awkward if someone you just met suddenly started sharing about their rocky marriage or recent heartbreak. Save your new associates from the discomfort by keeping your personal life separate from your professional one.

Come prepared to the meetings

Starting a new job, as a newbie, your primary role during meetings will likely be to simply sit down and listen. However, be ready to contribute your ideas and volunteer for an assignment when asked. You don’t have to take on every task offered your way, just stay curious and informed. Ask questions, observe your boss and co-workers, engage with them, and learn everything you can. You don’t want to appear too eager, but you don’t want to look lazy either.

Don’t take any sides—for now

No office environment is perfect, and cliques in the workplace may try to ‘bring you into their fold’ to bolster their ranks and power. As the ‘new kid,’ do your best to stay neutral until you have a bigger picture of the work environment. If someone says something bad about somebody, counter it with something neutral or positive. Don’t join in on any badmouthing or gossip. Treating everyone well is the easiest way to overcome office cliques.

However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pay attention to what they are saying. Always keep an ear out for information that can help you figure out how to navigate the office culture level-headedly.

Internalize the company culture

Each company has its own set of missions, visions, and values. Your company will likely have you undergo required and regular training so you can internalize these, but you have to put in the effort as well. Be mindful of the dress code, Internet usage policies, break and lunch times, and so on. Learn, live and understand the company culture, and bring your full self to work every day.

Work out a success plan

New managers often have a ‘100-day success plan’ ready to be implemented when they start a new role. Perhaps you can have your own version for when you start your new job. Identify goals that will help you build up your reputation and competence, such as joining a company committee or working team, participating at a company event, etc. Get to know the communication options and tools at your disposal—whether it be email, messenger, or real-life interactions at the cafeteria—that will help with your interactions at work. With a plan in place, you’ll feel more confident and be more motivated to make more progress from the very start.

Ask for feedback

Your performance during your first few months at your new job is your way of proving yourself and establishing how people perceive you. That’s why asking for feedback during this period is critical. Seek formal feedback from your manager at your 30th and 90th day on the job. Taking feedback positively and making the necessary adjustments along the way is the way to show that you are a mature and coachable employee. It also demonstrates your commitment to the company and that you’re invested for the long haul.

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