Starting a new job can be very exciting. You will no doubt be feeling a little apprehensive too. Being the new kid on the block, having to learn how ‘things are done around here’, coupled with an unfamiliar corporate culture and the prospect of having to build new relationships, it can bring about a torrent of nerves. Fitting in is a major priority and your new employer will extend you a warm welcome, but how can you propel your integration into your new team faster?
Some people believe that you only have 90 days in your new job to create an impact and impart a permanent impression. The mark you leave will set a thumbprint that will dictate how you are regarded for your entire tenure at that organisation. Respect, credibility, your leadership capabilities, all will be measured, judged and earned in your first 90 days. Wow. I hope none of you are starting a new job tomorrow, I think I may have just caused you to blow a nerve gasket! Not to fear though, you can influence the impression you make upon your work colleagues in those early days.
While the company and your new network of co-workers will make you feel very welcomed in your first weeks in your new position, you can help yourself to assimilate faster by establishing positive relationship with others in the organisation. Being approachable and friendly will allow people to warm to you more quickly. But don’t wait for others to invite you to lunch, ask your colleagues to join you and show you where you can get the best coffee. If you make an effort, others will too. When you chain yourself to your desk every lunch hour, you’ll become known as the hermit in the corner who no one wants to disturb. And an unbalanced work regime may soon see you excluded from company activities and general office banter. Don’t give your colleagues a reason to segregate you!
Another great way to adapt to your new working environment sooner rather than later is to demonstrate that you’re a results driven individual. Set your goals, communicate these and follow through. We all like to see tangible outcomes and delivering the key projects of your position on time and to budget will win you praise and admiration from your peers and superiors. Being recognised for successes will establish a positive reputation for you that will open many doors down the track. Your competitors and clients may even come to recognise your value and approach you with an offer…hmm. Having choices is rarely a bad thing.
If you’re a little unsure about the expectations of your new position, meet with your manager to fine tune your job description and develop a 90 day plan. Set short, mid and long term objectives for yourself. When you engage with and influence the moulding of your role, you will come to love that role for you have taken ownership of its direction.
Yet it can’t all be about your colleagues and your role. You also need align with the corporate culture. If you’re not towing the corporate line, you’re likely bucking the system. Some cultures need challenging in order to grow and adapt to changing industry trends. But unless you’ve landed yourself a senior executive role, it’s unlikely that walking a different path is going to win you friends. An employee who once loudly declared that her new employer’s business model made no sense and refused to adhere to the organisation’s chain of command shortly found her way back into the realm of job hunting. Needless to say refusal to adapt was not kindly looked upon. Give yourself time to learn the organisation’s culture. Generally one takes six months before they have comfortably transitioned.
Starting a new job can be a shock to the system, particularly if you have rocked it in your previous role and now find yourself in a position of having to learn new systems, technologies and reporting methods. It’s a lot to take on in conjunction to the nerves and apprehension of fitting in. Your new employer will induct you, but the onus is on you to immerse yourself into the new workplace and gain the confidence and trust of your new work colleagues. The efforts you make, or don’t make to assimilate will dictate if they accept you or reject you.
Relaxing into a new working environment is tough, so if you’re not a new employee, but rather are welcoming one to your workforce today, please make every effort to make them feel at ease…they just want to make a great impression and succeed.