Last month, we explored the seven common traps that can hinder, delay, or even sink your integration into a new workplace.
This month, we’ll focus on how you can meet the challenge of a new job, and lay out the solutions that will help you adjust to a new position, new company, and/or a new career.
Starting any of these can be challenging as you can become quickly inundated with new names, terms, processes, and projects. Here are seven tips to help you get acclimated quickly with a minimum of transition adjustments:
1. Get Connected. This theme will flow through most of these tips-because it is so important. Your adjustment, your productivity, your confidence level all are dependent on you getting connected and staying connected with your new co-workers.
Whether you are the new entry-level employee, the new manager, or the new executive, everyone will be curious about who you are and what you’re like. Getting connected might not be as difficult as you might expect.
Your co-workers will want to connect with you-so be active, responsive, engaging, open to suggestion, and keep circulating. If you do this, you will quickly learn about your new co-workers and their roles and how your new company operates.
2. Learn the Ground Rules. Every company has its own particular structure, work flow, and employee hierarchy. It’s essential that you get on board fast by learning how, when, where, and why things are done.
If you want to be an effective worker as soon as possible, learning the ropes is a must. It will keep you from making regrettable mistakes that could damage your effectiveness, and allow your co-workers to wonder whether you’ll ever get it.
So, if you don’t know what you’re doing, ask someone who does. And don’t forget that process and structure are important to your co-workers…learn them quickly and get in step.
3. Don’t Overanalyze. It’s easy to have concerns early on in your new job about your work, your status, and how you are being perceived. Whatever you do, don’t overanalyze yourself, and don’t be overly critical of yourself.
You are bound to make some mistakes, call someone by the wrong name, or arrive at an incorrect conclusion. Don’t beat yourself up about it. However, it is important that you learn from your mistakes, and make certain that you don’t repeat them.
Your co-workers might accept some initial mistakes. But, repeatedly making the same mistake will hasten their criticism of you and increase their doubts about you-something you don’t need starting out.
4. Learn People’s Roles. This goes back to #1-Getting Connected. It’s very important to learn who does what, who is responsible for what, and how you should interact with them.
Finding out everyone’s role is important, as is determining who plays the unwritten roles of team leader, adviser, mentor, go-to person, etc. The best way to do this is by asking questions and staying connected. Once you’ve learned people’s roles, you will be able to operate smoothly within the company’s structure.
5. Ask Questions. The importance of this is obvious (see above). Asking questions is how you will get connected, learn the ground rules, learn people’s roles, and educate yourself about how your new company operates, and the role you will play in it.
Asking questions can be an art form, but you don’t have to ask the perfect question. Just be yourself, ask your question, and listen carefully. And remember what you are told. Nothing can aggravate a co-worker more than if you keep asking the same question, and they have to keep giving you the same explanation.
6. Collaborate. If you have the opportunity to do so, collaborating on a project with a co-worker or several peers is the best possible avenue to finding your place quickly in your new company.
Collaboration will allow you to get to know your co-workers better, and allow them to improve their comfort level with you. Collaborating on a project will also show you just how the process works, and how your co-workers work together within the structure of the workplace.
7. Get Organized. This just doesn’t mean that you should keep a neat desk, although that’s probably not a bad idea starting out.
Instead, getting organized means that you should stay on top of everything, such as: keeping a list of co-workers’ names (especially if you work in a big office), their duties, your projects, your deadlines, your responsibilities, and your meetings.
Staying organized will show your co-workers that you will be a responsible employee who will make their workplace a more efficient and better place to work. And it will show them that you will be able to hold your own in your new environment.
If you follow these seven tips, you should make a smooth transition to your new office and position, and will quickly develop into an important component of a workplace that is hopefully rewarding and fulfilling.
Randi’s Recommended Reads
The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels (Hardcover) by Michael Watkins
Aspirations! is written and compiled by Randi Bussin, a career coach and entrepreneurial consultant with 25 years of experience of corporate, nonprofit, and entrepreneurial expertise. She leverages her extensive background to help mid-career professionals and entrepreneurs clarify their aspirations, develop the “big-picture,” and set realistic goals in designing a career that reflects their personal values and passions. Through focused coaching, she helps clients make steady progress and achieve their career goals.
If you would like more information on our services, please feel free to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign up for our newsletter.