New job, new you... Our guide to starting in a new company.
We all remember the sweaty palms and beating heart that comes with the first day of work in a new office. We suddenly find ourselves as 9 year olds daunted by the first day of school. So how do you manage the beginning of a new job, and how do you get to your comfort zone as quickly as possible?
1. Say hello... and then say it again, and again, and again.
No matter how confident and or shy you are, the prospect of walking into a new office not knowing anyone will always be scary. And sadly, no matter how many blog posts or articles you read, this will always be the case. But there are a few things to remember. You have a clean slate. No one knows you and no one is judging you, so you have the opportunity to make the best first impression possible. There are a couple of ways to ease the nerves:
Have an idea of what you're going to say, that way you can avoid the awkward silences.
Listen! To everything people say, especially names. It's difficult to store a lot of information when you're nervous, but the more you remember the sooner you'll feel comfortable around people.
Try not to take up too much time if people are busy. Keep it brief, but don't be put off by the buzz of the office.
2. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
It can sometimes feel that asking lots of questions is going to be irritating to the people around you, but there is an inherent understanding that the newbie has to learn. With that in mind, don't be afraid. There are two reasons why asking lots of questions is good idea: first, you get to engage with people and makes you seem sociable, and second, you will learn more quickly. Nobody likes to answer inane questions, but the flip-side is no one will blame you for your keenness.
p.s. Take notes! They don't want to be asked twice, let alone multiple times.
3. Find a kindred spirit.
Being friendly to everyone in the office is important. At a most basic level, you will probably spend more of your awake life with these people than your romantic partner, but it is good to find a 'buddy'. Whether it's the person sitting next to you, the one with a mutual appreciation of brownies, or the other newbie from induction, having someone you can rely on makes the whole process of a new job a little less stressful!
4. Find your way around.
We all feel silly getting confused by a new office, but every person who works there has been a newbie before and wondered where the bin is in the kitchen or where the coffee capsules are stored, so don't be afraid to find out. And if you're a smoker (or vaper) finding out where to go is much better than developing nicotine deficient angst. There is also the importance of getting to work, not just getting around work. Keep an eye out to work out the norms in terms of arrival and departure times. And experiment with your commute so you're happy with your journey. That way you won't arrive flustered or late.
5. Do your very best!
Yes, we all have those weeks where we don't really feel like working, and yes, we have all spent an afternoon carefully reading that important article (Facebook), because really, the hangover is just that bad. BUT, don't do this in your first week. In fact, try to avoid it for the first month. You have to build a relationship with the people around you before you can start relaxing.
No matter how scary the new job or new office is, just remember, they gave you the job for a reason and they want you there, so get over your 9 year old self and get on in there!