How to Adjust to a New Workplace


By Kayla Bayens

Adjusting to a new workplace can be stressful. You are the new guy and you aren’t quite sure where everything is yet. But coming into a new workplace environment doesn’t have to be a nightmare. The first month on the job is important as it will leave a lasting impression on your supervisors. Are you a slacker? Are you a team player? Can you keep up with those that have been on the job longer? But not to worry it can also be fun and rewarding starting your new job, here are some tips and suggestions to help smooth out the transition period.

Deep Breath

Now is the time to find your inner Zen. Changing jobs or learning a new one can be extremely stressful. You don’t know if you are doing what you need to or if you are even doing it correctly to start with. Take some time to take deep calming breaths in the morning before work to help you relax and focus. Keep your eye on the goal: Learn the job.

It will take time

Don’t expect to instantly understand every task, know how to do every assignment, or where everything is. These things will take time so remember to not get frustrated. By doing the job as best you can everyday and asking questions you will soon have a complete handle on everything. Soon you’ll be completely comfortable in your job and you won’t even have realized when it happened.

Get to know people

Take some time to talk to your co-workers, maybe ask to sit with some of them during your lunch break. It is important to make the effort to get to know them as you will probably be working on projects with them at some point. However it also gives you a sense of belonging to know the people around you and to be able to strike up a conversation with them. Beware the pitfall of becoming a part of an office clique this early on though. You haven’t been around long enough to understand the inner office politics of things and joining a clique this early can actually hurt you. Be nice, open, and friendly to everyone while doing your best to avoid the under current of inner office politics.

Have goals

A great way to make sure you make the right impression in your first months on the job is to talk about goals with your supervisor. What are the company’s goals for you or your team this month? In the next six months? Knowing the answers to these can give you a target to shoot for. Or if you wanted to earn some brownie points with management always aim to hit about the goal.

Ask for

Remember you are new to this job so you won’t know everything from the start. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help if you aren’t sure. Doing this will actually make you better at your job as time goes on. Instead of getting the habit of doing a task the wrong way because you were too scared to ask, you can instead quickly learn the right way to go about tasks. Keep this in your mind: The quicker you ask for help, the quicker you’ll learn and become the best at your new job. So fire those questions away!

Ask for feedback

What better way to keep getting better at your new job then to ask for feedback. At the end of the first week talk to your supervisor about your performance. Where do you need to improve? Where did you excel? Are there any notes you should take into the next week to work on? Asking for feedback lets your supervisor know you care about doing the best job you can. It lets them see you are more then willing to go an extra mile to make sure you are doing the job in the best way for the company.

Know your surroundings

Take time to get to know where everything is. Do you know where the restrooms are? How about the break room? Water cooler? Printer or copier? All of these things are important to easing you into the workplace. Break rooms and water coolers can provide a chance to get to know some of your co-workers. The better you know where everything around you is, the more comfortable you’ll feel.

Unwritten office conduct

With in the office there will be some unwritten office conduct rules that you will just have to observe. Do people take their lunch at their desk or do they leave for lunch? Are deadlines hard, meaning they have to be in exactly by this time, or are they more like a time frame? Do people normally converse via email or do they go in person when they need to discuss something? Is everyone quiet and focused during work hours or is it a bit more relaxed with people laughing and talking while they work? All of these things are very important to find out in order to fit in. These unwritten rules create the backbone of any workplace environment, so keep an eye out and learn them as quickly as you can.

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