Starting a new job creates anxiety in even the most collected, experienced professional. It is oxymoronic for someone to take months searching for a job, interviewing for positions, considering what directions they want to go in, and when they eventually get the offer, they become conflicted and get cold feet. Commencing a new job may pose a great anxiety on the new employee which may, in turn, result in poor performance. Integrating first enough at a new workplace is not a dish on a silver plate and it's no secret that people have resigned from jobs offered to them that they ever wanted in their entire life.
Do you remember the experience that you had when you joined that new school in FORM TWO? The classmate who spoke loudly and seemed to make everyone laugh(except you, of course) and that other one who mastered the entire timetable off-head? And you could just not imagine being this 'knowledgeable' someday?
Yes, you've just earned your new job at the company of your dream! The characters you met in your school life are definitely at the new workplace, expect no difference. In fact, there's nothing you gonna do about it. If you can't beat them, join them. Some of your new work colleagues may make you feel inferior, ignorant, unexposed and even unmotivated. Do allow it to get to you, it might ruin your morale and entire career, instead focus on improving your knowledge and skills at the new office. Here are some key tips that you can use to work around this new challenge of fitting in or understanding this new environment:
GIVE YOURSELF TIME
This is quite simple; you are in a new environment and it is okay to not know people and to not have a bunch of friends who know you by your nickname. It will take time before you come around learning your new colleagues and being able to actually share humour.
Work colleagues are often quicker to make a friendly relationship with you and even tell you their names on the first encounter, that is, DAY ONE. Try forming friendly bonds with them at this point. Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character.
People easily warm up to you if you remember their name or certain personalities about them. It is also just courteous at a universal level to remember people who introduce themselves to you. Enrico Cialdini notes that remembrance embellish life but forgetfulness alone makes it possible. Give yourself time.
THE NEW CULTURE
Every organization is governed by a set of rules, guidelines, principles and procedures which every employ is expected to conform to otherwise there's penalty for transgression. Organization culture plays a vital role in the success of corporate businesses and any new employee must first learn the organization culture of the new work environment as a culture may vary from organization to organization. I must admit that coping with a new organization culture is not an easy ordeal. For instance, if you come from a background where you were used to wearing whatever made you comfortable, then suddenly you are expected to look all official will official will be a big challenge, a big one indeed.
The quickest and the easiest way to learn organization culture is to ask questions. To know that you don't know is the best. To pretend to know when you do not know a disease. Get a friendly colleague and enquire all your doubts, pros and cons.
The second way to learn organisation culture is to look around you. Now, this comes with a disclaimer; take into account what is meaningful.
ATTITUDE OF COLLEAGUES
Not everyone in the new workplace will like you or be friendly and you me you will agonise over this for some time, but eventually, you will have to overcome it. The truth is that there are those colleagues who will simply not warm up to you for reasons best known to them. Maybe you are seen as a barrier to their promotion desires or rather you are productive than them. It is unique to acknowledge that you often make new friends but practice caution.
An article by Robert Half, a US-based Staffing and Employment Agency, advises that when it comes to difficult coworkers, always be kind but very firm. I love everything about his Holiness Dalai Lama, he says "My religion is simple. My religion is kindness." Be kind even to the most annoying and nagging employees to work with. The article further notes that working with less-than-friendly colleagues will test your patience, but the worst mistake is to retaliate with hostility. Instead, ensure that you speak with an even, polite tone at all times to ensure that the worst relationship does not escalate.
THE NECESSITIES YOU NEED
During your orientation into the new company, there are some resources you may not come across or rather let's say you are bound to forget where to access such resources. Do not kill yourself trying to invent and innovate what is already in place. The least you can do is find out if what you are looking for already exists.
Assuming you want to access any material information from the company library, do yourself a favour by simply asking a colleague at the next desk where you can the copies. Just to add, suppose your new office is located uptown where restaurants charge an arm and a leg for a meal suitable for a bird, please venture downtown and look for eateries that you can afford to eat it. There is no harm nor crime in enquiring your workmates where they have lunch. Remember, a first salary is usually a far cry from a king's ransom so better still, you could consider carrying packed lunch from home.
KEEP AN OPEN MIND
Now, this is more of a footnote. Open your mind to the possibility that you might be on the offensive end. Share your values with the workmates and provide perspective solutions to whatever you feel may create value addition to the firm. Unity is strength, when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things are achieved. When working as a team with your colleague be objective in reasoning and may the best come out of you.
"Science is organized knowledge. Entrepreneurship is organized life"Abel Shikuku, Talwork writer.