How to fit in, make friends and succeed from day one.
You may ask yourself;
- Will the work environment be fast paced or laid back?
- What will my Supervisor think of me?
- Will I mesh well with my new teammates?
- How will I fit in?
Whether you are starting a new assignment or full time position, it is tough being the new kid on the block. Use these tips to manage the initial awkwardness that comes with starting a new position and get on the fast track to success:
Study the Culture
From the moment you start, pay attention to others- how they interact, dress, maintain their work spaces, etc. Find out who the most successful team members are and take your cues from them. By simple observing, you can learn a lot about how the company operates and how to fit in.
Dress the Part
Your clothes influence the way your managers and co-workers perceive you. Avoid fashions that are too trendy, revealing or casual. Make a great impression by dressing appropriately for your role, or one notch above.
Stay Out of Office Politics
Establish your reputation as a hard-working, positive employee who is not part of the rumor mill. If you are on a short-term assignment, it is best to steer clear of office drama altogether. But, if you are on a long-term assignment or have accepted a full time position:
- Compliment; do not criticize.
- Disagree without being disrespectful.
- Stay above gossip by not spreading rumors
Don’t Try Too Hard
Being too sweet or overly enthusiastic is awkward and impossible to sustain. Your co-workers will see right through your attempt to be someone you are not. As you reveal yourself to fellow employees, be careful not to boast or name-drop. People are more impressed by humility than an obvious need to gain admiration. Be true to yourself and you will be more confident- a naturally attractive quality.
Build Your Network
Learn teammates’ and supervisors’ names as quickly as possible. Build relationships by asking co-workers about their interests, families, etc. Attend informal lunches, after-work social events or volunteer opportunities to get to know colleagues better. Inquire about mentoring opportunities to broaden your internal network and demonstrate your commitment to long-term success within the company.
Tips for Temporaries and Contract Workers
When you are on assignment, use these tips to get off to a great start every time;
- Choose assignments carefully. Think through the time commitment, skills and abilities required to successfully complete the tasks- and make sure you are up to the task before accepting the assignment.
- Display a positive attitude. Even if you are a bit nervous or uncomfortable, optimism can set the stage for a great experience- and it will get you noticed by co-workers and supervisors.
- Listen to instructions and ask for clarification. Take notes and ask follow-up questions if instructions are unclear. Your manager will understand.
- Ask for more work if you are finished. Take initiative and you will earn a reputation as a hard worker. Productive, proactive consultants land the best assignments and are the first to be offered a full time opportunity.
- Treat the assignment like a full time position. Perform with the same enthusiasm and commitment you would give to a full-time position- you never know where the opportunity may lead.
Being the new guy is not easy, but hard work, a great attitude and some common sense can go a long way in ensuring you will be welcomed, respected and successful in your new role?
By David Searns