Starting a new job is a delicate transition. I mean after all, you want to prove that you’re a “great hire”, and you will succeed. HOWEVER, it is not wise to come on too strong and come across as a “bulldog”. After all, you are new, and while you want to demonstrate determination and competency, you want to remain humble during this transition.
No matter how experienced you might be, it is important to remember in the new company you are starting at “ground zero”. There is an adjustment period to all new things. Your job is to understand how they do things, how to operate within the confines of their company culture, and to develop working relationships with everyone.
Be aware of these pitfalls when starting your new career:
- Participating in office gossip is never a good idea. Being the “new kid on the block” it is critical to steer clear of such talk.
- Traditionally, it takes some 6 months to complete a transition. To get a true sense of the office culture, and how to operate within.
- It is important to build relationships with everyone. Use a professional tone to prevent compromising your objective viewpoints. It is okay to have trusting friendships at work, and be productive. When starting out you need to be leery of becoming too personal, and cautious because after all, it is your place of employment.
- Be careful labeling someone too quickly. Do not select your allies or enemies before taking the proper time to get to know them, and determine if they can or cannot be trusted.
- Avoid forming judgements about a coworker or manager.
- Listen when others are speaking. By doing so, you will slowly be able to form your own opinion through those interactions, and not by what you hear around the “watercooler”.
- Overtime: You can form close, trusting and productive relationships with colleagues. However, forming these relationships too quickly could be where the problems start.
- You left your old position for a reason. Therefore, refrain from comments such as: “At my old company, we would do it this way…” Those types of statements will not be received well by your new team.
- Joining a team with a thought mentality of, “I can fix X, Y &Z in one week” is simply a bad idea. And, it is a quick way to become disliked by the group. Work to understand the team through humility, listening and learning their inner workings. This approach will go a long way trying to establish trust and confidence.
- New company, new team, new company culture and new methods for achieving goals. Be a sponge. Absorb all the information, and in time you will be able to form a clear understanding of how you can best assist the team.
- Overtime: You do not want to share viewpoints with your team. There is a space for your perspective and drive. But, is important to fully understand the team issue, attempts made for a resolution, and their preferred techniques for handling things. Charging in with an uneducated opinion of their attempts and perspectives, you could be oversimplifying or (without knowing) insulting to their efforts. When you believe you have enough information, a great statement would be: “In my experience, I have found this to work…”
- Back to the delicate balance. I know you want to show value, drive and hit the ground running = all good things. You must be sensitive to not undermine what the company or team has done up until now, and their methods for handling things within the confines of their culture.
- Overtime: Once everyone gets to know you and vice versa, the atmosphere will relax. You will become just one of the team, and you can more freely share your thoughts and even disagree. It takes time, in any situation, for people to get to know one another. The workplace is no different. Build relationships, stay away from the office gossip, and prove that you are trustworthy. Doing this will speed up the adjustment phase for everyone.
- Okay, so it has taken awhile for you to get your office key or email set up. Be careful complaining or whining to others. Use the proper avenues to find resolution in these areas. No need to include your manager, or their superiors just yet…patience with friendly reminders is best at this point. When companies onboard, there are times folks are in charge of a specific piece and it is outside their “wheelhouse”, which can cause them to forget, they could be waiting on someone else for assistance, or their work plate could be full and they are just trying to get to it. Patience and gentle reminders = best method.
- Overtime: After months pass, you will know better who is in charge of what within the workplace. When issues arise, you can go directly to the one in charge for resolution.
WRAP UP: It doesn’t matter whether you are entering a new management role or entry level…you must know how to work yourself into a preexisting atmosphere. Balance between being the quality candidate they believe they have hired, and a humble employee who is ready to mold into the teams culture. Overtime, you’ll be just one of the team, but to begin you must be humble, friendly, kind, listen and learn, while earning the trust of those around you.
Ready to take your career further? Email me: Allison Sweeney: firstname.lastname@example.org