It can be hard to go from being 'the new girl' to 'one of us' in the workplace. The key is to make a good first impression so that you'll fit in as soon as possible. Here are eight things you can do to speed up this process.
Be on time
You don't want to give anyone reasons to complain about you right from the get-go, so be on time and don't take extended lunch breaks. Pay close attention to how the company works then follow that schedule. For example, if work officially starts at 9am but everyone streams in at 9.30am, or if everyone stays an hour extra after work, follow these unspoken rules after a while. But, for the first few weeks, go to work early and leave late.
Even if you got a casual vibe when you went for the interview, don't assume you can show up in jeans. It's best to ask if there's a dress code before you start the job but if you forgot to do so – or if you're told there's none – don't wear very casual outfits when you first start work. Make sure your clothes are neat, you look groomed and aren't wearing anything too revealing. How you're dressed has a big impact on making a first impression and this is very relevant in the workplace too.
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Don't be a know-it-all
Ask questions even if you did the same job before because procedures vary between companies and you don't want to get things wrong. And if you need help, don't be afraid to approach others. But make sure you get the hang of things as soon as possible, so take notes and learn the ropes quickly.
It might sound tempting to find out the office gossip as soon as you're thrust into a new work environment but do avoid this. Don't get involved in office politics or repeat any gossip you accidentally overhear. Get to know your colleagues but keep the conversations professional. You don't want the title of 'drama queen' in the first few weeks of joining the company, do you?
Get with the programme
Everyone loves people who can work well as part of a team – and bosses especially appreciate this. Don't shun working with others but instead show team spirit by sharing your ideas in meetings and taking the initiative to solve problems together. Do all you can to gain the trust of your colleagues and you'll fit in easily.
Every company is different so don't say things like, “In my previous job, we were all given a mobile phone” or, “We never worked late in my previous company”. Nobody likes someone who keeps putting down their workplace and the people they work with. Instead, be open and accept how things work around the office.
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Make it a point to go out for lunch with a different person each day so that you take the opportunity to get to know as many people as possible. Don't just find one buddy and stick to her. And don't turn down invitations to social events; so if the company has a drinks get together once a month, go for it and socialise. But behave professionally because you don't want to be known as 'the party girl' either.
Show your enthusiasm
Start your new job with a positive approach and there's a higher chance you'll make a good first impression. Be enthusiastic in taking on tasks as well as in getting to know your co-workers. Take the initiative to approach others too, whether it's a work question or to ask them out to lunch. Having a positive attitude can only work in your favour so don't be nervous or nasty.