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How to Fit in to a New Workplace

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 14 Oct 2015 | comments*Discuss
Fitting In To New Workplace Starting New

It doesn’t matter how much self-confidence you have starting a new job in a new workplace is daunting for everybody. Whilst you might begin your first day exuberant and excited about the new challenges ahead, you’re also likely to be feeling nervous, daunted and quite stressed. This is all perfectly natural, however, and it’s important to remember that your new employer, as well as the colleagues you’ll be working with, will not be expecting miracles straight away and that they’ll want to help you settle in as quickly and as smoothly as possible. They’ll have been the ‘newbie’ too at some time or other, remember. There are, however, some useful steps you can take to make the transition as smooth and as painless as possible.


Probably the first thing you’ll want to know before you even start work, if you don’t already know, is what the appropriate dress code is. You don’t want to look as if you’re going to a dinner dance if you turn up and everyone is dressed casually. Yet, neither will you want to turn up in jeans if everyone’s wearing business suits so, in order that you ‘blend in’ on your first day, it’s important to dress appropriately. Don’t just assume that “it’s this type of company so it will probably be OK to wear that”. Even within the same industry, there can be very different accepted dress codes.

Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions of both your immediate supervisor, your colleagues and your boss. They can’t expect you to know everything straight away so they’ll be expecting a barrage of questions from you anyway so you shouldn’t feel stupid asking a lot of questions. Remember, companies would rather you asked a hundred questions than blindly try to carry out your duties without really knowing what you’re doing as it can prove very costly both in monetary times and in time lost if you carry on regardless only to find that the errors you’ve made need to all be fixed later so, if you have any doubts about anything, you should just ask.

Learn How the Equipment Works

Whether you have an office job or you work in a manual capacity, you’re bound to come up against some kind of tools or machinery that you’ve never worked with before so find out the equipment you need to use and how it works. It’s often handy to scribble down a few notes or stick Post-It instructions up as learning how new machinery works can sometimes be complex and, if someone has taken a fair amount of time explaining how something works, you should try to grasp the basics straight away so that you don’t have to keep pulling them away from their work to repeat the instructions.

Be Proactive

As a ‘newbie’ on staff, you’ll probably find that you won’t often be given too much to do over the course of your first few days as your employer will be more interested in helping you settle in initially and to just give you a ‘feel’ of what you’re going to be faced with later. However, if you find that you’ve taken to your new role like a ‘duck to water’, don’t just sit there idly twiddling your thumbs and staring out of the window but be proactive and ask your supervisor or colleagues nearby if you can do anything else for them. They may be glad of the extra help.

Be Friendly

It’s important you don’t overpower your new work colleagues with ‘chit-chat’ during your first few days and don’t get involved in office gossip either – you’re there to work after all. However, that doesn’t mean you should bury your head in paperwork or hide behind your computer screen or machine either. Take your cues from your colleagues and if they are chatting away as they’re working, make sure you join in too. The sooner you get to know your colleagues, the more settled, comfortable and ‘part of the firm’ you’ll feel. Be considerate and respectful too.

Don’t Overdo It!

Remember, you’ve been given this new job on your merits. This might be because of how you came across at interview, the skills you’re bringing with you and other personal qualities and it will probably be a combination of all three. So, whilst it’s important that you’re able to carry out your duties as best you can and as soon as you can, don’t try to over-impress by staying back and working late or taking on too many responsibilities above and beyond your job description too soon as you may find that you’ll be continually played on in the future.

Different people will settle into new jobs at different rates and, if you’ve joined the company alongside other new recruits at the same time, don’t get upset or frustrated if it takes you a little longer to settle in and to grasp new concepts and ways of doing things. Somebody will always be the quickest and somebody will always be the slowest – that’s just life. The key thing to remember is to simply do your best, to ask questions if need be and to be friendly and courteous. As long as you follow these tips, you should find that, within a few weeks, you’ll think you have been in the job for years and always remember, there’s always going to be another ‘newbie’ to take that label off you soon enough.

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please advise am an internee am used to being happy and social with almost everyone but this new place everyone seems elegant and not easy to associate with i feel so stressed and simply try to take everything cool but i feel out of place what should i do to change the situation
assa - 14-Oct-15 @ 1:02 PM
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