Starting a new job can be tough—you’re still figuring out not only your responsibilities but also how to navigate office politics and best communicate with your colleagues. Chances are you are most probably going to do this exercise a good few times in your lifetime. Read these tips to help you stay on track during this process.
Have a one to one hello with everyone when starting a new job
You will be introduced to a number of people when you start – you will never remember all those names right away! In the first week or two, make an effort to have a casual conversation with each member of your team, department or company depending on the size. Set a target when starting a new job – chat with two souls each day! Speaking directly to someone and using their name more than once in that conversation will help you recall their name later on.
Have lunch with your colleagues
If there is a communal lunch table and people gather for lunch, join them! Eating and conversing is an age-old bonding experience. You’re going to spend the majority of your waking hours with these people, so it helps if you know each other. Learning about your colleagues’ backgrounds and interests will help you to feel more comfortable in the new environment.
Make a point to greet everyone as far as possible, with head held high, good eye contact, a smile and a confident voice. It may feel awkward at first if you are a timid person, but it opens communication lines and makes things less awkward throughout your workday.
Make sure you understand the company’s policies
We have all sat through those long-winded boring inductions listening with half an ear, but we forget that what is said is really going to be important in the coming months. Take your policy book and go through each point in detail afterwards. Ask questions, be sure you are clear on the meaning of everything from leave policy, dress code, working hours etc.
The “buddy” system
Yes, you need one! This person is going to be your “go to” person, the one you ask about all the things you have already been told. It’s very important that you know: this person is NOT your manager. This person is also going to tell you who has a sweet drawer and where to find the cookies. Your “buddy” will give you the lowdown on the day to day office stuff that isn’t in the book – the small print! This person is very important, so choose wisely!
Take up every opportunity that is offered to do things as a group – afternoon drinks, a trip to the high street for lunch, running club, whatever. Make the effort! You’ll quickly begin to understand their perspectives, helping you to better relate to and work with them.
Ask questions – once you have identified your “buddy” and have connected with this person you can go ahead and ask those questions…again…
Dress code: what is considered appropriate or inappropriate? Time off: Is there a formal written leave/sick policy. Does the company do flexi-time or work from home days?
“Shared Services” – The Kitchen
Make sure you really understand the day to day protocol in the kitchen.
The kitchen is a very personal space for everyone and when you throw a bunch of different people into that space, disaster is inevitable. To avoid said disaster, follow these primary points and get the inside lowdown from your “buddy”:
- Clean up after yourself
- Be considerate (no microwaving tuna!)
- Don’t eat anything that doesn’t belong to you or is not communal. Chances are if you didn’t bring it in, it doesn’t belong to you!
- Follow the dirty dishes protocol to the letter
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Be friendly but professional
Be courteous and friendly but respect personal boundaries and space. Remember this is still a professional environment no matter how relaxed the culture of the company is.
Starting a new job can be very daunting and downright scary! Don’t be too hard on yourself. You’ve got this!
Written by Angie Mac Wyne. Contact her for your Commercial Finance recruitment needs at firstname.lastname@example.org