How to survive in a new workplace
A new job can be associated with a lot of dizzying opportunities and hopes. However, a job change is always exciting, no matter how many times you change it — the first or the tenth. You will certainly face unforeseen situations and the need to adapt to the features of the new company.
When you come to a new job, you at least know your schedule, are familiar with the boss, and have an idea of the rules of universal office etiquette. Most likely, you have also been given a General outline of the work you will be doing.
However, you will only learn the subtleties of everyday activities — which colleagues you will interact closely with, what style of communication is accepted in the company, what procedures you need to follow — during the first days of work.
The frightening unknown
In a new job, everything is different. You don’t know who is who, and you’re trying to unravel the unwritten rules of the office. The office supplies are hidden, and the coffee machine doesn’t work the way it did at your previous job. To top it all off, you are invited to fifteen different meetings about the projects you have just learned about.
Become a sponge. Listen carefully to what is being said and observe your colleagues. As long as you don’t fully understand a lot, this is normal. Collect printed and electronic materials that will help you understand and shed light on current projects: marketing plans, price lists, customer reviews, memos, old contracts-and study them.
Understand the work. Thoroughly study all the details of your work. Make this your number one priority if you want to quickly transform from a novice who knows nothing to a specialist who can handle anything. Your superiors and the rest of the team are watching you, so try to make a good impression.
Ask for help and ask questions. Don’t be afraid to call your colleagues for help, even if you are dealing with trivial tasks. If you can’t use a copier or scanner, ask your colleagues how to do it. The same applies directly to workflows. You don’t have to constantly nod your head like a Chinese dummy. If you don’t understand something about the current project, ask your boss or other competent specialist. Don’t try to be a know-it-all, you really don’t have much experience in a new company, admit it.
Don’t make up difficulties. If you realize that you don’t have enough knowledge or skills to work with, deal with it. Make a list of weaknesses and develop a plan to eliminate them. But it is a waste of time and effort to draw terrible pictures in your head of what may happen and how shameful it will be for you. Don’t worry about something that didn’t happen and probably never will.
One of the most difficult aspects of a new job is quickly catching up with an existing team, especially if you are replacing someone. Most managers understand that it will take time to get involved, but the business can’t wait long. Usually new employees feel that they are being poured a ton of information at a time.
You will have to meet a huge number of new people, remember their names, functions in the company and personal characteristics. You will need to remember where the various departments, utility rooms, and canteen are located.
You will need to find out where your office supplies, archived data, and current documents are stored. It is also important not to forget the schedule for certain routine tasks and the calendar for weekly and monthly meetings.
Organize the information. Print out the organizational structure of the company and sign it, to whom and for what questions you need to contact. Draw up a diagram with the goals of your work and all the tasks that you need to perform. Keep a list of usernames and passwords for the various programs you will use. Make a file with links to sites and articles that you will need to return to later.
Take notes. In meetings and meetings, listen carefully to what others are saying and mark your main thoughts. You may think that you will remember everything, but this is a deceptive feeling. In a state of information overload, information escapes from our memory very quickly. Your task now-as in David Allen’s Getting Things Done system, take the information to a secure storage and unload your head to free up resources for making the most important decisions.
While some newcomers are overwhelmed with work, others may lack it. If your boss is particularly busy during the week when you start working, it is likely that you will be engaged in some minor tasks that are not directly related to your job description. Running errands can be a valuable experience — you will learn about the subtleties of the organization that would otherwise be hidden from you. But if you feel that you have nothing to do, do not sit idly by.
Show the initiative. Inaction and lack of initiative will negatively affect your image as a professional. Don’t be afraid to take the situation into your own hands. Ask your boss what else you can do. Perhaps he will have a free moment to teach you something. Even if all your colleagues are too busy, use your time productively on your own — read professional articles, repeat materials from training sessions, and practice working in new programs.
It is not easy to join a well-coordinated team. If you work for a large company, you won’t even be able to remember all your colleagues by name the first time. In addition, you need to know who does what, what style of work they prefer, and the personal characteristics of each employee. Some colleagues will be friendly from the beginning, they are going to support you and to take with you for lunch. Others will behave coldly and aloof, some may refuse to notice you at all and take you seriously.
Keep a list of contacts. Write down not only the names of colleagues and their positions in the company, but also make notes about personal information. One loves classical literature, another is a fan of a healthy lifestyle, and the third grew up with you in the same town. The next time you meet, there will be something to start the conversation with
Understand the corporate culture. The declared values do not always coincide with the real ones. Watch your colleagues. Do they meet after hours? Have lunch together? What style of work do they prefer? How quickly do they solve the received tasks? How are priorities set? When you identify the aspirations and expectations of your team, it will help you set goals correctly and move forward.
Be useful. The company’s organizational structure will help you figure out who is doing what, but the best way to build relationships is to help and share information. Feel free to offer your help wherever possible. Your colleagues will quickly perceive you as a true member of the team, and you will have a better chance of getting support when it is needed.
Lack of reputation
In your previous job, you were a respected specialist, you were valued, you were often asked for help or advice, and your opinion was listened to. In a new place, they don’t know much about you and don’t trust you enough. You want to restore justice and prove that you were hired for a reason. You strive to optimize all possible processes and transform the company.
Offer well-considered ideas. You are excited about your new job, so it’s not surprising that you want to offer ideas and improve everything. Newcomers are eager to get to the front line and strive to quickly contribute to the common cause. But without basic knowledge of the company’s procedures, norms, and features of the team, this contribution will be questionable. Therefore, before suggesting changes to existing procedures, carefully review the available information. Most likely, the current order has been established for certain reasons. In addition, old employees will not like an upstart newcomer who thinks that he knows everything in the world.
Set a clear goal. The best way to prove to your colleagues that you were hired for a reason is to achieve something visible and meaningful. Set a clear goal and make a plan to achieve it. Working on it will help you gain trust in the eyes of colleagues, as well as cope with your insecurities. When you don’t know what to do, you feel confused, lost, and unable to focus. When you work on a specific task, everything starts to become clear.
Step down from the podium. Oddly enough, high expectations usually come not from your boss or someone else in the company, but from yourself. Ambitious professionals and simply competent specialists condemn themselves to failure because they expect too much from themselves. This way, you put too much pressure on yourself, which only increases the likelihood of making a mistake or making the wrong decision. In addition, your high standards cause inadequate expectations from colleagues, which in the end you will not be able to meet. Most types of work are already associated with intense stress, so it is not necessary to create additional tension.
Give yourself time. Mastering a new job does not happen in one day. You will need time to accept the current order of things and adjust to it. Most likely, you will make mistakes and do the wrong things. But mistakes are just part of the learning process, and that’s normal. After a while, you will fit into your new work environment, faster than you might think.