Like a spy entering a foreign land, check out the culture and environment before you make yourself really known. Check out how the other workers interact with one another, get a feel for the “roles” that are in place (like who is the joker, who is the whiner, who is trustworthy, etc.), and try to put your finger on the pulse of your new surroundings.

Five Tips for Fitting Into Your New Job

Every time I’ve gotten hired at a new job, I feel like that little nine-year-old getting ready to enter fourth grade: I can’t sleep the night before, I make sure to buy a new perfect outfit, my stomach is tied in a million knots, I can’t help but wonder if I’ll be so nervous that I won’t remember a fraction of my training, and I fret on whether I’ll have to eat lunch alone.

Then I have to remind myself that I’m not a kid anymore. I’ve paid my dues with sleepless nights studying and a tuition bill that could buy several new cars. I have earned my place in the market and I am a true professional. Here are a few ways that I have broken in my role at a new job:

1. Lay Low

Like the saying goes, “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” If you talk too much, say anything critical, or make a joke that isn’t well received, it’s going to take twice the effort to fit in. One more thing: find out about how the job came to be open. If someone was fired, you may have a harder time overcoming the negativity. If someone moved away, the group may be more receptive to welcoming you.

2. Act like this is a job that you really want (even if it isn’t)

Have you ever gone to a store and it was obvious that the cashier hated her job? She didn’t make eye contact, acted bored, and wasn’t really helpful. Yeah, don’t do that. Whether this is your dream job or a placeholder for what you actually want to do, work like this is the best opportunity in the world. Either your boss will see that you want to learn and may consider you for future promotions, or you will create a nice reference when you do apply for that amazing opportunity.

3. Be humble

No one likes a bragger and a know-it-all. No company wants to hear about the protocol from your previous job and how they should do it that way. Arrive willing to learn and SHOW your value without saying a word; let your work prove how knowledgeable, experienced, and valuable you are.

4. Find an Ally

Search out that one person you can connect with that can answer your questions or help you find the answers. This can be another new hire or someone who just seems open and helpful from the get go. You don’t want to be clingy or use too much of their time, but when you know you have someone on your side you can perform your job better and get rid of some of those new job jitters.

5. Say yes to just about everything

“Want to go out to lunch with our group?” “Yes!” “Will you make photocopies for me?” asks your boss. “Yes!” “Do you want to help with this project?” “Yes!” Anything that doesn’t cross over moral boundaries or puts you in a compromising position should be answered in the positive.

Successfully Fitting in at the New Job

How to Be Valued Vs Your Salary There’s a saying that goes like this: “In order to make friends, you must first yourself be friendly.” Think about your past jobs or about the new kid that came to your high school. what made lasting impressions (good and bad)? Finally, don’t underestimate your mindset: you’re going to get out of this job what you put in to it. Have a positive attitude and go in knowing that at the very least you’ll gain a great experience and make a few new friends.

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Article by Christina M.
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