Starting a job at a new company has challenges. As a business leader, Alex F. Bouri has seen hundreds of new staff members join the team. Some took to their roles quickly and made an immediate positive impression, while others never quite seemed to fit in. So how do you become one of the success stories? Here are Alex’s tips for becoming part of the team.
- Observe and understand the office culture – Every company is different and has its own internal culture. This can include everything from how much joking and laughing there is at meetings to whether staff can take a long lunch or not. It can also reflect factors that are more difficult to notice and track, like how employees are evaluated or how much information management gives to staff. An office culture isn’t usually “good” or “bad,” so much as it fits some people better than it does others. But the first step to trying to fit in is to understand the office culture. Pay attention to how other people do things and try to do them the same way. Keep quiet at your first few meetings while you listen and get a feel for the rhythm of how people work there.
- Seek out the training and guidance you need – It can be hard for managers or supervisors to know how much training, information or help you need or what resources to provide you with. In other cases, supervisors are simply so overworked that they may not think of reaching out to you. That doesn’t mean you need to fumble around blindly. If you need a resource or help understanding something, come forward and be proactive in asking for help. If a supervisor is overworked, ask a fellow employee.
- Set up one-on-ones with more experienced employees – During your first month on the job, it should be your goal to have at least one coffee or lunch session one-on-one with everyone in your department. During your second month, expand this to include people outside of your department with whom you cross paths. Don’t just focus on leaders: they’re already busy and it can create the impression of being a suck up. Instead, try to get to know each of your colleagues and learn from their experience with the company, their roles, and their recent projects.
- Lead with results – No matter what your role, experience level or title, nothing speaks louder than results. Make it your goal to achieve at least one outstanding success in your first three months on the job. This could involve greatly exceeding a metric, finishing a major project ahead of schedule, landing a new client or proposing an effective solution to a major problem. Spend extra time in the office if you need to—it will speak volumes about your value as an employee.
What else do you do to fit in at a new job?