5 Tips to Settle in to a New Job
New jobs are exciting... but also extremely scary. A room full of people you don't know? A company whose product you're not familiar with yet? Even a brand new commute - it's enough to give anybody nightmares for a few weeks. The good news is that there are ways in which to get rid of the newbie scaries, or at least make those worries a little less noisy. We explore the five best ways to settle in to a new job.
Being our true selves at work, warts and all, is something that's hard to master even months and years into a job. There's often a pretence of who we think we should be versus who we actually are, but in reality not being ourselves for eight hours a day, five days a week is pretty hard going. Especially when you're new somewhere and on edge already, the easiest way to feel relaxed is to just be yourself, rather than second guessing who you think your manager/colleagues/the receptionist wants you to be. Authenticity is valued highly, so let down that barrier.
Get Some Buddies
It can feel really forced to ask a bunch of strangers to lunch or for a coffee, but the easiest way to feel like there isn't a neon sign hanging above your head is to familiarise yourself with the people you'll be working with day in, day out. If going outside the office sounds is a little too much, then just make sure to ask how people's weekends were, what they're up to this evening, and show an interest in their lives outside of work. By connecting on a human level, you'll soon stop feeling like a fish out of water.
A new work culture, a new boss, a new role can all feel horribly unfamiliar, and not getting used to it overnight can send a few of us into panic mode (did I make a mistake? Is my previous role still available? Shall I flee the country?) Whilst you can't speed up how soon you get used to your new job, what you can do is take comfort in everything else that is familiar. Organise a date night to your favourite restaurant with friends or a loved one, make sure you take some time to watch your favourite show with a pet and a blanket when you get home, and engage in some of your favourite activities on the weekend.
Say 'I Don't Know'
We've all been there; Steve Jobs in the interview, Tweedle-dee on the first day of work. Admitting that we don't know something feels like pulling a tooth out with rusty pliers; we don't want them to regret hiring us after all! But in reality, no one is expecting you (or anyone else) to have all the answers. Your boss doesn't know everything, your boss's boss doesn't know everything, so there's no reason for you to feel like you should. Setting expectations is important, and saying 'yes' when the reality is a 'maybe' can be detrimental in the long run.
Ask For Help
And when you really don't know, the best thing you can do is ask. A hunger to learn is one of the most valuable qualities in an employee, so acknowledging a challenge and taking it on is going to win you a tonne of brownie points. There's no way you'll know a company inside out in the first week, even the first few months, so asking when there are gaps in your knowledge is both empowering, and a huge gold star in the eyes of your manager.
Do you have any tips on settling in to a new job? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org