Fitting In at a New Job

Friends Having Lunch Together At HomeI recently just started a new job, where I am luckily enjoying a big leap in pay and a modest leap in title. This is an exciting time for me, because it’s the second huge step in my career and one that will serve me very well in the future.

Between starting new jobs for all three of my paid internships, as well as my first real job after college and now this one, – all within a span of a little over three years – I feel that I have some solid experience in the “new job” category.

Furthermore, my field of practice is HR. We see a lot of people start their positions, and they all either succeed or fail. There’s only two ways to go, and it’s evident within the first few weeks at the very least if they are going to fit in with the department.

Here are a few ways to fit in with a new job. Take it from me!

Eat Lunch with Your Team

I had a colleague start one time who refused to eat lunch with us for the first few weeks of starting. I understand; after all, it’s difficult to push yourself out of your comfort zone enough to start a new job, and learn the ropes, let alone make forced small talk with a bunch of people you don’t yet know.

However, Getting to know your new colleagues outside of the work functions, such as at lunch, really shows that you are confident (even if you aren’t), socially savvy and helps you fit in with your new group.

Even if you don’t want to make a habit of it, sitting with everyone if they invite you will you eat for the first few weeks will speak volumes.

Ask Questions

Because we’re the ones starting, our new teams have the tendency to ask many questions of you. Ask questions right back at them! Find out where your new colleagues are from, whether they have any pets, kids, where they live and what they do on a day-to-day basis at work – what does their role look like?

You may not remember everything, but remembering some key points (and maybe jotting them down so you don’t forget them) will open up dialogue for you in the future.

People love others that are interested in them. You’ll pleasantly surprise your new coworkers if you ask about their daughter by name and remember that she was nervous to start kindergarten. Asking how little Sally is adjusting to her new classroom and teacher will make your co-workers happy.

Be Sure to Say “Hi” to Everyone

It’s surprising how few people actually do this – say hello to everyone when they come in and goodbye when they leave. It sounds obvious and even silly, but that small courtesy goes a long way to building connections with your new co-workers.

Often, it’s easy to get caught in your work and bogged down with all of the daily to-dos and learning a new job, especially when you first start, and maybe your office is on the other end of the hall, but you don’t want to be known as the new person who never says “hi”.

Don’t Give Your Co-Workers More Work

Most new people are a lot of work for everyone on the team. They have to be trained, and oriented to the new environment, which puts a lot of stress on everyone in the office. Instead of giving your co-workers more work, try your best to work with them and learn the ropes really quickly.

If there is an issue, try to figure it out on your own before going to somebody. This will help everybody out and leave a good impression on your team.



Fitting In at a New Job — 8 Comments

  1. These are great tips. It’s really tough dealing with people who aren’t sociable at work. You spend so much time there, why not try to enjoy it?

  2. My husband & I moved to a new city a few months ago, and because I work several part-time jobs, I’ve been the New Person at a few different places this summer! I’m introverted, and so it takes effort for me to accept lunch and happy hour invitations, but it’s been so worth it… We’ve made friends, gained clients, and are generally having a wonderful time, because we’ve made it a priority. Both of us work in fields that are reputation-driven, so suiting up and showing up with a smile is half the battle!

    • I don’t think introversion means shyness at all. In fact, you can use it to your advantage to build deeper connections with individuals.

  3. Great tips. Eat lunch with your team and establish relationships is great. It’s nice to know colleague’s interests so you can talk more than just work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I appreciate your readership and really enjoy hearing your thoughts on different topics. Thank you for contributing to the discussion.