Happy, happy new year! I am really pumped for 2017 and what this year is going to bring. As many of you know, over the summer I was laid off and was unemployed for a few months. Well, I have been working in my new role for 8 weeks now (it’s gone by so fast!), and I wanted to share a few tips to help those of you starting or about to start new jobs with acclimating to your new workplace.
I often equate starting a new job to the first day of school feeling – you’re in a new place, have no idea what to expect, and are trying your best to fit right in with everyone else. It’s that nervous-excited feeling, you know? Well, I started a new job the second week of November, and I felt exactly that way my first week on the job. Here’s what I personally did to get comfortable and feeling prepared in no time.
Test Out & Find the Best Commute Route
Isn’t crazy how a random bad commute can kill your good vibes?! Although terrible commutes are sometimes unavoidable, make sure you test out a few different routes the first week or two of your new job, and choose one that works best for you. Also, if your commute is longer than a few minutes, then I highly recommend finding a podcast to fall in love and listen to it during your morning ride.
Ask Intentional Questions
Before you get too comfortable and settled into your new cubicle/workplace, it’s important to get the basics down. Before I started my new job, I wrote a set of questions for my teammate, as well as a different set of more specific questions for my manager. During my first week, I peppered my questions throughout conversations with my colleagues. I also got the low-down on how to get information and who to interact with from other departments. At my job, the IT manager turned out to be super helpful and shared great FYI details with me when I was getting my computer and laptop set up.
Get to Know the Neighborhood
We spend A LOT of time at work, and knowing where to go and run errands, pick up lunch, and take care of business is so important. I recommend doing a Google Maps search of nearby post offices, restaurants, dry cleaners, convenience stores, shopping centers, and wherever else you frequent often.
Learn the Office Jargon
I hate feeling out of the loop, and when you step into a new workplace, you’re definitely going to feel that way. Every workplace has its own uniqueness and jargon – things you’ll want to learn quickly when starting a new job. For example, I seem to work for organizations that LOVE acronyms. Make sure you ask what those acronyms mean to fully understand what in the world is being talked about.
“Throw kindness around like confetti.” This is one of my favorite quotes (I have it printed out and in a collage on the desktop background). When starting a new job, you will inevitably do something you’re not supposed to (leaving your keys in the office while running out for lunch and not having your badge to buzz yourself back in, for example), and someone is going to have to help you out. No matter who you interact with – always be polite and gracious. You want people to have a positive impression of you from day one on the job. My momma also always reiterated to be nice to everyone – front desk workers, trash collectors, cleaning staff – oh my goodness, I have seen so many times when the cleaning staff can do a lot for you! Smile, say hello, thank people, be gracious. Being nice is free, and it makes the biggest difference in how people perceive you both as a colleague and as a person.
And there you have it! These 5 tips for acclimating to your new workplace have really helped me, and I think they will do the same for all of you starting new roles in the new year. Share your other tips for acclimating to a new workplace in the comments below.