Stepping into a new workplace can be intimidating, especially if you’re entering a job where people work in teams, like in a call center. But just a few tactical tips can help you calm down, fit in, and step up to the exciting new challenges ahead.
1. Research the Company Culture
Even before your first day, try and get a feel for the company culture, whether from their website – the photos they show and their vision-mission-values statement can be great clues – or from your interviewer or trainers. This will help you make the right impression on your co-workers, and show the boss you can be a long-term part of the team.
For instance, recruiters might tell you what the dress code is, but it might not be so clear what they mean by ‘business casual’. Showing up in jeans on your first day, when everyone else is in slacks – or the other way around – will definitely make the wrong impression, as will cracking jokes when your colleagues are trying to concentrate, or failing to crack a smile when they’re sharing a moment of hilarious camaraderie.
2. Socialize with Coworkers
Your co-workers are a gold mine of information that you’re never going to get from training or anywhere else. Of course you want to do all your work quickly and correctly, but on the occasions that isn’t possible, should you prioritize speed or accuracy? Which supervisor has a temper, and which ones can take a joke? How discreet do you need to be on social media? Your colleagues know the answers to all of these and more.
What’s more, how you get on with others can be a huge factor in your potential for promotion. And last but far from least, enjoying your co-workers’ company will make your job more enjoyable, keeping you positive and productive. So say hello, maybe bring some candies to share, and ask if you can join them for lunch – it’s worth it.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
Relax – everybody knows you’re new, and they won’t expect you to know everything from day one. So, rather than being irritating, asking questions will show that you’re interested, invested, and willing to learn anything and everything you can, to do your job the best way you can and contribute to the company, which everyone wants to succeed.
That said, bear in mind that everybody is trying to get their own work done, so be courteous, considerate, and clear about what you need. Frame your requests in your head, so they’re brief and to-the-point. Say “excuse me” when you ask, and “thank you” when you’re done. Once you’ve gotten the help you need, take notes or do whatever it takes to ensure you remember, so you’re not asking the same thing, over and over.
4. Be a Positive Force
As a newbie, a few things you can definitely bring to the table are energy, enthusiasm, and optimism. You may be the inexperienced one with a lot to learn, but you can also be the breath of fresh air that brings new life to the team. Everything that’s old hat to them is novel and even exciting to you, so why not leverage that as a good thing?
On the personal level, a positive outlook will definitely help when you make mistakes – which you will, since you’re new, but since you’re positive, you’ll be able to learn from them. Your superiors will be keeping an eye on you, but they won’t be counting mistakes as much as evaluating how you’re able to recover and rise up from them. An energizing, optimistic employee is definitely someone they’ll want to keep around.
5. Learn Everything You Can
Training was only the beginning. There’s a lot more to learn about doing your job, but the good news is, the more you learn, the more opportunities you’re likely to get to learn more – and earn more – as you progress in your career, in this company or another.
So grab every chance you get. If you’re given software to work with, explore its full capabilities, beyond the basics of what you were taught. Sign up for training and improvement courses. Don’t just get to know, but get involved in the company culture. Join clubs, office outings, and unofficial get-togethers. Actually read the company newsletter, and see if you might enjoy contributing in some way. If you get a chance, ask your superiors for guidance. Every act can help you carve out the career you want.
It’s normal to feel some trepidation, on your first day at a new office. But these smart steps can help you not just adjust, but maybe even accelerate your career trajectory.