4 Tips to Get Comfortable in Your New Job
If you thought that the nerves would wear off as soon as you landed the job for which you’ve been interviewing, think again. For some newbies, the first few days on the job can be even more nerve-wracking than the interview process itself. Unlike some of your new coworkers, you’ll be learning office norms and feeling out office culture for the first time, and it might take a few days to get used to your new surroundings. Luckily, there are ways to expedite the process; below are four ways to do so.
- Do Your Research - You probably did this during the interview process — it’s one of the best ways to impress a recruiter, after all — but it’s important to know about the company for which you’re going to work. Knowing a bit about the company’s history and current involvements will help you know what to expect on your first few days. Furthermore, it can help you make thoughtful and memorable contributions from the get-go. For example, imagine that your new employer is a small non-profit without much aid from computerized donor programs. If you know this going in, you can suggest a new program like Giftworks fundraising software to make everyone’s lives easier — and show everyone just how great of an employee you’ll be.
- Get to Know Your Co-Workers - You’ll also feel more comfortable in the office if the faces around you are familiar ones. As soon as you start at your new job, make an effort to learn names, especially the names of the people on your team. Don’t shy away from small talk, either, as these conversations can lead you to find things that you have in common with your coworkers. These commonalities will lead to friendships that you can even take outside of work. If you want to facilitate the friendship process, invite some of your new colleagues out for a casual lunch, drink or dinner. Having friends around in your new work environment will make you feel exponentially more comfortable.
- Dive Into Your New Position – Sometimes, getting used to your new job is slow-going. If you want to feel your most comfortable, though, you should try your best to work a full day as soon as possible. This means you should strive to learn the ropes quickly. Take notes, and remember who taught you what — that way, you know who to ask when you have a question. To that end, you shouldn’t be scared to ask questions or ask someone to repeat a string of instructions that he or she might’ve given you. It’s best to learn the ropes the right way, after all. As you begin to settle in, set performance goals for yourself, by yourself, or with a manager. This will provide you with further incentive to master your position, which will leave you feeling quite cozy and confident in your new role.
- Make Your Work Environment “You” – A foreign environment can feel a little less so with personal touches. If your cubicle or office feels stark when you move in, make it your own. Of course, you should check out how your colleagues have done up their own spaces, and follow suit, as you don’t want to bring tiki lights into a conservative cubicle pod. However, it’s okay to bring personal photos, plants, and even your college diploma to spruce up your corporate corner. You should also make sure that all of your equipment is set up in a way that suits your style (and left- or right-handedness).
Finally, make sure to get an office tour so that you know where the supplies and electronics, such as paper, pens, and copiers, are kept. If you can comfortably click around on your computer, locate the printer, and gaze at a photo of your family while you work through your morning paperwork, you might just start to feel at ease on the job sooner than you ever have before.
About the author: Leah Rutherford, a resident of Chicago, is a freelance writer specializing in career development and life-work balance. She also writes about small businesses startups and job search, which you can check out on her blog, JetFeeds. Connect with Leah on Twitter, Linkedin, or Google +.