How to settle into a new workplace, fast

No matter how senior they are or how many years of experience they have, most professionals have a couple of moments of uncertainty on walking into a new workplace for the first time.

It’s often a fleeting feeling of self-doubt – can I do this job? Will I like it here? Will people like me?

WIL Group places hundreds of highly experienced people into interim roles all over the world. Here’s what our contacts tell us about how to settle in somewhere new, fast.

1. Be brave and introduce yourself… to everyone

In any new job, the sooner you get to know who’s who, the faster you’ll find your feet. Introduce yourself to everyone – the receptionist, people in the lift, others in the coffee queue. Each person will then tell you who they are: a big step forward in making new connections.

2. Take the initiative with your boss

Don’t wait for your boss to get a meeting in the diary – invite them first. It’s a great way to show that you’re proactive and keen to get started. At the meeting, make sure you revisit ideas or suggestions you made during your interview. That way, your boss will be reassured that you can deliver on your promises.

3. Make a helpful friend

Identify someone in your team that’s happy to answer all your questions. Whether you need to know where the nearest ATM is, or get a handle on the secret rules of the office (which person is the most protective over their coffee mug?), there’s usually someone that will enjoy explaining how things work.

4. Listen

Every workplace is different, and it can take time to understand the nuances and idiosyncrasies of your new company. In the first days and weeks in a new role it’s vital that you listen to what people are telling you – never make assumptions, and don’t generalise your previous experience to the new environment.

5. Don’t assume what worked before will work here

Following on from point 4, don’t charge ahead blindly to build things just as you did in your previous role. What worked before might be completely irrelevant or unsuitable here. It’s fine to reference how things worked previously, but be mindful of constant reference to your past position: this can quickly become annoying!

6. Be yourself

Perhaps most importantly of all, remember that you’re here for a reason. You were chosen at interview because you were the best person for the job. Don’t try to be something you’re not – trust yourself and have faith in your ability to do the best you can in the new role.

Finally – relax! Take a moment at key points during the day to take a deep breath, drop your shoulders, unclench your fists. People around you will sense tension, so if you can let it go, they will warm to you and your ideas more quickly.

Good luck! You’ll be fine.

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