Being the ‘new guy’ or ‘new girl’ can be tough, especially in a workplace where teams are already tight-knit, but if you’re going to be working there for a while or indefinitely, you have to be able to fit in.
Here are five top tips on ways you can start to integrate into your new team, make friends and find your feet, which eventually gives you the solid base you need to start working towards a more central role and promotion.
1. Dress the part
Once you’ve been in a job for a while, you start to understand what the dress code really means – whether you need to keep your tie on in summer, for instance – but when you’re the new employee, be sure to respect the rules.
It should be very simple to dress for your first days as you did for your interview – make an effort and dress to impress – but it can make a good first impression on your boss and on your new teammates, and when you do eventually start to adjust your outfits to suit the working conditions, it will signify that you feel like a part of the furniture in your own right too.
2. Be on time
Again, it should be very easy to make sure you’re on time for work, but it’s more important at the start of a new job to get this right. Get to bed early, set multiple alarms if you’re a heavy sleeper, and leave extra time for the commute.
Delays can happen to anyone, but if you’ve ever been delayed on your way to a job interview, try and apply that same sense of urgency to getting to work at first too. Remember, if you let your employer down, you might not yet have the same rights as someone who has been in the job for a few years.
No matter how experienced you are in your role, or how much you feel like you could do it in your sleep, listen to what you are told when you start a new job. There may be specific rules or processes to follow that you haven’t faced before – and even if not, looking attentive rather than bored will put you in good stead with your boss.
4. Look ahead
That adage that you should “dress for the job you want, not the job you’ve got” doesn’t have to be taken literally, but it is about looking to the future of your employment and what you want from it.
Start to keep your eyes open for promotion opportunities, and see which applicants get promoted – have they been there the longest, or do they work the hardest? Planning ahead can put you on the upward path.
5. Welcome newcomers
Moving on from being the ‘newbie’ is often just a matter of time, but one way to create a sense of having been there for longer is to be the person who takes newer newcomers under your wing.
Don’t overstep your mark here, but just by being there for longer, you have a natural advantage when dealing with even-newer newbies, which will help you to shrug off any stigma you might feel about having recently been the newest recruit yourself.