So, you’ve just joined a new job. You got through the entire recruitment process and you’re finally there. What now? This is where the less-experienced amongst us fall apart. It’s one thing to be qualified for a job; it’s another thing entirely thing entirely, to be there in the thick of it. Not everyone has a bubbly and social personality, and that’s totally normal. It’s fine to be awkward at the start. What matters is getting past your awkwardness and coming into your own in the workplace. Ultimately, teamwork shines in the workplace, and to succeed you need to able to mesh into the office culture and get along with its other citizens. Here are just a few simple ways you can be less awkward at a new job.
· Make an effort to start conversations: The people at your job will be in your life for the foreseeable future. It’s unlikely that everyone will come up to you and introduce themselves. Make the effort to do it yourself, and make some friends in the process. There are always a few social and engaging people in the workplace who will look to help you get acquainted and well situated. But it’s your job to find them.
· Be willing to accept change: Were you used to a more formal atmosphere at your old job? Perhaps more casual wear? None of that matters now. It’s your job to meld yourself into the new office environment and that means being able to accept some new changes. Remember, change is only a bad thing, if you consider it a bad thing. Embrace change and learn from it.
· Get good at small talk: This is advice that will help you beyond your job. Everyone likes to interact with someone friendly who always has fun conversation topics to fall back on. It might surprise you but small talk can actually build the foundation for future teamwork and opportunities, just by making you seem a more friendly person. Ask your coworkers some probing (but not too personal) questions to learn more about the new job and them at the same time.
· Actively listen: One of the few things everyone in life appreciates is a good listener. People like to be heard – give them exactly that. Listen to what others say, and learn from it. Try not to form and share opinions too quickly at a new job, as it’s very important to first learn the workings of the company before you start sharing ideas and opinions – always listen and learn first.
· Build relationships – If you’re not the type of person who would go interact with all your coworkers and get to know them at the same time, that’s fine. Go slow. Work your way through a few people at a time. Get to know and become their friends. Volunteer for projects and offer your expertise when needed. Good relationships in the workplace will make or break your opportunities in your time there.
It doesn’t take much to come out of your shell and flourish in the workplace. Remember, starting is always the hard part. All you have to do is put in the effort.