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5 Tips to Get Comfortable in a New Workplace
It’s kind of like being a freshman, but not exactly. With school, everyone is a stranger and it’s way simpler to be friends with other strangers. When you join a new company, your new colleagues would probably have already had cliques of their own. And sometimes it might be a little hard to slot yourself in. It might even be a tad difficult if they don’t look the friendly type and you’re socially awkward. Don't worry too much though, besides time, here are some tips you can consider to make it easier to settle in the new place.
Inhale, exhale. Even though this is a completely new environment to you, don’t feel too strung out by it. Eventually, you’ll get to know this place and even find a favorite spot (hello, pantry) to chill at. Walk around, observe your surroundings and get a feel of things.
02. Be Approachable
If you feel uneasy, people sense it too. And it’s perfectly fine feeling out of place in a new place. It happens. But try not to cordon yourself from the rest of your new colleagues. People usually initiate small talk when they want to be friendly and get to know you. You might dislike frivolous conversations, but it's pretty much the basis of a new connection with someone who doesn’t know you personally. Be polite.
03. Make Friends
Just like how your new colleagues are curious about you, be curious about your new colleagues too! If they don’t come up to you, you can go to them. You don’t have to stalk them. Here's two scenarios, while waiting for your turn at the copier, or if you meet someone in the pantry, strike a conversation with them. Just try not to catch people when they're really in a rush — or in a lousy mood!
This might sound silly, but it works — true story! You know how some people put up photos or toys on their work desk? Yes, I do, and it’s an excellent icebreaker. When people strolled by my area, they’d ask me if that’s my mom in the photo, if I liked this particular cartoon too, where did I get that cute USB air purifier, things like that encourages dialogue. Also, having personal elements brought into an unfamiliar territory with you is like having a security blanket/comfort object. Unless you want to be ostracized, please don't put up news paper clippings of murders or fill your cubicle with gruesome paraphernalia. (Leave that for your home!)
05. Be Yourself, Be Sincere
Isn’t that difficult now is it? If people like you enough, you will feel it. You don’t have to pretend to have a gregarious personality, when you really prefer to be the amicable-occasionally-funny-and-unassuming guy. Your new colleagues will respect you for that, and it wouldn’t be so tiring trying to keep up with the ‘act’ as well.
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You can’t please everyone, so don't get too caught up in trying. There will be people who dislike you or will gossip when they know nothing about you. Be aware, but be zen. Do not put too much emphasis on them and just do your thing. Give it some time, you will transition into this just fine.
© 2014 Peony