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Finding Your Fit In A New Professional Environment

by Feb 4, 2021

Today, as part of this week’s focus on feeling cozy no matter your surroundings, we’re focusing on feeling comfortable as a new employee in any professional environment—though you can also apply these tips even if you’re remaining in the same company while taking on a new role. In striving to settle in, it’s key to remember that you’re part of an overall network working together to achieve common goals. Understanding the interconnected nature of your role will allow you to keep an open mind to the educational opportunities that exist all around you. You’ll want to also keep in mind the need to act as a detective of sorts, gathering clues about your company’s culture through careful listening and observation. The pros whose thoughts we’re highlighting below will help you navigate being the new person, no matter your workplace.


Judy King at The Muse offers up this great tip to quickly get settled in within any professional environment:  “Learn All You Can. The benefits of exposing yourself to multiple perspectives and new experiences are vast. If you remain open-minded and park your ego at the door, you’re bound to benefit from an amazing amount of learning. Seriously, by just carrying around a notebook your first few days, jotting down questions, and seeking out answers, you’ll pick up so much more knowledge than you had before. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re supposed to know this—the fact is that you don’t and the more quickly you learn, the more at ease you’ll feel. Above all, it’s important to remember that you’re entering a group of established professionals and they’ll respect you for taking the time to understand how everything works. While you may feel an urge to share your past (and possibly lofty) experiences with your new team to establish yourself, resist the temptation to brag. Rather, use time with your colleagues to understand what they do and what they see as priorities. There will be plenty of time to add your perspective once you’ve gotten a more complete picture and have the data you need. Before long, you’ll stop feeling like ‘the new person’ and start feeling like someone who’s been there forever—in the best way possible.” Keep an open mind to the opportunities that exist all around you. Remember that not only do you not need to be the smartest person in the room but upon entering into a new workplace, you’re very much not yet an expert on its processes and procedures. Make sure that you’re also expressing appreciation and practicing gratitude by acknowledging the hard work those around you are exerting in taking the time to train you. To best get comfortable in your new professional environment, utilize the base of previous knowledge you’ve built up in past positions to help keep you in the here and now.


We also love this method from Lily Sommers at Monster: “Adopt the company’s culture. According to a report published by Randstand Work Watch Survey, 66% of adult employees recognize the importance of adopting a company’s environment to succeed in their organization. To help you get a grasp of the company’s culture, always listen and be observant at all times. Building rapport with your co-workers is also very important; because it helps you assimilate to their culture faster. Report for work early, dress appropriately, and always accept lunch invitations with a smile. Bear in mind that you’re the new employee, and the effort to reach out must come from your own initiative. This way, you’ll be able to blend in and break the ice.” While grabbing lunch together may be out of the question these days, everything else Sommers suggests still stands. And this suggestion pairs nicely with our previous tip! Make sure that you’re listening more than you’re speaking in order to absorb as much as you can absorb about your new workplace. If you’re not working in person with your new colleagues, you can still utilize phone conversations and email exchanges to create lasting relationships. Regardless of your method of conversation, ensure that you’re not sharing too much personal information while connecting so that you can maintain appropriate workplace boundaries—that way everyone around you will feel more comfortable and better able adjust to having a new person contributing to the organization. 


And even though you may be new, you do still have a lot to contribute! Your goal in learning more about the company before making suggestions for changes is to see how you can apply your previous experiences to your current position. Right now your primary contribution is to serve as a student, learning as much as you can now so that you can make as few mistakes as possible once your training is complete—which will also help your employers feel more comfortable in providing you with additional job duties to help progress your career trajectory. Make sure that you’re keeping an open mind to the learning opportunities that exist all around you, and don’t discount any potential sources of that education. Join us again tomorrow as we finish the week with our Feel Good Friday: Cozy edition.


Image retrieved from Pixabay under the public domain.


This posting is brought to you by Contemporaries Inc., one of the best temp agencies in Boston MA. Also available for payrolling employees in Boston and Greater Boston

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