Fitting In With The New Team

The Insider's Guide To Job Search

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Fitting In With The New Team

by Kevin T. Buckley, CPC


Fitting In With The New Team

You have just joined a new company and the excitement of starting something new and unfamiliar is a great motivator. How do you ensure that you integrate smoothly with your new company and start off with the goodwill and positive support of your new colleagues?

The first impression you make is important in how you are perceived by your colleagues, subordinates and superiors in a new company. This time of forming initial impressions is a golden opportunity for you to begin building the support and trust that you will need in the future.

You can position yourself in the eyes of your peers as a person deserving of their support and consideration, which will help you as you progress along the learning curve of your new responsibilities.

How do you begin forming relationships on a positive note?

Introduce yourself, smile pleasantly and offer a firm handshake.

Treat everyone you meet with respect and common courtesy.

Have a sense of humour about the triumphs and defeats of every day

Expect that things will be done differently in this company and accommodate yourself to the changes involved.

Accept that it will take time for people to get to know and trust you.

If English is a second language, ask if the company will sponsor courses to improve your verbal/written communications skills.

Take time to observe the company’s culture and what emphasis is placed on certain values.

Ask questions to avoid assuming that you know how business is conducted at your new employer.

Give of your time and attention to colleagues seeking help or advice.

Gain the cooperation of others through being friendly and approachable.

Accept invitations to go out for coffee or lunch as many lasting relationships begin in relaxed surroundings.

What are some attitudes and expectations to avoid?

Expecting that things will be done the same way in your new company as in your previous employer

Not taking time to get a feeling for the company’s culture

If in a higher position, treating new subordinates disrespectfully

Over familiarity with your boss without first establishing trust

Trying to change how things are done without having a mandate

Expecting that your knowledge and experience will be instantly recognized and appreciated

Expecting that overseas training and skills will be viewed the same way as in your home country

Not taking the time to practice English or taking night courses to improve your verbal and written English skills

Expecting rapid promotion without first having proven your worth to the company

Engaging in gossip or office politics and running afoul of the power structure in the company

Constantly comparing how things were done differently or better at your old company

Demanding the time and attention of other co-workers

Being abrupt or short with people and their requests for information or guidance

Refusing invitations to go out to coffee or lunch with new coworkers

The relationships that you form in the beginning with your superiors, peers and colleagues are vital to your successful career progress. Making the effort in extending yourself in starting new employment will reap beneficial dividends in the future.

What about working with people who are less receptive or difficult by nature but otherwise competent at what they do?
This is a challenge for you and your maturity level. It is easier relating to people whom you like, it is much more of a challenge for you to find the common ground with people who may be indifferent or even hostile.

Fortunately, it isn’t usually hard to recognize them in a company as their attitudes or behaviour identify them immediately! There are some things you can do to begin softening their resistance.

Ask them their opinion about a process or procedure. Giving them the respect that they feel they deserve is one way of disarming prickly people.

Acknowledge their experience and skills when seeking assistance from them as most people want to be recognized for what they know and what they have contributed.

Ask people with more seniority in the company who are friendly and approachable in nature their advice about how to approach a difficult person.

Ask your new boss how you can work successfully with this person so that the company benefits.

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