Five ways to adjust to a new workplace

Vivek (CA ) (2368 Points)

29 March 2011  

Five ways to adjust to a new workplace

Sreeradha D Basu, ET Bureau

No matter how excited you may be about landing a new job, making a fresh start in a brand new workplace can be daunting for the best of us. You might be exhilarated about the challenges, even confident of meeting them head-on, but you may also be feeling nervous about fitting in.

Reach out to the team

Making friends and getting to know the people you will be working with helps you to fit into the office culture better. "Rather than stay aloof, a newcomer has to strive to establish a rapport with the boss and colleagues and become a part of the team," advises A Sudhakar, executive director-HR , Dabur India. "It's in his/ her interest to reach out rather than wait for others to make the first move."

Listen to people, be alert

Ask questions

When Ankita Chowdhury joined her new job as a senior marketing executive in an electronics firm, it seemed that all she did in the initial days was to ask questions to get a hang of the way things worked. "I used to get anxious, thinking that people would get irritated. But frankly, both my boss and colleagues were very patient and helpful. You have to accept that it's a new set-up and it's better to get things clear about the way the place functions rather than make mistakes that might cost both time and money ," says Chowdhury.

Be alert and focused

Listen to people, be alert and conscious and absorb the situation. It's important to understand the culture of the organisation and the key performance areas. Take the help of people who can give you inputs to adjust better. Says Sunil Goel, director of executive search firm GlobalHunt: "In the first few months, newcomers should be very focused on their core areas and deliverables. That, after all, is what will bring them visibility, comfort within the team and recognition in the business unit."

Avoid comparing new workplace with your old one

Don't make judgements

Avoid comparing your new workplace with your previous organisation at all costs. "Most people don't understand the implications of such innocent or immature statements, but it could really rub others the wrong way. Especially so, if you're the kind who keeps making comments like 'this is the way we used to do things at my last office' ," warns Dabur India's Sudhakar. "Value judgements create a communication barrier. Sure, the new organisation may be different, but obviously it has some good points which is why you joined it in the first place."

Be proactive and helpful

You'll probably not be given much to do in the initial days. That's because your boss and your organisation will give you this time to settle down and adjust to things. So, even if you are a fast learner and have got the nitty-gritty of your job down pat, don't sit around twiddling your thumbs. Use the opportunity to ask your boss and colleagues if you can assist them with anything. They may need the helping hand. And at the end of the day, it never hurts to get on people's good side.