Adjusting to a new work environment

Colleagues interacting at work over informal meeting

Starting a new job is one of the most exciting challenges in a professional’s career. It can however also be a very stressful and demanding time, even for the most seasoned professionals.

Properly adjusting to a new responsibilies and more importantly to a new work environment and a new boss can take some time. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed but don't let that effect your performance. We've put together five easy steps to ensure the transition into your new role is as smooth as possible:

Anticipate change

The first few weeks of any new job are always difficult, and even seasoned professionals admit starting over is tough. However, if you anticipate the changes and challenges ahead, your transition into the new organisation can be much smoother. Let go of your expectations, no job will ever be exactly as expected. In order to transition well, you must be flexible, ready to take on new challenges and able to adjust to a new working environment. A new position also means acquiring a whole new array of relationships. Make sure to keep an open mind and a positive attitude.

Get to know your new boss

Understanding your boss’ communication style early in the process is crucial.

Find out how they like to work on a day-to-day basis and particularly, how they like things done. For example, do they prefer one-on-one meetings over team meetings ? Do they like very detailed presentations or do they prefer simple overviews? Find out how they work together with different departments and how they report to senior management. Finding out these things early on will help you settle into your new role quicker. Be proactive and initiate a meeting with your new boss to discuss how they like to work and adapt. This will help you get an understanding of what is expected of you and help set clear expectations.

Reach out to your co-workers

The sooner you can begin building relationships with your new teammates, the more comfortable you’ll be in your new company:

  • Make a point of meeting people and remembering their names
  • Maintain eye contact when talking
  • Be friendly, considerate and respectful and take your cues from your teammates; if they are talking as they work, join in
  • Try to understand your new colleagues’ roles and responsibilities

Ask questions

Never be afraid to ask questions, whether to your immediate manager or colleagues. People would prefer you to ask questions when you’re unsure about something rather than continue working without knowing or understanding exactly what you’re doing, as it can be far more time-consuming and costly to fix any errors you’ve made later down the track.

Embrace change

Joining a new company and working under a new management style can be daunting, however it is an experience that should be embraced. Learn everything you can from your new environment and try and empathise with your manager's situation, this will make the transition easier for both of you. 

Finally, have fun. Remember you took the new opportunity because you wanted a change. Embrace everything that is thrown at you, and make sure to keep a positive attitude to make the best impression possible.

More help

When interviewing with a potential employer, everyone knows to review the role, the benefits and the salary. Yet, we often forget about the importance of evaluating a company’s culture during the interview process. Find out if your new employer's company culture is right for you.

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