Career centre

How to get settled in your new role

By Breda Graham

Those of us who have gone through it know the nervous feeling all too well.

Walking through the doors of your new workplace on your first day on the job, you brush your hair back from your face, straighten your shoulders and pat down your shirt one last time just to be sure.

Some of you reading this, however, may be about to experience this feeling for the very first time after securing your first grown-up job in your field of interest.

Know that is completely normal, you’re bound to be nervous.

New faces, new environment and a new line of work and getting settled in can be daunting but remember you have secured the job to begin with so you have done the hard work, now you just need to continue to be yourself, show interest, possess a good work ethic and get involved with your fellow colleagues.

Be yourself

Always be yourself and do not try to be someone that you are not. Remember that there is no point in pretending to be a certain way for the first couple of weeks if it is just not who you are because people will quickly realise that.

Stay true to you and showcase your skills by speaking up and making your voice heard. Remember to also listen to fellow colleagues and put your heads together in solving tasks. Show what you can bring to the table to improve the workings of the team and you will quickly gain the respect of your colleagues.

Ask questions, listen and make notes

Always ask questions if you are unsure of something. It’s better to ask first hand than say nothing and struggle to get by or make a mistake that could have been avoided.

Whether it be a task you have been asked to complete but do not know how, or something as simple as how to use the office printer, just ask.

Ask and you shall receive as the saying goes.

Be sure to listen to your fellow colleagues and employers when performing tasks, and write down relevant information.

Make sure to also keep record of logins, passwords, timetables and tasks as you go as it can be difficult to remember these things when you need them next.

Identify the company’s culture

Chances are that you are already a good fit for the company culture as the interviewer chose to hire you.

Interviewers want to hire someone who they feel will be a good fit for the company and they do so by getting an insight into your personality during the interview.

So relax, again, the hard part is over.

Try your very best to adapt to the company culture by being yourself in the process. This does not mean, however, that you have to put yourself under pressure to make every single work event or social night.

Just make it obvious that you are a team player.

Identify office politics and do not involve yourself in any office conflict

In your first couple of weeks, try to become aware of office politics. This means figuring out what the company’s unwritten rules are. These could be things as simple as how long a coffee break should take or what fridge to keep your food in. Again, befriend a fellow colleague to ask.

Follow in the footsteps of your colleagues, but also be aware.

If someone on the team is involved in an office conflict or is bad mouthing someone in the office, avoid any involvement.

It may be tempting to get involved in gossip in order to fit in but it will come back to bite you if you do. Remember your colleagues are most likely with the company a lot longer than you and the last thing you want as the newbie is to be found out for badmouthing fellow employees or your employers.