First day fever: how to adjust to a new work environment

After a stressful period of applying it finally happened: you landed that job! That’s great right? Of course, you’re happy to finally get off the couch, but for some this is where the stress levels actually go through the roof. As exciting as it is, it can also be difficult to get settled in a new team in a new company – especially if you’re not particularly the social type. Let’s help you analyze the situation and see how you can keep your cool.

No matter who you are, it’s very common to start the first day at the office packed with nerves. It’s always overwhelming to see all these new faces and to enter a completely new work environment altogether. Besides, it’s human nature to have at least some form of desire for approval, whether you want to be liked for who you are as a person or for your achievements. Some people are simply better at adjusting than others, but identifying as an introvert is by no means a bad habit that influences how good you are at your job. There will be times you might feel the need to pressure yourself into being more of an outgoing person, but at the end of the day it’s best to stay true to yourself. If you do need a helping hand, you could consider the following tips to help you get acclimated to your new work place a little faster.

Don’t sell yourself short

When you’re the new kid on the block, it’s completely normal to feel like you should know your place and just be quiet, as you follow the lead of what more seasoned co-workers do. Of course every work environment has different social cues that has an effect on general company culture, and it won’t harm to pay attention to what others do. Just keep in mind that you were hired for a reason, and that reason is not to become a yes man (or woman). You are there because you own a specific skill set and you probably possess specific knowledge others don’t. This means that if you have a certain idea or standpoint regarding a matter, just share it! Even if it sounds like a big step, your voice in the room is just as important and of value as anyone else’s. Eventually it’s better to hit and miss than to never take a shot at all.

Communication is key

Sometimes it seems that in a lot of company cultures those who shout the hardest are the most popular ones, but in reality, that is rarely the case. Try to remember that if you’re the quiet type, still waters often run deep and that is something to be proud of. Don’t force yourself into doing things you feel uncomfortable with to climb the social ladder. If the idea of going for drinks after work, or adding your co-workers to your social media following stresses you out, it’s perfectly okay to acknowledge that. Just try to engage in conversation at work every now and then, because at the end of the day communication does matter. This doesn’t mean you have to have in-depth philosophical discussions on the Socratic Dialogues, but at least greet your co-workers and make sure you get to know their names, positions and some basic background information by asking questions. Once you get to hang of it you’ll notice that a little small talk isn’t so bad after all, and potentially it could lead to a lot more – if you feel like it, that is.

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