It’s always hard being the new guy, especially at work. There are people you have to impress, people you have to not piss off, and people you need to respect you. It’s hard finding a balance that is all three. For many companies, culture is a huge part of your success or failure. I work a lot with contractors, and construction has a very specific culture. And if you don’t fit in, good luck. While I think that you should never sacrifice who you are and your values, there are some ways to better find how you fit in your new company. I have watched people come and go at my work and I think I’ve found some very useful tips for how to ease the transition from new outsider to seasoned employee.
Don’t be a Know-It-All: This is self explanatory. Nobody likes a know-it-all and us millennials are known specifically for being that. This is something that you really need to be conscientious of. There is a fine line between acting like you know what you are doing and acting like you know everything. I know that your first impulse will be to prove to people that you know what is going on and that you are capable of doing the job, but if it is overdone it can turn into you pretending that you know everything. And then no one will want to help you. There is a lot to learn from the other employees at your work so do not shut them out right out of the gate by being a know-it-all.
Ask Questions: This goes hand-in-hand with being a know-it-all. Even though you may be an expert on whatever you are hired to do, each company does things differently. They store information differently, they have different channels of getting things done, and many other things. If you don’t know something, just ask. Don’t be prideful and shut people out, because chances are you will end up looking worse than if you just asked in the first place. I am known in my office for asking questions. This doesn’t mean that I am dumb, it means that I want to do things right the first time.
Understand Each Person’s Role: Every person has roles and jobs that might not directly be in the their job description. Things that they take care of on the side to make the company go round. Make sure that you understand who is responsible for what before you insert yourself. You know what they say about assuming. Talk to them, work with them, and come up with an agreeable solution together.
What other tips have you found from being the new guy (or girl) in the office?