Joining a new company and moving into a new job role is exciting. But it also marks a period of transition for the new team member. If you’re in this position right now or are thinking of moving jobs in the near future, it’s crucial to understand how to navigate and adjust to the unique dynamics of your new workplace.
In this article, we will provide you with 13 essential tips that will help you seamlessly transition into your new work environment, allowing you to thrive and succeed in your new role. Read on to find out how you can adjust to new workplace customs and cultures more easily.
Why adjusting to a new company culture matters
Once you’ve accepted a job offer, it would be tempting to think that the hard work is done. Your skills and your personality helped you get hired, and they will surely help you succeed in your role. That assumption is true, but it’s incomplete.
Skills and personality can only help you reach your potential in a new job role if you understand the company’s customs and culture. Even if you have worked in a particular industry for years, it’s important not to underestimate the potential differences between individual employers. Understanding how a company works can be the deciding factor between getting by and excelling at a job.
Key tips for adjusting to a new workplace
Here are 13 tips to help you adjust to your new workplace quickly and build your career.
Prepare ahead of time
Chances are, you researched the company you’re joining to prepare for interviews and other parts of the recruitment process. Once you’ve accepted their job offer, start by revisiting your research and adding additional information you gained during interviews, for example.
Try to dig a little deeper and learn more about the company and the people you will be working with. Consider connecting on LinkedIn to get to know your new colleagues even before your official start date. Search for articles in industry publications to build a more detailed picture of your prospective employer.
During this process, you’ll not only find answers but also develop a list of questions. These questions can become a bit of a guideline during the onboarding process. You’ll find that many of your queries will be answered naturally, whereas others may need a little more research.
Spending some time preparing for your first days like this will help you hit the ground running. It will also show your new colleagues that you’re interested in them, the company, and your role.
Be realistic about your transition
In addition to the excitement of joining a new company and adjusting to a new workplace culture, many individuals are also making significant geographical transitions. It has become increasingly common for people to move to new cities or even different countries in pursuit of career opportunities. This trend reflects the growing flexibility and mobility of the modern workforce.
Try as you might, you’ll find that dealing with big transitions like these takes its toll. Planning both your work and your home move helps minimise potential disruption, but you should still be prepared for a few days that are less than smooth.
Be honest with your new colleagues and supervisors about your situation. Remember, for them, you’re rarely the first staff member they’ve seen going through the same transition. Ask questions, even if you’re sure something has been explained before. No one expects you to memorise every detail that was presented to you during your first few days.
At the same time, it’s important to start using tools that your new company offers, like intranets or knowledge hubs. They may not hold the answers to all your questions. In most cases, though, they will give you some of the information you need and the contact details for the best person to ask about the topic.
Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Especially if you’re prone to placing high expectations on your own performance, it’s easy to place undue pressure on those first few weeks in a new job. Take it one day at a time and simply do your best.
Find a mentor and start building relationships
If you followed our first tip, you’ll have started building relationships already. Try to strengthen these by meeting people in person if you’re in an office-based position or by introducing yourself online.
Some employers will assign you a mentor to guide you through your induction period. That person could be an HR representative or someone from your team. Having a mentor is a great way of accelerating your transition into your new role.
If no one has been assigned to you, put out feelers around your team or your immediate manager. Many people in senior positions are happy to mentor others and help them settle into new roles or progress in their careers.
Learn the new company’s hierarchy
Learning your new employer’s hierarchy is a key part of understanding how the new company works. You’ll be able to gather some of that information by checking websites, and annual reports, and simply comparing job titles.
Saying nothing beats observing how team members interact with each other and with their managers. After a few days of being in the company, you will start to see how hierarchies that exist ‘on paper’ actually play out during the workday. Understanding these hierarchies will make it easier to address the right person for a specific concern without going over your colleagues’ heads or wasting time.
Find out about communication techniques
Gone are the days when most companies solved problems over quick conversations by the water cooler. With remote and hybrid work continuing to grow in popularity and importance, most employers are using communications tools like Slack to stay connected.
Make it a priority to find out which tools your new employer is using and familiarise yourself with them as soon as possible. Communication and collaboration technology has become essential for most businesses, and not being able to use these tools effectively could put you at a serious disadvantage.
Just to be clear, we’re not suggesting that technology has replaced in-person interaction. But it has become an integral part of most companies’ cultures and ways of communicating.
In addition to the valuable insights already shared, here are some additional tips to help you navigate and adapt to your new workplace culture and customs after a move. Let’s explore these practical strategies for a smoother adjustment.
Embrace diversity and inclusion
One of the hallmarks of a thriving workplace is diversity and inclusion. Take the opportunity to embrace the diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences of your new colleagues. Engage in open conversations, listen actively, and learn from others. By appreciating and understanding different cultures and customs within your workplace, you contribute to creating a more inclusive and harmonious environment.
Show initiative and flexibility
When adjusting to a new workplace culture, it’s important to demonstrate your willingness to adapt and take initiative. Be open to new ideas and approaches, and don’t shy away from offering your unique perspective when appropriate.
Show flexibility in your work style and be open to learning new methods or systems that may be different from your previous experience. By showcasing your adaptability, you demonstrate your commitment to growth and contribute positively to the team.
Seek opportunities for collaboration
Building relationships and fostering collaboration is key to integrating seamlessly into a new workplace. Actively seek opportunities to collaborate with your colleagues on projects or tasks.
Participate in team meetings, offer assistance, and contribute constructively to discussions. By engaging in collaborative efforts, you not only establish connections but also gain a deeper understanding of team dynamics and work processes.
Take advantage of training and development programmes
Many companies offer training and development programmes to help new employees acclimatise to their roles and the organisation’s culture. Take full advantage of these resources. Attend workshops, webinars, or internal training sessions that align with your professional goals.
Not only will this deepen your knowledge and skills, but it will also demonstrate your commitment to personal growth and continuous improvement.
Show respect for work-life balance
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for long-term well-being and productivity. Take the time to understand the expectations and norms regarding work hours, breaks, and time off in your new workplace.
Strive to strike a balance that allows you to excel in your role while also taking care of your personal needs. By respecting and aligning with the work-life balance culture, you can enhance your overall job satisfaction and contribute to a positive work environment.
Network beyond your immediate team
While it’s essential to build trust and relationships within your immediate team, don’t limit yourself solely to those connections. Expand your network by reaching out to colleagues from different departments or teams.
Attend company events, social gatherings, or networking opportunities to get to know individuals from various areas of the organisation. By broadening your network, you gain valuable insights and establish connections that can support your professional growth.
Embrace feedback and continuous learning
In any new workplace, there will be a learning curve. Embrace feedback as a valuable tool for personal and professional growth. Actively seek feedback from your colleagues and supervisors, and be open to constructive criticism. Use feedback as an opportunity to improve and refine your skills.
Additionally, cultivate a mindset of continuous learning by seeking out new challenges and staying up-to-date with industry trends. This proactive approach demonstrates your commitment to self-improvement and adaptability.
Foster a positive mindset and resilience
Adjusting to a new workplace can sometimes be challenging, but maintaining a positive mindset and cultivating resilience will greatly contribute to your overall success. Embrace the changes with optimism, viewing them as opportunities for growth and learning.
Stay adaptable and resilient in the face of any obstacles or setbacks that may arise. Remember that adjusting takes time, and setbacks are a natural part of the process. By maintaining a positive outlook and being resilient, you’ll be better equipped to navigate through any challenges that come your way.
Changing jobs open up new career opportunities and allows you to build your professional network while often also including a pay rise. To make the most of the opportunities in front of you, prepare thoroughly for the new role and focus on building relationships across all levels of the company.
Learn more about how the company’s teams collaborate and communicate and do your best to understand hierarchies. Most importantly, never be afraid to ask questions. Follow these tips, and you’ll excel in your new role.
About the Author
Nancy Zafrani is the experienced General Manager of Oz Moving & Storage, with 30 years in the industry and a lifetime of knowledge as a New Yorker. She helped grow the company from 3 employees to 200 with 50 trucks and locations across the US.