Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Adapting To a New Workplace Culture

Adapting to any new social environment is a challenge. Whether it is a new job, a new school or a new city or town there will be a period of adjustment or culture shock so to speak. In a way adapting to a new workplace is a form of culture shock just on a much smaller scale.

Nobody likes being the 'new guy' at work. However, the best part about being the new guy is everybody was in that position at one point in time or another. So everybody knows how it feels to be the new kid in town. If you're determined to 'fit in' to a new working environment, your natural instinct may be to get to know people and establish some good relationships as quickly as possible. However, if you're overzealous and go overboard it could backfire on you and people may think you're trying to get attention.

The best thing you can do, at least for the first couple of days, is to casually observe what's going on around you. By doing so, you'll be able to get a feel for your surroundings, and the people you will be spending the majority of your time with, without coming across like you're obnoxious. Practicing this technique when you first start a job will also help alleviate some of the 'culture shock' you'll be experiencing.

While you are quietly adjusting to your new work environment be sure to observe what is expected of you. In addition, make note of what is acceptable and/or not acceptable ways of conducting yourself as an employee. That's not to say you shouldn't be friendly. It just means that you shouldn't go 'overboard' and try to stand out in the first few days. Try to find one or two people that you really click with and allow them to mentor you. Take the opportunity to ask them questions, get feedback on your performance and listen objectively and find out if there are any unspoken rules that weren't covered in orientation.

The last thing you want to do is give your employer or co-workers a reason to complain about you. Start each day with your best foot forward. Be on time, offer assistance, share ideas, own up to your mistakes if you make them, don't make excuses and if it is at all possible do not call out of work. Adjusting to a new job doesn't happen overnight. However, if you follow these basic guidelines you will find that adapting to a new workplace culture wasn't really hard at all.

About The Author
Jerry Haney is the author of the renowned book on Organizational Culture Change called Making Culture Pay. Download the book for free for a limited time at http://www.visionomics.com/Free-EBook-Offer.html. Learn more about his revolutionary methods at http://www.visionomics.com

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