Should you be yourself at work? This is a question which is bound to go through your mind on your first day in a new role. Everyone says ‘Just chat to people and you’ll make friends,’ but this is always easier said than done. When approaching new colleagues for the first time, you might be worrying about:
· How to introduce yourself.
· What happens if you express a political opinion and then everyone starts making assumptions about the rest of your life which aren’t true?
· The impact of your anxiety on people’s perceptions of you. Will everyone think that you’re being rude and avoid spending time with you?
· Assumptions that people might make about you based on your background or accent.
All of these questions and doubts will affect how open you are with your new colleagues, and how much information you share with them about your background and your opinions. While we will never be able to get rid of these questions and doubts for you, here we will give you some tips on how to feel comfortable around your new colleagues.
Focus On Being Great At Your Job
If you consistently deliver great results for your team, then their first impression of you will be an immediate respect for the quality of your work. Whilst it might be difficult to demonstrate results in the first few days of a new role, if you work hard and get things done, your colleagues will appreciate your effort.
It can be difficult to find an appropriate ice-breaker when you’re trying to start conversations with colleagues for the first time. Try asking them general questions about how their days are going, how long they’ve been working at that company and where they’re from. You’ll then start finding common ground. Also look at their desk spaces. If someone has a picture of their dog, or their kids next to their computer, then you’ve got a massive hint about what they would like to talk about.
Don’t Make Assumptions Yourself
Sometimes, when you’re nervous, it can be easy to just start talking and talking, and forget to check that the other person is actually interested in what you’re talking about. Asking them questions about what interests them and what’s important to them in life (without making assumptions), will make it far easier for you to make friends quickly in your new role.
Try Not To Overshare
Giving someone an intricate break-down of the issues in your last relationship, or your family problems when they’re trying to choose between kale and spinach at lunch risks giving them too much information about your personal life.
The best way to avoid doing this is to tell people enough that they feel as though they know something about you, but not so much as to give them ideas for making a docuseries about your life. Take a while to get to know people and be sure that you can trust them before telling them anything that you wouldn’t be comfortable with the whole office knowing.
Join Employee Resource Groups and Clubs
Many companies have employee resource groups, which look to make the professional lives of colleagues from a variety of different backgrounds easier. There are also often a number of clubs and societies that you can join based on your interests.
Here you’re bound to find people who enjoy the same activities as you and see the world in the same way as you do. This will make them considerably easier to talk to and make friends with. If you don’t find a group that shares your interests, just ask your colleagues where you might find it. You might end up creating a completely new one.
The best way to settle into a new role quickly is just to be nice to everyone. Even if you’re a bit different, people will be understanding if you are nice to them. Nobody ever said anything bad about anyone who was genuinely a nice person. That being said, coming up with icebreakers and inquisitive one-liners can still prove challenging.
At KAG, we always make sure that are Candidates know what to expect on those first few days in their new roles. That makes those opening conversations that bit easier.
To find out how we can help people settle into their new roles, why not get in touch today?
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