Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dealing With First Job, Brand-New Co-Workers

Congrats, you landed yourself a job post college! But, starting a new job can be really tough. If you're anything like me, you might be nervous, intimated, and shy. Even if you're lucky enough to be extremely confident and outgoing, there will still be nerve-wracking times because being new is, well, new.

You may encounter all different types of people. If you're at a big enough place, there will be the nice people who are there to help and lend a hand, the jerks who could care less about helping you or getting to know you, the weird people you'd rather not talk to, and probably plenty more different personalities. Here are some tips on being the newbie:

1. Always be nice! You're the new person and you don't know any of these people yet on a real level. You have the ability to give everyone a clean slate. Don't be so judgmental right off the bat and try to talk to everyone. You'll of course probably discover the jerks and weirdos right away, but don't be discouraged. Don't give in to gossip with everyone else so quickly or you may burn bridges before you could even build them. You never know who might be a friend or a mentor!

2. Ask for help. Don't try to go it alone when you're first starting even if the others are intimidating. I once started a job where the boss told me to ask many questions, but when I did, they snapped at me or gave a nasty comment. Yet, when I stopped asking questions, afraid of the answers, I got yelled at for not asking. Even if it seems impossible to ask someone a question, just do it. Even if you get an unhelpful answer, at least you tried and hopefully you have the ability to ask someone else for help. Asking a question takes only seconds and it could save you the time of doing something wrong.

3. Use lunch time as an ice breaker. Try to eat lunch with different people if you can and use this time to shake your nerves and talk to your new co-workers. At break time, people are more relaxed and wiling to talk and open up to you. Using this free time to get to know someone can help get rid of the new job jitters.

4. Lastly, take the first few days, weeks, and even months easy on yourself. New jobs and experiences are tough. There is a lot to learn and a lot of new people to meet. Don't beat yourself up if you get shy or make mistakes. Chances are in a few months you'll have new friends and things will become second nature. Just relax and take it one day at a time.

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