8 ways to feel at home in your new job
Got your first graduate job? Congratulations! You thought university was hard, but a graduate job is on a whole other level, out of the frying pan and into the fire. If you are finding yourself nervous with the new job jitters and already starting to feel overwhelmed thinking about your workload or how you’re going to learn everything to operate effectively in your new role- relax! It’s completely normal for graduates to feel out of their depth in new surroundings.
Most likely you’ll be learning new skills, coming to grips with unfamiliar software tools and hearing industry slang that sounds like another language. As a new hire you are so desperate to please and the pressure is on! Work stress can affect everyone, so don’t beat yourself up in the first few months in your new career. Here are our 8 favourite ways to fight the new job jitters and make yourself feel comfortable in your new job.
Connect using mutual likes
Finding kindred hearts in the form of your coworkers who can relate to your love of The Greatest Showman soundtrack or the excitement you get playing HQ as soon as 3:00pm rolls around can make starting a new job less stressful and more fun. You’ll feel less alone and part of the group. It’s no longer you against the world like when you were left to your own devices on your search for a graduate job. You are part of a team now, so find commonalities and work towards finding your kinfolk.
Ask for help
Don’t be afraid of asking for help. It shows that you are genuinely interested in the role. Often coworkers love to give guidance, it connects them to you and they have a vested interest in your success. There’s no point in sitting at your desk overwhelmed internally, muster up the courage to ask the questions. Maybe ask for a short meeting to clarify certain topics in your new role- your manager will understand and will be happier that you asked than if you had gone into it blindly and then having to redo the task.
Familiarize yourself with your surrounding
Have a walk around in your office space and the neighbourhood. This will help you understand where things are in case you need to pick up essentials during your lunch or right after work. The more you are familiarized with your surroundings the more you’ll feel a sense of belonging and contentment with your environment.
Every stranger in your office is a potential friend, confidante and/or go-to buddy for happy hour. Introduce yourself to everyone when you’re making a cuppa in the morning or filling up for your afternoon caffeine pick-me-up. Make an effort to get to know people in your work surroundings! It’s also good practice on learning how to introduce yourself and not everyone may respond, but that is okay. Being open is the key to being a welcome hire in your new surroundings.
Set up your work space
A pleasant work space and desk can reduce the stress of a new environment. You're establishing your turf. Like moving into a new flat, a workplace doesn’t feel comfy until we put our personal spin on it.
Have a regular hang but also explore
Having a go-to lunch spot and becoming a regular can be a rewarding feeling. It can make your feel part of the community and neighbourhood and make you feel seen and connected to your neighbours. When things start getting too familiar you can spice it up by trying a new food stall or restaurant you’ve been dying to have since starting. Being aware of your surrounding increases your level of comfort within the community and will have you looking forward to trying new things or exploring new places to picnic during lunch or maybe an external meeting.
Speaking out when you think you have valuable input is a great way to get recognition and stand out in your new role. As a new graduate you bring a unique perspective the team hadn’t thought of, and this alternative perspective and ability to voice and participate in conversations and meetings will have an impacting effect on the business and your coworkers perceiving you as a team player.
Say Yes to invitations
Does the thought of a work social or drinks with your coworkers make you panic and want to come up with a post-work excuse to skip out? Realize that these invitations are openings for your coworkers to get to know you, establish better bonds and instill a sense of community. You’ll be pleasantly surprised and may reveal new things about your coworkers that you can connect with.
Naturally, getting comfortable in your new job will take time. Had an awkward conversation with a department head, or froze when your manager asked you a question? Don’t worry! It happens to the best of us. Don’t think about running for the door! By making yourself more comfortable in your work surrounding, you can perform more efficiently and be happier in your role!