You have just successfully passed the job interview and feel exciting to start your first job, and the times of endless essay writing at college are over. But what happens at the first week? You feel alienated and lonely, feel yourself on the outskirts of the lively social life, and expect that you are going to hate yourself for the upcoming year, at least.
Probably many of us at some point of life felt this combination of fear, safe-hatred and frustration during the first day at new place – whatever it is: a new group in your language class, college or first job. Often, together with this feeling of insecurity, you get an acute symptom of nostalgia for all those days when the lovely friendly people surrounded you.
Obviously, your memory plays a trick in this case displacing the memory of the first interaction at your previous place. And so you slowly drown in into the world of self-pity and misunderstanding. Or else, another situation is also common –when after the first days at new work you feel thrilled by the amazing new environment full of interesting and selfless people.
After a month, a bitter disappointment comes in place, when those angelic individuals turn out to possess absolutely normal human qualities – to be angry or envious or simply tired sometimes,andunwilling to spend time with “You” from the capital letter. In both situations, in the endyou get trapped in your misery and loneliness. So what is the middle ground? How to build relationships with colleagues at your first job? There are four main things you should keep in mind from the first day of your job:
1. Be attentive and be ready to observe the rules. As soon as you are introduced to your colleagues, try to remember their names (which for some of us can be quite problematic). Think about it – as soon as you call someone on his or her name they feel valued and singled out. It is also very important to get to know your new colleagues better. Use coffee-breaks at the common kitchen to ask them more about their life outside work. Remember, people cannot immediately develop strong friendships. But your task is to be attentive to others and they will appreciate it.
2. Keep yourself neutral and positive to everyone. Common food – is a perfect way to get close to people but at the same time keep a healthy distance. At these meetings, you can be less formal and easy. But again, remember that you are going to work together with these people and you don’t know how your relationships will develop in future – so don’t share your secrets. It might also sound obvious, but still noteworthy: never discuss other colleagues, whatever your feelings about themare. Even if you feel that you can trust this new friend of yours – keep your thoughts about others with you. This will secure you from many unpleasant situations and intrigues.
3. Be open. For many of us, it is difficult to relax and “be yourself” in the new environment. You should not push yourself to get close to everyone after the first week, but slowly try to open up to others. You, just as everyone around, have something to share with others, unique experiences and knowledge to learn from. So don’t be shy to open up.
4. Take stand. At some point at your work, you might need to take a stand in some ambiguous situations. Don’t be afraid to spell out your opinion, even if you are the only one who will say this. Joining a group might seem like an easier way of interaction, but in the long run, your ability to take individual decisions is much more valuable.
This simple but effective strategy will help you in the first months at your new workplace and will minimize the harm of the first-job-stress. Good luck!