Career Wednesdays: How to Adjust to a New Company Culture

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Welcome back to career Wednesdays! The last three weeks we discussed everything you need to land your next position: How to Update your Resume, Interview Tips, and How to Quit Your Job Without Burning Bridges. At the end of the long road of changing companies and positions, you will find yourself starting at square one in a new place! 

Starting at a new company is exciting, but it can also be daunting. There are so many little things to learn, outside of actually learning how to do your new job! I put together a list of tips to keep in mind when starting out at a new place that will help make the transition more smooth. 

1// Pay attention to the work environment and be consciously aware of what others are doing. Maybe at your old company everyone wore headphones and listened to music in their cubicles, but before pulling out your Beats take a look around and see if anyone at your new company is listening to music. If nobody had headphones in, it might not be part of the company culture of your new company to listen to music at work. Other little things to note are where people take phone calls, if people leave the door to their offices open or closed, how long people tend to take for lunch, and if people tend to eat lunch out or pack. Playing by your new company's rules doesn't mean you always have to do what everyone else does, but it's important to try and make an effort to adjust to your new company culture. You don't want your new co-workers to think that you're trying to be an outsider!

2// Attend company events outside of work. Sometimes the last thing you want to do is hang out with your co-workers when you don't have to. But, if you attend events like dinners, happy hours, parties, sports games, etc. it will show everyone that you're a part of the team and excited about your new position. Also these events are the best place to make friends at work, and having work friends will make your work life so much better.

3// Identify a mentor and a buddy. If you're not pre-assigned a company coach or mentor, try and identify someone in a senior role that you can talk to about career advice, performance reviews, and technical advice. This person will be your go-to when you have a professional question and should enjoy having this relationship with you. It's also important to have someone around the same level as you who has been at the company longer to answer everyday questions like "Do I put this on the expense report, where is the extra ink for the copy machine, and how do I map the printer to this computer?". This person will help you adjust to the company while you're still learning all those little things. 

4// Read the company handbook and conduct code. This is boring, but make sure you know the rules of the company. This way you know the professional expectations and you should play "by the book", at least for the first couple of months. Maybe you company dress code mandates women wear closed toe shoes, but you notice that many women are wearing peep-toe shoes around the office. Before jumping on board, you should abide by the code until you get a better feel of the company. If you noticed something in the company code that you believe no one is following, ask your buddy about this rule and see what they say. It's always better to play it safe and follow the rules than be sorry. The last thing you want is an email from HR when you first start. 

5// Lastly, make sure you maintain the level of professionalism that you displayed in your interviews. Although you are now employed by the company you still need to prove yourself. Nobody knows you at your new company and you need to prove yourself as a valuable asset. It's important to work hard, be professional, and also try and enjoy your new position! 

Transitioning to a new role is both rewarding and stressful. It takes time to make friends, learn the ins and outs of the company, and learn your new role. If you feel overwhelmed just remember that many people are very understanding. They know that you will not be an expert on day one. If you feel that what you're being asked to do does not match your expectations when you applied for the job, ask to speak to your coach or supervisor. Make sure you lay out what you want to talk about logically and be prepared to explain what you've done and how you're feeling. 

Best of luck and I hope anyone reading this who is starting a new job finds their transition smooth and enjoyable!

Do you have any tips for starting a new job and adjusting to a new company? I'd love to hear your advice!

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  1. These are great tips for adjusting to a new company, especially #2 & #3 for making the most of the relationships with the people you work with!

    Doused In Pink

  2. Super helpful tips, even if you've been at your company for a bit!

  3. Great tips! I'm still adjusting to my new job and we had a Christmas party today where I got to meet some other people that work at the college which was nice!

  4. great advice!


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