Starting a new job is an exciting time. You’ve already conquered the stress of how to land the job you want, and that’s a huge sigh of relief. Now, not only is a first paycheck in the near future, but it’s easy to feel so much positive potential as you approach the first day.
As the big day gets closer, it’s natural to become nervous and begin considering how you will fit into the company culture. You may have the skills to succeed, but will you get along with your peers in a new environment? A whopping 89% of hiring failures are due to poor cultural fit, which proves acing the process of blending into your new company culture is as important as acing the interview. Luckily, there are straightforward strategies to fit into a new job and adapt to a new workplace environment.
Do Your Homework
The professional duties of a new job might begin the morning of the first day, but that doesn’t mean you should walk through those doors with zero expectations. It’s important to do research on the company culture before beginning work. Talk to any contacts you have there, including HR managers or those that hired/interviewed you, and plainly ask them for tips. Should you know someone that already works for the company or have a friend that can introduce you to a current or previous employee, try and arrange a dinner or lunch to learn all you can.
The internet is also a powerful tool in this regard. LinkedIn can help give you a sense of your coworkers before you meet them, and a company Facebook page can tip you off to what sort of environment you’ll be entering. Glassdoor can give you anonymous reviews, but take them with a grain of salt as some may very well be negative. Don’t forget to read every page of your company’s website, taking special care to study the mission statement or vision page. Employers know that the onboarding process really works, so be sure to put your own personal effort into it to meet theirs.
Be Open Early On
Once you’ve walked through the door and have begun your new job, it’s vital to concentrate as much on people and culture in the first days as you do on the actual work. Organizations rarely expect someone to be productive the first minute they begin, and often anticipate a buffer period where one acclimates to the new job and environment. Absorb everything you can about those around you during this time, and don’t hesitate to type brief notes in your phone to remember names and details.
Above all, remember to be sociable and friendly. It can be difficult for those of us that are shy by nature, but integrating into a company culture takes effort. Ask questions of coworkers you interact with as well as your boss, and treat them as advisors. Not asking questions early will only make them harder or more awkward to ask down the road. Seek out those who are well-connected to the organization, as they will be able to provide you with the most in-depth info.
Stay Engaged Over Time
Just because the first week, month, or quarter has ended doesn’t mean you’re automatically ingrained in the company culture. Different businesses have different busy and slow seasons, and so too does a company culture shift during these time frames as workload changes. Some organizations hold regular conferences, yearly meetings, or special holiday parties where employees are encouraged to act differently than normal. The culture of a company changes as time goes on, and it will likely take a full year of employment before one completely understands the nuances of their new workplace environment.
But don’t worry, slowly learning about a company and its people can be an enjoyable process. Culture is just the thing to keep the workplace exciting when the work itself becomes routine or stale. While difficult employees are bound to pop up and awkward moments can surely happen, continuing to be open, asking questions, and making the effort over time will help you fit into any new job for the long haul.
Fit into a New Job and Adapt to Company Culture
Change can be hard, but making a real effort to adapt to the company culture of your new workplace will make the transition easier. If nothing else, 80% of employers consider cultural fit to be a top hiring priority, so if you got the offer then there is confidence in you from upper management. Just remember to have confidence in yourself. and download our free job seeker guide