In a previous post, I wrote about how much of a hassle it is to start a new job. One of the biggest issues is that people are strangers at a new gig.
Interactions can be, and usually are, pretty awkward in the beginning.
What I didn't discuss were ways to make things easier on you and your new co-workers. So I decided to come up with a few tips that have worked well for me over the years. Give them a try. Trust me, I've had quite a few jobs over the years and these methods definitely work.
What's in a Name?
Memorizing the names of your new work family can be pretty hard. This is especially true if you work in a busy place where people are moving fast and you can't get a good look at their name badges or tags.
I'm going to be real for a moment. Most companies use modern badges to swipe employees in and out of work. They care less about employees knowing each other's names. But there are some businesses that still have the names fairly large on the badges so you can read them from a distance without making yourself obvious. Many of these businesses buy their name badges from this company .
So while it may be hard, putting in the effort to read and memorize people's names can be huge. In my experience, yelling, "Hey you, with the face" is usually not going to get the reaction you want.
When you introduce yourself, people will typically respond with their own name. Try to do this to at least a few employees a day. It will help you to familiarize yourself with your new co-workers and show them that you're trying to be friendly and that you want to get along with everyone.
One of the biggest problems in the corporate world are the employee cliques. You definitely want to avoid them as they are toxic and will eventually poison your mind.
Show kindness to everyone and try to meet as many people as possible so that everyone at your new job thinks of you as a team player.
Talk Less, Work More
Workplace conversations can be great. They can also lead to gossip and slander.
Don't fall into this trap. Learn to steer conversations in the right direction. Talk about hobbies, upcoming vacations, and favorite places to eat or grab a drink.
But more than anything, you should let your work do the talking. Stay focused and work hard. Don't go above and beyond, but do the job you're paid to do and do it well.
Talking too much will make some employees avoid you, simply because they take their job seriously. And you'll end up attracting the types of toxic employees that don't stay at one job for very long.
The Bottom Line
I've found that kindness and eye contact when talking to people go the furthest. And that's not just with work, it's everything.
Don't be a doormat but never stoop to a level that is beneath you. Go to work, try to enjoy it, and then go home. Once you're off the clock, it's time to check out and focus on hobbies and family.