Beginning a new job is exciting and terrifying at the same time. It gives you the opportunity to start over which is especially wonderful if you didn’t leave your last job on good terms. Even if your separation from your former employer was amicable, with a new job you will be able to learn new things, refresh your skills, take on new challenges and even make some new work friends. All these things can be scary too.
You may be worried about whether you will fit in with your new coworkers, if you will impress your boss and how hard your new job will be. If you avoid doing the following things you will be off to a good start as you make this transition.
1. Don’t make assumptions about details like your hours
Your manager or the human resources department should let you know what time to arrive at work and where to go when you get there. Sometimes people get busy and they forget to do things. If you don’t have this information a couple of days before you are set to start your job, make a phone call. Don’t assume you have to be there by a particular time—you don’t want to be late. It’s also worth finding out where you have to report. You don’t want to wander around trying to figure out where you are supposed to be.
2. Don’t ignore coworkers’ offers of help
If one of your new coworkers offers to help you with something, graciously accept.
Many people welcome the opportunity to give assistance to others. It makes them feel good to do that and it will form the foundation of a good workplace relationship.
3. Don’t turn down a lunch invitation
While we’re on the topic of workplace relationships, if one of your new coworkers or a group of them invite you to have lunch, accept the invitation.
What better way is there to start to get to know the people with whom you will spend a lot of time.
4. Don’t get caught up in office gossip
Whether it’s over lunch or around the proverbial water cooler, gossip happens in every workplace. It’s hard to ignore it and you probably shouldn’t. Keep your ears open but your mouth closed. You may learn valuable information, for example, your boss’s foul mood is due to his having a difficult time at home and isn’t anything permanent. Under no circumstances should you contribute anything to the conversation, also remember that not everything you hear is true. Take time to make up your own mind.
5. Don’t be unwilling to learn how to do something a new way
One of the best things about starting a new job, even if your job duties are basically the same, you will have the opportunity to change things up. You may discover new techniques for doing what you’ve done for a long time. It is important to be flexible. You may learn a better way to do your job or you may just find out that there’s a different way to do it. It will keep things interesting.
6. Don’t complain about your former boss or coworkers
When you talk about your negative relationships with your prior boss or coworkers, you are allowing people at your new job to create a story about what actually happened. You may assume they will cast you as the hero, but since they don’t know you yet, they may instead see you as the villain. Your new coworkers may also wonder if you will one day be bashing them. Save your gripes for your friends and family or, better yet, just drop the whole thing. You’re in a new and hopefully better place now.
7. Don’t share personal information
It is often unwise to share personal information with your coworkers but it is especially a bad idea to do so when you first begin working with them. You need time to get to know them so you can decide who will keep that information confidential, who will spread gossip about you and who will seize the opportunity to use that information to undermine your authority.