Starting a new job is an exciting and sometimes nerve -wracking experience. At first you have the “I can’t believe I got it” moment. You go out with friends and family to celebrate and just can’t wait to start. You start fantasizing about your new opportunity, the different tasks you’ll start doing and the new people you’re going to meet.
Once the excitement calms down, it can quickly turn into a “What if they don’t like me?” nerve-wracking moment. You start to worry if you’ll fit in and if you’ll make the right first impression.
I didn’t show my goofy, creative side and I think my coworkers thought I was boring.
You want your new coworkers to like you and get their approval, but you’re not sure how to approach this situation. You can try to act as professional as you can in hopes that will help you fit in, but it can be draining putting on a persona that’s not who you really are.
When I started my internship I wasn’t really sure how I was going to fit in. It was my first office job and wondering how I was going to fit in made me sick to my stomach. I was the youngest in the office and didn’t want to come off as immature, so I acted as what I thought was professional. By doing so I didn’t show my goofy, creative side and I think my coworkers thought I was boring.
So which hat do you wear – the professional or the personal?
Although the answer is not always black and white, in most cases the answer is: both. Try to find a balance by understanding the company’s culture and remembering professional etiquette, but at the same time – don’t be afraid to be yourself!
Relationships take time
Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to become friends with everyone in your department on the first day. Remember to give yourself some time. Any relationship, both professional and personal, takes time to build properly.
You can’t build strong relationships if you’re pretending to be someone else.
If your company does happy hours or other events after work, try attending one while you’re still relatively new. This is a great opportunity for your coworkers to get to know you even better, and vice versa. This also shows peers and management that you took initiative to get involved and participate in team building.
You weren’t hired to make friends
If you feel that you just don’t click with your coworkers right away, don’t let that bring you down or get in the way of your new job. It’s important to remember that you were still hired to perform a job and not to make friends. No matter your personal differences, everyone respects a hard worker.
Being the new kid can be tough, especially when it’s your first time stepping into a more professional role. Just remember to be yourself! You can’t build strong relationships if you’re pretending to be someone else. Take a deep breath and let them see the real you. Although you weren’t hired to make friends, having those relationships can make work more enjoyable.
For more tips on being the new kid, check out our blog: 4 easy ways to nail being the new kid.