Starting a new job? 10 tips to instantly get your colleagues on side

Young woman working in office, smiling with colleaguesThe quicker you can fit in with your colleagues in a new job, the sooner you’ll feel settled and happy.

You want to get them on your side both socially and professionally – you want their respect for your work as well as a feeling you’re welcomed. So here are some great ways to achieve just that:

1. Note how they dress Ideally, you’ll be able to do this at interview. Don’t slavishly copy, and be yourself, but within that make sure you dress to fit in, in terms of style and level of smartness. They’ll unconsciously see you as one of their own.

2. Be open Of course you’ll be friendly, but be wise to more subtle strategies too, such as making sure you don’t arrange your desk so it blocks people out, and not closing your door more often than you have to. Let them see you’re approachable.

3. Offer to help This marks you out as a team player from the off. Don’t volunteer for more than you can handle (you’ve a new job to learn after all) but look for opportunities: ‘I can take that to accounts for you if you like – I’m going that way myself’.

4. Ask for advice People will be flattered you want their opinion, even just about where’s good nearby to get a lunchtime sandwich, or when is a good time to catch the boss.

5. Don’t ask for too much help You should get the training you need, and everyone will have the odd question on top of that. But don’t add to your colleagues’ workload by constantly asking for help or reassurance. Be aware of the effect your arrival is having on them.

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6. Be positive Make sure you keep any negative feelings to yourself, and present your positive, can-do, upbeat side. No one is going to want a miserable, moany new colleague. And no bitching or gossip either about your last job – they’ll assume it’s only a matter of time before you talk about them in the same way.

7. Be interested Ask your teammates questions about themselves (not too personal, obviously) and show an interest in them as people. This is much more important than talking about yourself, although if they ask, be friendly and open.

8. Be respectful Obviously show personal respect – don’t be over-friendly or inappropriate. But also, don’t ask to borrow their stapler and then not return it, or move things around on their desk. And read the signs if one teammate likes to be left in peace and not chat. It’s best not to touch anyone physically other than a handshake, at least until you’ve got the hang of the norm in your team.

9. Be good at the job In a team, everyone’s life is easier when their colleagues do their jobs properly and well. So make sure you hit the ground running, and do everything in your remit to support your team and help things run smoothly. No delivering at the last minute or overlooking details.

10. Make your first work suggestion really smart It’s much better to bide your time until you come up with a great idea, however big or small. Once the team forms that first impression that you’re a bright ideas person, it will take a lot to shift it.

About the author

Richard Templar is the author of the global best-selling “The Rules of… ” series. The Rules of Work and The Rules of Management are published by Pearson, priced at £12.99, and are available from all good book stores.

Richard Templar

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