Starting a new job or internship somewhere unfamiliar? It’s easy to feel like you are an outsider or a “guest in someone’s house” for the first couple of weeks. You aren’t sure what is the correct protocol, everything is really formal, and you might not know many people. But that’s okay! Everyone needs their own time to adjust to a new place, new co-workers, and new bosses. Here are a few tips for transforming from feeling like a guest to being right at home!
- Look and feel your best. This starts even before you step into the front door of your office or work place. Make sure you feel like you look presentable and great this could be done by wearing a cute (but business appropriate) outfit, or making sure your hair and make up are done. For the gentlemen it could be wearing a favorite tie or having a cleanly pressed shirt. Feeling like you look 110% will make you feel more confident. The more confident you feel the easier it will be to feel like you can engage with the professionals around you. It’s an old saying but it is so true, “dress for the part you want to have!”
- Get to know your co-workers and bosses. It’s easy to forget but they are people too. They have families, go on vacation, and have stories to tell. Ask them about their weekend or how their day is going. People appreciate that kind of thing and they will begin to ask you in turn. Building a rapport with others is important in feeling like you are part of the team. Eat lunch in the break room with them, visit their cubicle or desk. Get to know them and let them get to know you.
- Do not leave early and do not take short cuts. In your first couple of weeks you will have to make a lot of first impressions. Make sure that people’s first impressions of you are that you are hard working and dependable. People will treat you differently based on if you are a uncommitted worker or one that is hard working. Make sure you are the latter. You teach people how to treat you and if you skimp on the work and cut out early, you may not like the results!
- Participate. If a group of co-workers invite you to go to a movie or out to dinner or a baseball game, go! You can get to know your co-workers in a more relaxed setting, cut loose (a little, don’t be a company PR nightmare), and have fun. It’s a great way to make new friends in your office. While you don’t have to say yes to everything, saying no to everything they ask you to do may cause the invites to stop. Make time in your out of work schedule to attend these events!
- Add personal touches to your space. Whether it’s a desk, cubicle, or the background of a computer, make it your own! Add your own unique touches to your own space to make it feel more inviting. If you feel comfortable in your space you will be more relaxed. So add a little zen garden , fun mini poster, or cute desktop background! Your space will be instantly more cozy!
- “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does!” William James In the first few weeks you will be challenged to learn all the ins and outs of your internship or job. You will be tired, get annoyed, be so happy, and find out if it is what you love. Through it all work hard and stay positive! What you do each day matters in ending up where you want to be career wise in the long haul!
These are just a few tips to go from house guest to right at home! As you work through your new job or internship you will find even more ways to leave your mark! Good luck!