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How to Adapt to a New Workplace Environment

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Changing the workplace, perhaps even moving to a new city and starting a completely new life… Just thinking about it can cause enough stress. It is said that getting used to changes takes about 21 days but clearly, you can't sit around your work desk doing anything for 3 weeks, so you need to adapt.

Here are a few tips to get you through those first weeks at a new workplace environment.

1. Do NOT compare your old situation with the new one

There is almost nothing as annoying as that coworker who constantly talks about how things “used to were” and how “they did that differently”. The sooner you let go of these thoughts, the easier you will adapt.

It's good to take your past experiences and implementing these at the new workplace as well but don't go around talking about how your old workplace did things in a different way. Not only is it annoying, but it might also easily be that these “old tactics” were used at your new workplace in the past and they didn't work out well.

You have to keep in mind that even if you are working in a similar niche as before, it doesn't necessarily mean the two companies function alike and similar strategic tricks work the same.

2. Ask, ask, ask

Don't be afraid to ask questions and help, even if the questions on your mind seem to be silly.

No one expects you to know everything and things are likely to run a whole lot different than you were used to, so it's better to ask than to spend countless hours on searching for an answer yourself.

3. Don't get overwhelmed

You will likely end up with a pile of papers and all sorts of information that you must go through during the first weeks, but don't get yourself stressed – you are not expected to memorize everything the first day of work and running then like you've worked there for 5 years.

Let the information sit and take it step-by-step. Make a decent plan on how to chew through the information and start implementing the info day-by-day, bit-by-bit. It doesn't mean you are failing or too slow, it is normal to take some time.

In fact, it is appreciated by your employer as well since it's better to take everything in slowly and doing things well, instead of grabbing all the information at once and not really getting any of it.

Another pointer that goes well with this is to take time for yourself. It is 100% certain you will not get a hang of most things the first couple of months. Even more, it is common to need 3-6 months before you will feel “at home” so don't get overwhelmed if you feel like you're in a blur after a month or two.

4. Get to know the people

Sure, you might miss your old pals, but take this change as an opportunity to meet new awesome people!

Even if you are an introvert and don't feel like communicating much with your coworkers, make an effort to get to know them – they are your solid rocks who can get you rocking on the new job much faster, not to even mention they have some insights and tips that you might not learn on your own.

However, be aware of joining cliques or taking “sides”. Stay neutral and be friendly with everybody instead of picking a side and starting a school-girl like feud.

5. Get to know the work culture

Pay attention to this and try to fit in the culture. That being said, of course, don't sacrifice your beliefs or do purposely a worse job just to “fit in” with others, but keep an eye on how things roll around the place: when and how are the lunch breaks held, how people communicate, how the meetings run…

All these tiny details can help you get through the “new girl” phase much faster.

6. Feedback is your friend

Surely your supervisor will give you feedback, but it never hurts to ask yourself how you have been doing and what you could improve.

Feedback is your power fuel that will help to get a better understanding of how to systemize your work and provide greater value. If you are not completely sure about how fast you should be progressing and what the overall milestones are, don't be shy to talk about these things with your employer – it never hurts to ask, especially when it comes to setting up some specific milestones and goals!

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