How to Adapt to a New Workplace


Moving to a new role, in a different company, is an exciting but often stressful time. Questions such as ‘what if I don’t settle in?’ and ‘how do I make a good first impression?’ are often in the forefront of one’s mind.  Below are a few tips on increasing the likelihood of a successful induction into your new environment.


Background research

Researching a company doesn’t just prove to an employer you’re enthusiastic about the role. It also helps you to match the organisation’s culture and values. The more you know about the company, the better.  Learning who’s who, the company culture and any other information that will make your life easier and enable you to get your job done efficiently will all help you settle in and make a good first impression.  Reading the company blog (if they have one) and following the business on social networks are great ways to learn about the company. Often blog posts are less formal and give an insight into the inner working of a business.

Be positive

Be seen to be positive and keen to learn.  If necessary ask questions to clarify instructions and take notes to avoid having to ask the same question twice.  Be vocal and interactive in meetings and within your department discussions and remember to listen as well as providing your own opinion and information. Your positive thinking and actions will rub off those around you, it also helps with stress management and can even improve your health.

“Positive thinking is hard. Worth it, though.” – Seth Godin

Introduce yourself

Get to know those around you and those that will be part of your daily work life.  Try and remember who sits where, and what they do.  Ask your colleagues a bit about themselves, this will help you to learn who they are as a person, as well as what they do within the business.  In contrast, tell them a bit about who you are and give them an insight into your own life and working style.

Learn the preferred method of communication

Different businesses have their own preferred methods of communication.  Whether this be email, Skype, an internal social network, or simply getting up and speaking with the recipient (a dying trend!).  Knowing when to use a certain method can save you time, for instance, using the company intranet to make a company wide announcement, rather than sending an email to every employee.

Be part of the team

Being seen to be part of your team, working with colleagues and taking part in group discussions and activities will not only reflect well with management, but also help you to integrate into the company. Show loyalty to your co-workers and focus on sharing any recognition you get with your team.  As part of an effective team, you should be reliable, constructive, a good listener, interactive, able to share openly, cooperative and flexible, this sounds like a lot of qualities however most of them come naturally to most people.

Be aware of expectations

Knowing what is expected of your as a person, and your role will help you to set goals and monitor your own progress.  If this area has not already been discussed during your interview/s and with your manager on your first day then you should inquire as to the expectations that your employer has of you, and your role within the business.

Avoid the gossips

Do not get drawn into office politics or gossip. This is often easier said than done, however it is important not to be seen as a gossip or someone that cannot be trusted.  You can avoid office gossip and politics by concentrating on your daily goals and objectives and adhering to the office unwritten rules (who not to talk to about others during breaks etc).

Take time to read company procedures

Knowing and understanding the official company procedures will often assist you with our daily work life as these will explain who deals with what (office manager, fire warden etc) and what to do in certain situations.  The procedures will also provide useful information regarding annual leave, social media, any flexible benefits etc.

Be proactive

Be seen to be learning and taking the initiative. Waiting for people to approach you to offer help will not only waste your time, but give the impression that you are a  reactive worker. It’s better to ask for assistance before you’ve completed a task the wrong way. Prioritising your daily duties will help you to stay on top of things and reduce the need to become reactive in your role.

Personal appearance

Wearing something appropriate and abiding by the company dress code should be an obvious tip, but one worth following.  Turning up for your first day in jeans and a t-shirt is not a good start.  It’s better to be over, than under dressed.

Keep your eyes open

Learn how things work within the company generally. Even topics such as where people go for lunch or whether there is a particular place employees socialise will help you to learn the culture.



Criticising those around you, whether it be the way in which they carry our their roles, or involving yourself in office gossip will not create the best impression of you as a professional or as a person. Try to avoid getting caught up in negative conversations and, where possible, try to keep your personal opinions to yourself.  If issues need to be raised then there are proper procedures which you should follow.

Unacceptable punctuality or absence

Bad punctuality or high levels of absence are not acceptable for any employee. If you are new to a company then these traits are a good way for an unsuccessful probation.  You can’t avoid becoming ill sometimes, however, taking every Friday as absence or arriving late after letting your colleagues know that you were out on the town the night before, is not a good move, especially if your employer can report on your timesheets.

Compare your last company and how they did it

Your not there anymore, even if the old way does work better, be tactful as provide advice in a not comparative way.  Consistently telling your colleagues how much better your previous employers carried out certain tasks or procedures will make people wonder why you left and resent you for your constant comparisons.