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The most important tip for integrating into a new team is to find a mentor who can help you feel settled quickly. Here, a mentor is more of a guide than a teacher. Exchange ideas with your mentor, use his knowledge and bring in the know-how that you have acquired during your previous job. Building the relationship with your mentor will help you become accustomed to, and understand the company culture and personality. The mentor's experience not only helps you get used to the job faster, but you can also benefit from his network of colleagues.
Getting involved is a great way to endear your colleagues to you by showing that you’re a team player. Attend as many social events as possible. Work social events are the perfect way to get away from your desk and meet some colleagues from your new office. Whether that be the office five-a-side team, Friday drinks or breakfast club. However, you should not take on too much – only as much as you can manage also in the long run.
Always be realistic about what you can do. It is counterproductive to take on too much in the beginning without being able to judge whether you can do the work on time. Remember that your employer reviews your performance based on your commitments and the quality of your work. So, take your time.
You will find out soon which of your colleagues you work more closely or have interfaces with. Here it is worthwhile to build up a network within the company. Take lunch breaks together with your colleagues and get to them – this will also help you in your daily work. Being accessible and open-minded is also an essential part of building a network. Approach people and be helpful – this will help you get to know your environment more quickly.
It’s very easy to criticise practices you are not used to when starting a new job. However, criticising processes that you do not (yet) fully know or understand is mostly counterproductive. You should rather try to find solutions and make suggestions for improvement. Adapt to the processes and procedures of your new team instead of expecting it the other way around.
Do you still remember your school days and the know-it-all in the front row? The classmate who didn't accept any argument from the others? Do you still have the picture of the classmate on your mind, who cheekily interrupted everyone else? You probably remember that this classmate was in a difficult position within the class community. Stay away from this role in the new team! This does not mean that you have to remain passive. On the contrary, be active. But always be respectful and avoid being offensive. Observe and do not break the group dynamics.
All teams have strengths and weaknesses. Show the team how valuable you are. At the same time, you should know the strengths and weaknesses of your new colleagues as well. This enables you both to learn new things and to recognise situations where your know-how is needed.
It goes without saying that your new employer will provide you with an accurate training familiarising you with the basics of the job. However, don't expect everything to be presented to you on a silver platter. There is a lot of information that you can get on your own. Go through work instructions, read the intranet, look at the organisation chart of the company, observe and ask. Most importantly, take notes when colleagues show you something. No one expects you to remember everything from the beginning. However, if you write something down, you are more likely to remember it.
A new job is a chance to meet new people and to develop your skills. If you embrace the corporate culture from day one and take every opportunity to better identify with your new employer, you will quickly find your place within the new team and feel comfortable.