Congratulations, you successfully landed your new job. Now you can put away your resume and replace it with a ready firm handshake. As you’re mentally preparing for your first day, trying to get your brain ready for all the work you need to start doing, don’t forget to set aside some time to sharpen up your social skills as well. Take note: establishing good relationships with coworkers is an essential part of your job. It may not be included in your job description, but don’t be fooled, it can make or break your working experience. So, get ready to get along in your workplace with these following tips.
Remember, first impressions do last. The saying is as true as it is cliche, so be sure to put your best foot forward from the start. Project yourself positively, so that you come off as pleasant as you are professional. Smile in a friendly manner, not in a way that’s too enthusiastic or too forced; greet everyone respectfully, not in a way that’s too casual or too formal; and don’t forget to maintain polite speech and good manners. Note that different work environments beget different social cultures, so while some offices might prefer light small talk, others might thrive on more frequent and substantial conversations. Spend the first few days doing everything you can to familiarize yourself with your workplace’s social culture. Try to get this done as quickly as you can because the sooner you learn in what ways your coworkers prefer to interact, the sooner you’ll be able to make a connection with them.
Be sure to go the extra social mile as you begin your job. Beforehand, you can brush up on some memory hacks—such as mnemonic devices or word association tricks—so that you’ll be able to remember the names and faces of everyone you meet. Don’t be shy to introduce yourself if you haven’t yet been acquainted with someone. Pay attention especially during conversations, show your honest interest, go ahead and ask questions, just as long as they’re appropriate and not invasive. Use the extra time you have at work to bond with your coworkers. See if you can share lunch with them on your noon break instead of having it at your desk. If you have free hours in the office, try to use them to socialize. It might be draining, but keep it up for now, you’ll appreciate it in the later weeks.
Finally, try to keep in mind that this is just like forming new friendships—these things take time. Nothing will happen overnight, so try your best to stay patient. Once you’ve gotten settled in, maintain your positive attitude and continue to work towards your work relationships. Don’t be discouraged if your coworkers don’t warm up to you right away, just continue to sincerely be who you are and soon enough they’ll grow to appreciate you. Just keep putting in the effort, while also remembering to take a step back every once in a while to give your coworkers some space. Once you’re at this point, it’s best to relax and calm down. You can rest assured that—although it might take a while—all the social time you’re putting in will eventually pay off.