Great job but do you fit in?

By Nik Lemmens

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When you get accepted for a job, it can be hard to know if you’re going to fit in with the culture and your new colleagues, so it’s a good idea to ask as many questions as you can during the interview stages, such as:

• What are the values of the company?
• Does the company put on any social activities?
• Is there a friendly atmosphere between different teams?

You cannot find out everything before you start a job but it’s definitely worth asking these kinds of questions and describing what your interests are when talking with your interviewer, so that they get a good idea of what you’re like professionally and personally. If both you and the interviewer are open and honest, then it should be obvious if you’re going to fit in or not.

You can also do some additional research into the culture and your new colleagues through resources like LinkedIn and Google in order to get an idea whether you share interests with your new manager or teammates and to see if your values align with the company’s.

Once you’ve started a new job, you have to accept that it can take time to fit in as you get to know your job, your immediate colleague and your managers too. All that you have to do is try your absolute best from the start and just be yourself.

Tips to help you fit in:

• Keep the questions coming – After all you’re new and it’s good to find out as much as you can to make sure that you don’t feel left out when topics arise that are unfamiliar to you.

• Be friendly – Smile a lot and remember names of people you’re introduced to so that you can confidently approach them later. Try and supress initial shyness and awkward feelings when meeting new people, make the most of lunch breaks and attend after work drinks to find out more about your colleagues.

• Be careful of the gossips – Remember you’re new and don’t want to burn any bridges, so whilst it’s ok to listen to gossips, be wary of contributing anything in case it comes back to bite you. Make sure that you don’t get sucked into any cliques before you’ve had the chance to make ‘real’ friends.

• Stay positive – It’s generally accepted that it can take up to 3 months to start feeling secure in a new job, so just keep an open mind, stay optimistic and you’ll find that it’s easier to fit in then you might at first have thought.

If you feel like you still don’t fit in after a few months and are not happy, then perhaps the job is not for you. After all, you may have a good salary, benefits and responsibilities but they’re not everything; you must be comfortable and happy too.


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