Starting a new job or internship can be stressful. Balancing the responsibilities of learning a new role, navigating the organization’s culture and norms, and figuring out where you fit in are challenges that come with the territory. These challenges aren’t reserved for the job seeker though. Your supervisor and coworkers are likely involved in the on-boarding process and are consciously or unconsciously trying to determine if you “fit in”. Here are a few tips for building strong working relationships with your new coworkers:
- Introduce yourself. Although some of the people in your office might approach you and strike up a conversation, some will not. It’s not that they dislike you, they might be unsure of how to start a conversation. A great starter question is to ask them what their key role is and how your role impacts theirs.
- Search for commonality. Small talk is designed for this. Chances are you share something in common with just about everyone and it is often in light conversation that you can discover what those similarities and shared experiences are. Easy questions like “what did you do over the weekend?” or “what town do you live in?” can spark a conversation.
- Get out. If there are opportunities to interact with your coworkers outside of the office environment, make every effort to attend. You may feel tempted to bring along a friend, but for the first few get-togethers, it is best to show up solo. Make it easy for your new coworkers to talk to you.
You don’t have to be everyone’s best friend, but being friendly and genuinely interested in others builds likability
and you may find that more opportunities come your way.