You’re getting ready to start a new job and, to be honest, it feels a little like the first day of school all over again. You might be a little nervous about how the day is going to go: Where are the bathrooms? When will you have lunch and where do you eat? And will you find any new friends?
Making friends as an adult can be tricky. The good thing is, many adults do find new, true and lifelong friends in the workplace!
Give yourself a pep talk on the way in and remember these six tips for making new friends at your new job.
- Say hello. It really does start with something so simple. Even if you’re shy and unsure of yourself, make the first move with a hello and a handshake. Or fist bump (COVID is still around, after all). Introduce yourself because everyone will know you’re the new person. Try to strike up conversations with people as the day goes on, even just little things like asking for directions or where to get desk supplies. Start small — you don’t need to share your life story, or hear everyone’s, on your first day.
- Ask questions. This is a great move during lunch or breaks especially, but get your coworkers to tell you a little about themselves. How long have they worked here? What do they like about their job? Ask about the stuff that matters: What’s their favorite book, or movie, or band? Is there a good place for lunch or dinner nearby — whether this is a new town for you or just a new neighborhood, people like to share their recommendations. Is there a vending machine that has a reputation for stealing money? Who makes the best, or worst, pot of coffee? Office life can be kind of silly, but who has the best sense of humor? You’re going to be spending 40 hours a week with this group; get to know their personalities, their quirks and glean all you can from them from the start.
- Be present and available. Some companies encourage all employees to take lunch at the same time, or for people to eat in shifts. When it’s time for you to go, whether it’s to a designated break room or outside in the nicer weather, that’s a great opportunity to make small talk. It might be really tempting to grab your phone and see what you’ve been missing on social media or to check your emails, but especially on your first few days, it’s worth trying to get to know people. Be friendly, be curious, be open to conversation.
- Ask for help. You’re new. No one will expect you to know everything. So ask questions, and ask them of different people. Don’t just rely on your boss, manager or supervisor to help you. Spread the wealth! Ask people sitting next to you, ask people across the room. Find reasons to ask people for help, especially in your first few days. People will likely want to help show you the ropes. And when the opportunity presents itself, ask people what they wish they would’ve known on the first day, or during their first week, on the job. Pay close attention to what they say!
- Participate in activities. Some offices have regular happy hours, or volunteer opportunities, or company picnics. Maybe there’s an upcoming food drive or donations are being collected to support a local cause that’s near and dear to your new coworkers. Making small contributions, making an effort to connect with your team, can go a long way toward building camaraderie. You don’t need to go overboard, but make an effort.
- Remember: You don’t have to do everything all at once! That first day can be overwhelming. There’s a lot to learn and there’s a feeling of wanting to get up to speed quickly. That’s fine! You don’t need to become best friends with everyone right away! Try to remember a few names first. Then expand that circle. Keep going until you know everyone’s name on your immediate team, then expand that too. You’re going to be here for a while, ideally; you can build up your work friend circle over time.
Remember back to that first day of school. Whether you were new to the building or just to the grade, eventually you figured things out. You found your friends, you established your routine, you learned your way around. That will happen in the new job too! Take a deep breath and start with a smile. And congratulations on the new job!
New jobs have all the promise of a bright future and we’re happy to see you succeed. But if things don’t work out, Davis Staffing can help! We work with great companies who are looking for people just like you. Contact Davis Staffing and let’s see how we can help you succeed.