As someone who has been the new kid on the block and also witnesses a lot of new folks come into my office, I have some thoughts on what you may wish to do if you are new.

  • Take notes. Listen: A lot of information will be coming your way from the details of the actual job to people’s names and where the washrooms are located.
  • Be On Time: Being on time means being at least 5 minutes early. If you start at 9AM, you are at your desk and starting to work at 9AM, not wandering into the office at 9AM.
  • Observe: Pay attention to people around you to help pick up the office culture. What do people typically wear? Is it socially acceptable to break for coffee with co-workers? What do people have displayed in their work space?
  • Ask questions: Take the time to ask questions so you a) look interested and b) learn something! You’ll need to know how things are done and why, especially if you have ‘ideas’ on how things should be improved. Remember, there’s always a reason as to why things are done a certain way, so find out before you start to share your suggestions.
  • Get organized: Whether it’s post-it notes, a calendar or a notebook, it’s important to figure out what will work best for you. Plus, ‘looking’ organized won’t hurt!
  • Be social: Do your co-workers eat lunch together? Join them! Do colleagues go for a coffee in the mornings? Join them! It’s important to be human and recognize that you also work with humans; get to know them.
  • Appreciation: If someone helps you out, be sure to thank them!
  • Turn your ringer off: No one needs to hear your smart phone ringing, dinging, beeping throughout the day. Put it on silent.
  • Boundaries: Like with getting to know anyone you first meet, telling them about your rash or that your dead father’s ghost visits on Sundays, might not be the best thing to do when you first meet (or even at all)… sharing isn’t always caring.

I know, it’s not a comprehensive list and that there are different things to consider depending on the industry/environment. These are just the basics, folks!