After series of interviews, tests and meetings, you finally land the job! Naturally, you can’t wait to dive in and achieve ground breaking results but at the same time a plethora of questions begin to flood your mind; all the questions you can possibly think of under the sun.

It started off with the more technical bits like:

  • Am I even good enough for the role?
  • How will my performance be measured?
  • What if I don’t excel?
  • How do I prove myself?
  • Can I do this for the long haul?
  • Is this really where I should be?
  • What if the culture doesn’t align with my values?
  • Is this really what I should be doing?

Somehow I found myself asking a few trivial but relevant questions like:

  • Will they think I wear too much black?
  • Is it okay to drink garri?
  • Can I take the noise level?
  • Am I eventually going to match the noise level?
  • What’s my best route to work?
  • When is it okay to get friendly?

I really did ask all those questions and then some more…eventually, I realized it was really okay to ask those questions and most importantly, it was okay to simply be myself, give myself room to experience all the little joys that come with being the “new girl”.

It took a lot of unlearning, learning and relearning, understanding the importance of asking the right people the right questions, taking into account lessons from each day as I evolve into the bringing the best version of myself to light.

Nonetheless, a number of things helped me cope with my new work environment however, I’ll only be sharing three (3):

  1. Observe: Pay attention to the culture. Understand that you’re in a new space with new people who have behaviours and values that you’re unfamiliar with, who exhibit work cultures that may differ from anything you’re probably used to. It’s important to take time out to study and understand how key individuals e.g your boss and your team mates react to certain situations, the manner of dialogue, how they handle challenges both internally and externally. The key isn’t just in observing however, but in observing to see how their behaviours can influence yours and yours theirs, ask questions, and never assume you’re a walking encyclopedia.
  1. Right alliance: Still taking a cue from observing your environment, it is important to stay neutral, objectively assess situations before taking sides, be friendly but don’t get sucked into the clique life just yet or at all if you can. This is not to say that you become hostile but be sensible in dealing with people around you. As you can imagine, this process takes time, don’t rush it… trust the process.
  1. Attitude: The right attitude towards work, being a team player, being willing to go the extra mile, taking time out to get to know members of your team; after all chances are that you’re going to be stuck with them for a long time. Be warm, accommodating, and helpful, share new knowledge without truly expecting anything in return and hopefully things pan out in your favour. Don’t forget to be firm and assertive, show confidence when and where you need to and be open to seeing things from a different perspective.

Ultimately, no rule books exist for how to cope with  a new work environment and if they did, there are no hard and fast rules to adapting. Find what works for you and you’ll be well on your way to conquering!

How have you dealt with being the newbie at work, church, school or similar communities?

X.O


25 Comments

Gordon · March 28, 2020 at 5:46 am

Great post ! Very Insightful

    admin · March 29, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    Thank you for the feedback and for being the first to leave a comment!

A · March 29, 2020 at 7:46 am

Nice. This is really good to know. The garri part cracked me up too! Lol

I find the part of ‘being open but not getting sucked into the office politics’ really instructive. Thanks Jo

    admin · March 29, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    Thank you for stopping by Abra! I’m glad you found it a worthy read.

    Ah yes, the garri part is very dear to me lol!

Chinenye · March 29, 2020 at 9:12 am

Awesome Post. Honestly if I knew most of the points you highlighted here when I first delved into the corporate world, I would have saved myself a lot of headache. Thanks for sharing.

    admin · March 29, 2020 at 7:23 pm

    Thank you Chinenye. Hopefully it’ll help you adapt better to future work environments.

    X.O

JF · March 29, 2020 at 10:26 am

“Not forgetting to be firm and assertive, while going the extra mile.”

A lot of people deal with This, I know myself and some others I know did.

    admin · March 29, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    Absolutely, I believe it’s a skill that one develops over time.

    Thanks for stopping by Jane.

    X.O

Kaykay · March 29, 2020 at 7:37 pm

Thanks for sharing

A baby girl · April 14, 2020 at 11:41 am

Really great post! I find that “observing” as you mentioned, works for me. Once I walk into a new situation I always just take my time to “observe”. I take my time and assess my surroundings and the people within them and it goes a very long way. The only downside to that is that it takes me a very long time to round up my observations before letting loose and being free lol

    admin · April 14, 2020 at 10:36 pm

    Hello A baby girl! I’m with you on taking my time maybe not too much time… but when I begin to feel free it becomes a breeze!

Olisa B · April 14, 2020 at 1:09 pm

I remember when I switched jobs, it was odd hearing everyone call the MD “Oga” when I was used to “Boss” lol

Definitely taking a lot from this write up.

    admin · April 14, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    Hello B! LOL… must have been awkward at first.

    Glad you found this helpful.

    X.O

Abuoma · April 14, 2020 at 6:39 pm

Well done Joanne! This was helpful to read and I’m glad I’m not the only one that takes garri seriously

    admin · April 14, 2020 at 10:42 pm

    Hey Aby, thank you for stopping by!

    Oh yes, my garri goes with me wherever I go LOL… best of luck with the new job!

    X.O

Alex Ajide · April 15, 2020 at 12:00 am

Nice read Joanne… when I first joined the firm I currently work for (Consulting), my perspective to life in general played a huge role in my settling process. I only applied one rule and one rule only, thats ” Dont stay new”. It worked for me, It might for others too.

    admin · April 16, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    Hey Jide! Thank you for stopping by, glad you found it a valuable read.

    Love the perspective of not staying new, it has definitely worked for me!

Dami · April 16, 2020 at 7:50 pm

Insightful! I’ll recommend this for my new recruits 😊

    admin · April 16, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    Dami!!! So good to have you here… I hope they find it helpful!

    Thank you

    X.O

Ufuomaroghene · April 18, 2020 at 7:25 pm

Thank you Joanne! This is a really helpful read😊

    admin · April 19, 2020 at 11:42 am

    Hello Ufuoma,

    Thanks for stopping by, glad you found it helpful!

    X.O

Ebony · April 19, 2020 at 1:15 pm

Really helpful tips.

For me I’d say; observe, analyse and project accordingly – always with a smile 🙂

    admin · April 20, 2020 at 12:41 am

    Always with a smile!

    Thanks for stopping by Ebony.

    X.O

Ernest · April 21, 2020 at 3:15 pm

Nice post Joanne, One important thing for me in adapting to a new work environment is to know what is expected of your role and this is especially true for senior positions where you have to gain the respect of your boss, peers and colleagues if you are ever going to be able to deliver. I find the way to doing is well is by doing 2 things (1) Speak to people with experience in that role who have experience joining companies are that level and have navigated those waters over and over again and (2) Make sure you get a good sense of this during the interview stage by asking pointed questions as an interview is actually 2 people checking to see if they are the right fit for each other.

    Joanne · April 21, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    Hello Ernest!

    These are such valuable gems you have dropped and I can see how important they are in ensuring one delivers on the expectations from your new work place and even of oneself!

    Thank you so much for stopping by.

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