Striking a new chord

Fitting into a new environment is always challenging and more so, in an office environment because every workplace is different from the rest and the work culture differs too. Be it a fresher (who is venturing into a professional life from a student life) or an experienced professional (who is switching his/her job), every individual has to go through this transition.


The transition not only involves taking on new duties and responsibilities, but also learning the work etiquettes followed in that particular office. A newcomer will also have to strike a chord with his/her co-workers to ensure a smooth ride in the workplace. Irking the new boss or new colleagues mild prove detrimental and so, the newcomer needs to be extra careful about his/her work, conduct and behavior.

Some of the common mistakes a newcomer can commit that could backfire are: flattering the boss, being extra sweet to co-workers, frequently Inviting the boss/colleagues to lunch or dinners, buy- ing gifts for the boss or senior colleagues, etc. This kind of flattery does not help in the long run because soon people will get to see the ulterior motive behind the actions and will stop paying attention or might start taking advantage. On the other hand, some newcomers tend to show off attitude to their colleagues in an attempt to establish their supremacy in the new workspace, which again, can go horribly wrong.

As a newcomer, one must be real in his/her actions and words. Being observant helps to understand the environment and the people better. Listening, more than talking to new people helps in knowing them better. In a workplace, there are people who will help you adapt to the new workplace, while there will also be people who will create hurdles in your way. You will have to be very careful in choosing your company. Some might even befriend you to take advantage of your position in the office for his/her own benefit, without directly causing any real harm to you. A newcomer must keep his/her eyes and ears open to be able to discern between right and wrong.

Besides dealing with the different kinds of people, handling the work could also throw a difficult challenge to a newcomer. For example, as a newbie, you might come across certain practices in the office which are meaningless or are detrimental to the organization’s growth. You want to raise these issues and resolve them, but you doubt that someone from the top brass implemented the practices and your objection could take you off the person’s good books. These kinds of tricky situations will have to be dealt with very carefully and tactfully. And for that, one must study the work-place, the people and the work thoroughly. Patience, good listening skills, keen observation, honesty, sincerity and wisdom are the key traits that will lead to success for a newbie in a new work environment. Lessons from past experiences would also count in dealing with this challenge.

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