2018-07-13 by Rebecca
Sudden shifts in workplace culture are unfortunately common. New management, a merger, or layoffs can lead to a very different working environment, especially for newer employees. Here are a few tips on how to adapt to a new workplace culture and cement your value to the company.
If you’re in a new office environment, don’t be afraid to ask questions. The odds are that your bosses and coworkers don’t expect you to get everything right on the first day. Some people feel that asking questions makes them look foolish or unprepared, so they try to figure everything out themselves. While you do need to be self-sufficient, it’s likely that coworkers have faced similar issues and are prepared to help.
Asking questions ensures you learn the right ways to do things and move on to more important tasks. In addition, asking for help gives you a chance to meet new people at work and begin developing relationships. Coworkers will also be willing to provide advice and guidance if they see you taking that feedback to heart.
Even if you do ask for help and get guidance, you are still likely to make mistakes. If you are a new employee or fresh out of school, you’ll likely make a lot of mistakes at first.
Just like asking for help, it’s nothing to get embarrassed about, provided you demonstrate a willingness to learn. Use those mistakes as learning opportunities to demonstrate your eagerness to understand your responsibilities and adapt to the office environment. Just don’t develop a habit of making the same mistakes again and again.
When you make a mistake, it’s critical to understand what you did wrong and the correct process or procedure to avoid making the same mistake twice. Developing a reputation as the coworker who takes guidance and quickly picks up new concepts never hurts.
Your reputation is incredibly important, and most coworkers know yours better than your resume. A key priority in any role is to make sure you do your best to develop a strong reputation with your leadership and coworkers. It isn’t enough to be good and your job; you have to be known as someone who is consistently dependable and reliable when the stakes really matter. That person is the one who is tasked with the most important projects and is seen as “indispensable.”
Becoming indispensable is particularly important during a restructuring or other sudden shift in workplace culture. Those shifts can lead to significant turmoil and even layoffs depending on the circumstances. It is precisely in those scenarios that a strong reputation can be an important resume builder. Even if new managers don’t know you personally, they will learn of you by way of your reputation on the floor. The “reliable” and “dependable” employee is the one most likely to be singled out for attention and the least likely to be laid off.
Dealing with a new office culture is always a stressful experience, but it’s also an opportunity to shine. Use that opportunity to learn and ask questions so you can find new ways to add value. Developing a strong reputation with your coworkers is as important as knowing how to write a resume. Hard work and reliability go a long way with your boss and your teammates.
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