Starting with a new company can be challenging, especially when acclimating to a corporate culture that is different from what you are used to. What exactly is ‘corporate culture’? Consider the word culture itself and how it relates to different groups of people. Similarly, all corporations do things differently. This includes management structure, values, work ethic, and atmosphere, among other things. If you are unable to adapt smoothly, this may lead to problems that could jeopardize your future with not only your co-workers, but also the company itself.
Of course, it can take a while to get the lay of the land and gain your bearings, but in the meantime, there are a few steps that can help you overcome initial obstacles and adapt to corporate culture.
In your first few weeks, be sure to meet everyone when you get a chance. On your first day, ask for a tour and don’t be shy! Introduce yourself to your new co-workers as you’re being taken around. This will allow you to become familiar with the personalities of the organization and understand the corporate hierarchy—a.k.a. the “who’s who” of the company. Even though it can be an intimidating situation, displaying a positive attitude will help you get through it.
Listen and Learn
First impressions are everything and can make or break how you view others (and how they view you), often leading to stereotypes. Take the first few days to be observant and learn as much as you can about the company’s operations, politics, and goals. How much authority are subordinates given? Are there areas or problems where your expertise can be of value? Learning as much as possible will help you conquer the next step.
Position Yourself Properly
Once you have done your “hands-on research”, you will know better where you fit into the company structure and how much you can bring to the table. When given tasks, go above and beyond. Tackle a problem and find a solution, face a challenge and take risks. The goal is to be visible to the right people, to show them you are a team player and that you want to advance your career with their company.
The more comfortable and familiar you are with a company’s culture, the more you will be able to accomplish, and better prepare yourself for a successful career path. Want more career tips? Visit our Job Seeker Advice, Tips and How-Tos board on Pinterest or check out other Help Wanted blog posts. What other advice would you add? Comment below!