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Starting Strong: Decoding Your New Office

Starting a new position is daunting. Your success in a position rests on achieving concrete objectives, as well as more intangible elements of company culture. Each workplace has it’s own set of unwritten rules. How can you smooth your transition from an outsider to a member of a team? One of the most fundamental elements of any workplace is communication. Here are three questions to ask to demystify your new office:

  1. What do people talk about? This can help you identify company values. Are goals talked about using specific terms? Are achievements measured by a certain standard? Clue into the language and topics to understand what matters to your coworkers and supervisor.

  2. When do people talk? Do employees regularly gather for happy hour? Is there an office softball league? If a coworker invites you to lunch, always take the opportunity. Gatherings are valuable opportunities to get to know and bond with your colleagues.

  3. How do people talk? Be attuned to the preferred medium to communicate effectively in a new setting. Some offices run on email, others lean on messaging apps and collaboration tools. Use the sanctioned methods to effectively communicate with your team.

By aligning with the communication norms, you are setting the stage for long-term success when valuable first-impressions are being made.