I've just started at a new job, and have had only a little time adjusting to it. This is mainly because I am surrounded by a very friendly and helpful team of people who have made me feel right at home. However, even with the support of your co-workers, starting at a new place, or even in a new division of the same place, can be intimidating.
The most difficult adjustment was to the physical place, itself. I got lost from classroom to classroom and tried to find the auditorium on the other side of campus (I work in a school for context). I didn't realize that there were two doors going in and out of the staff room and ended up leading students to the wrong class more than once. But, besides having an understanding group of people to work with, I figured out some tips to find balance and sanity in my new part-time home.
1. Figure out your most used routes first
First things first, figure out the bathroom situation. Which ones are best and which ones are a definite no-go. I was fortunate enough to have an amazing co-worker and desk mate who let me in on the secret to the best ones.
After piecing together parts of your work and buildings, pick up patterns in the first week that let you know which rooms you tend to frequent the most. For example, for me, I head to the office, my classroom, and the auditorium the most. So, I figured out the fastest and most efficient routes for me to get to those locations within the first two days. Now my job requires a lot of moving around the workplace. Therefore, figuring out these routes allow me to get to where I need to go when people need me there.
Also, it feels satisfying to know the space that you will be working with for at least a while. Being familiar with where you will be spending around 8 hours a day can ease the transition.
2. Get to know your co-workers throughout the day
I get it. Sometimes we want to separate the people at work from the people we see at home. However, sometimes making those work friends can go a long way when you need help with the office copier or want someone to sit with at lunch. Graduating from school doesn't change a thing. We still need companionship when we are in a particular setting for long periods of time, and talking to your co-workers when both you and they have the time can accomplish that.
I found that saying "Good morning" every day, or asking how someone's weekend was at the start of the week can spark a conversation. Or, at the very least, you get a smile and answer back while learning a new name.
3. Don't be afraid to learn
My most fundamental life rule is to always stay a student. What I mean is that never fear to question things, or even just ask questions if you don't understand. Work towards being open to being challenged and to prove your point. And most importantly, never miss an opportunity to learn something new.
At a new workplace, it is inevitable that you will be learning as the first weeks go by; names, responsibilities, tasks, and how the break room coffee machine works. Just staying open-minded and reasonably positive (I get that it can be frustrating) can make or break a new job.
I am pumped to start working at my new place of employment, and that I am fortunate enough to work with the people that I share my campus with. I was pretty nervous throughout my first day and going throughout my first week. However, implementing these tips and checking in with myself at the end of the day, that I am truly loving what I do, has made this experience that much more amazing.