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How Do You Find Your Way in a New Team? 7 Practical Tips

When you join a new team, it's often exciting at first. "Would the team be nice?", "Can I find my way around?", "Maybe I work in a completely different way than they do" and "What if my colleagues and I are complete opposites?". These are all things you often ask yourself when you join a new team.

How Do You Find Your Way in a New Team? 7 Practical Tips

If you can't find your niche in a team, it can have all kinds of negative consequences. This can range from colleagues who are less helpful to extreme dissatisfaction with your job. Whether you work for a new employer or work for another employer with your current employer; it's important to quickly find your niche in a team.

You'll discover how to do this in this article.

Introduce yourself to everyone on your team

Making a good first impression is crucial in finding your niche in the team. You do this by introducing yourself to everyone on your team. Give everyone a firm handshake, be enthusiastic and speak your name clearly.

Try to find out in advance which people are part of your team (or which colleagues you'll work with the most) and look them up on LinkedIn, Facebook or on the 'about us' page of the company. This way you can already practice with the names, so that you immediately know the names of your colleagues on your first day. After 10 new faces it's difficult to remember all names, but if you prepare well this won't happen to you!

Also make sure you've a good and concise story when asked what your function or role within the department is. In this way, your colleagues immediately have an idea of ​​your position and they know for which expertise they can turn to you.

Get to know your colleagues

When you work a lot with your colleagues, it's nice to learn more about them. Knowing more about your colleagues creates a closer bond and allows you to collaborate better. For example, you can ask what your colleagues'hobbies are, whether they've a partner and / or children, or what they like to do on weekends. You may discover a joint interest with one or more of your colleagues.

Read here why a good relationship with your colleagues is so important.

Show that you're ambitious

By adopting a proactive attitude, you can make it clear that you're ambitious. This will immediately give your colleagues a positive image of you. This promotes collegiality and finding your turn within the team.

You can do this by taking the lead and taking direct responsibility (or asking your supervisor what you can do, instead of telling him / her). This way you come across as enthusiastic and adopt a proactive attitude.

Don't be too critical (yet)

When you're new somewhere, you've a fresh look at the processes of the company and what could possibly be improved. This's very good, but don't immediately start telling your colleagues what can be done better. Write it down and only share your observation when you're fully included in the team. This isn't to be too critical if you're still finding your turn in the team, as this can come across as smart. If the team asks for your opinion, you can of course give your (critical) opinion. After all, they ask for it.

Ask questions!

In the first few weeks, not everything is immediately clear. If you're unsure about something, ask someone on your team. It's better to ask for something than to take a gamble yourself and perhaps do it wrong. Many people are naturally helpful and most won't mind helping you if you can't figure it out. An additional advantage of asking questions is that you interact more with your colleagues, which gives you a closer relationship with them.

Tip: if you ask a question, write down the answer. Chances are you forget the answer and run into the same problem in a while. People are often helpful, but that quickly diminishes when they've to explain it a second or third time. You can prevent this by writing down the answer.

Don't skip a Friday afternoon drink

If they organize a Friday afternoon drink at your company, definitely go there. This way you quickly meet new people and you can start a conversation with everyone in an accessible way. A Friday afternoon drink is the opportunity to get to know your team better.

If the company where you work doesn't have Friday afternoon drinks, you can of course also use this tip for joint lunches, any coffee breaks or company outings.

And above all: be yourself!

You can only build a strong relationship with colleagues if you're completely yourself. When you're yourself, use your talent and do what you really want, you've more pleasure in your work and therefore in life. When you present yourself differently than you actually are, you create false expectations for the future.

Can't you be yourself? Then ask yourself if the team suits your personality and consider switching jobs.

Statement: Finding your turn in a team is more important than getting a good salary.

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