First week in the new job

Polish your Ps and Qs on office etiquette and sail through the first week at a new workplace. Here’s a quiz to help you.

It is your first day at the new workplace. New environment, new colleagues are enough to unnerve anybody. You not only have to prove your capability but you also have to form relationships with a new set of colleagues. And if you are an introvert, the anxiety would be more. Since making new acquaintances does not come easily to you, getting to know new coworkers will require some effort.

In case you have opted for a completely new profession, the change in work environment would strike you even more. But these initial jitters can be handled by following a few simple office etiquette. The comfort zone of the previous workplace may have turned you casual in attitude, but a little bit of politeness and professionalism will put you in the rare comfort zone in the new office.

By being pleasant you can get a foothold in the new team quite fast. Just show that you are an eager learner and that you are not afraid to admit what you don’t know. This is not the time to try to impress your employer and co-workers with what you already know.

A few simple rules to follow are: steer clear of any brawl, do not discuss personal problems, do not miss deadlines, respond to all queries and follow the dress code. Since many discussions and decisions are now made over e-mail, follow a few rules of sending e-mails. They are: avoid abbreviations, do not stretch conversations (e.g. responding to a thank you, etc), do not send heavy attachments or chain mails.

Following proper office etiquettes is a mark of your professionalism and maturity. Follow it for securing your future growth. Here are 14 questions to find out how “officially” correct you are.


Nishtha Tiwari helped MONEY TODAY in constructing and analysing the quiz. She is a senior consultant,TMI India
Your manners speak volumes
What you say or do now will dictate your interactions and experience.A fter all, your colleagues are eager to form a professional impression about you


Mostly AsMostly BsMostly Cs
You are on the right track. You have come to the new job knowing very well how critical first impressions are to a sustainable relationship. You intuitively know the importance of coming across as a professional and committed employee who takes his work seriously. You definitely are giving the right signals by having a positive attitude, getting to know your colleagues, not rubbing anyone the wrong way and steering away from office politics. Your actions are building on your credibility. You are right now like a sponge, observing everything around you before deciding how you want to be. Smart move. Keeping in mind that you are new and still trying to understand the environment keep the self-focus low. Now that you have been officially accepted, you would want to:
• Sustain the first impression which you have been able to create. This does not mean that you need to be scared of the office bully. But surely now you will know how to tackle him.
• Sometimes hitting the table tennis room would do you good.
• Establish rapport with your colleagues— this will now help them understand you as an individual. You eventually will be accepted as “one of them”. This helps in situations where your opinion differs.
You want to create a favourable impression. The only issue is, you want to take the short cut. Nobody expects you to knock their socks off in the first few weeks. You can take some time to create a powerful impact. Meaningful and sustainable relationships are created when there is a strong foundation of proven worth and trust. For these two factors you will have to work harder. You would want to focus more on increasing your reliability quotient. Create trust in people through the work you do. If you want to create a good impression, be authentic about it. This way you will come across as genuine. For the initial period, you would want to withhold your reactions. You don’t want to be in the bad books of anyone. But you cannot please everyone at all times. After all, your credibility is still to be fully established. Avoid being casual in your communication and behaviour. You would also want to:
• Take more responsibility.
• First be part of the team before carving your own individuality.
• Take your time to understand people around you.
• Avoid situations which can offend others. You still don't know how the system works. In the initial period, let your work speak for you.
You want to be different. Unfortunately, that works best in a costume party. It is recommended that you understand what kind of signals you are sending to the environment which is more than eager to form an impression of you. Right now the signal that you might be sending out is that people need to adapt to you and not the other way round. To do anything different, you have to be an accepted part of the system. Understand the norms that exist and adhere to them. Being indifferent is not what you aim to be in your new job. That’s a reputation which is best avoided. First impressions about you and your future potential can make a major impact on your future success with the organisation. Hence, tread carefully.
• You need to build trust. Trust can be only created if your credibility, reliability and intimacy levels are established. You would want to focus on all three with a lesser focus on yourself.
• Learn to be more adaptable to new surroundings.
• Concentrate on your work and avoid getting involved in office politics for as long as you can. That never did anyone any good.
• We seldom work in isolation. Avoid letting other people elicit any emotional reactions from you.