Assimilation can be an art form. It is definitely in a new employee’s interest to understand how to make the start of a new career both satisfying while making a positive impact on a new employer.

Assimilation means the integration or accommodation to a new environment like the organization and the people that make up your new career. Why is assimilation so important? Because your first month on the job can often make or break you. What you do in that first month tells your management and co-workers if you:

  • Get along with others
  • Will be an asset to your group or team.
  • Are proactive on figuring out how things work.
  • Are a positive influence on your teammates.
  • Ask questions before moving forward on a project.
  • Are willing to volunteer for projects.
  • Understand the importance of associating with high-performing co-workers.

Why are these things important? If you want to progress in an organization, it is vital to make a positive impression your first day on the job. That does not mean you are a “kiss up”, it just means you make good decisions from the start. Understanding the culture of your new company can take time. Here are some strategies for mastering it as quickly as possible:

  • Never be too busy to show respect and courtesy to everyone you interact with, including support staff, supervisors, clients and vendors.
  • Assess the groups that hang out together and take some time to figure out a good fit for you and your career.
  • Avoid office gossip. Make your own decisions about people.
  • Get to know the people who get things done, especially as it pertains to getting your work done.

Final thoughts on making a positive impression that very first day on the job:

  • You may be replacing a beloved co-worker who retired, was fired, or died. Don’t make disparaging remarks about the status of projects you have inherited.
  • The team you are joining has found ways to complete projects and meet deadlines. Discover what works for them. Ask questions before you start making or suggesting changes.
  • One or more of your co-workers may have competed for your job; stay positive and productive, so they see why you were selected. (And remember you got the job because of your qualifications – your boss knew you were the one who could do the job.)
  • Stay professional at all times.
  • Don’t share personal information during work hours. Don’t share information during breaks and social events unless you are confident you have established strong trust-based relationships.
  • Casual comments about romantic relationships, children, religion, politics and credit card balances can quickly become topics for office gossip.
  • When things get tough, show you have the willpower and commitment to stick with a project until it is done.

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