Whether you are starting a new job, college course, apprenticeship, or any other type of new venture, it can seem quite daunting. Having maybe spent years at school or college with the same faces, the idea of suddenly being sent out into a new environment with new people can be a big step. Meeting new people, working out your surroundings, and learning the ropes can be a lot to take in all at once, but there is no need to let yourself get too concerned. Starting out on the right foot is perhaps easier than you might imagine, especially if there are a few of you in the same boat.
Most obviously perhaps, a new college course is likely to see you joined by a whole load of new faces and people in a similar position as yourself. This gives you some common ground to work from when meeting others. It can be reassuring to know someone on your course already, but if that is not the case, don’t worry – there will be plenty of time to make friends.
Things can be slightly different for those starting a job or apprenticeship, depending on where exactly you are working. Some companies will take in groups of new starters, which makes integration into the company slightly easier as, just like with college students, you will be surrounded by others in a similar position. But even if you are the only new recruit at your work, people will understand that you are just starting and will usually make a bit more effort to help you settle in.
Whatever it is you are starting, people are unlikely to expect you to know everything all at once, but make sure to pay attention when you are told something. People won’t mind helping you, but they will get fed up if they have to keep explaining the same things to you because you didn’t listen.
It is not just a matter of learning your way around a new course or job, but you will also be introduced to new people. As a general rule, stay friendly and polite (as if you had been told to be on your best behaviour), and whatever you do try to avoid getting drawn into any workplace or college gossip or bickering.
You may want to pay attention to what is being said, as such gossip can tell you a lot – and not always about the people that are being spoken about! But, don’t let yourself get drawn in. You don’t need to be joining cliques, at least until you have a better idea of how things operate.
Instead, concentrate on finding out who you need to impress with your work (your boss or tutor are a good place to start), and work out how you can go about achieving that. Do your best, ask for help if you need it, be polite, and pay attention.
If you do these things you should find you will soon feel at home in your new surroundings and will wonder why you were so nervous in the first place!
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