When the business is down firms tend to lay off staff and workers, stop giving annual increments and other benefits. They may if possible withdraw welfare measures also. Life at work is quite a trial for many and can be worse if you are a newcomer. Loneliness and suspicion might be a demoralizing factor taking away the joy of getting a new job. Here are some suggestions to help you manage life at the new workplace in these tough times:
Be polite to everyone and smile when you come across colleagues, whether in office, cafeteria or at the coffee machine. If you get positive body language from any of them, start small conversations. Along with politeness manage and keep your smile.
Lunch is the best time to socialize even if you are feeling left out with all the cold shoulders around, turn your head up and join your colleagues at the lunch table, of course only if they do not mind. This way you will get a chance to participate in a conversation and let them know that you are good with your work and hence are now a part of their organization.
For the initial couple of weeks, do not make the mistake of telling a colleague how to perform or handle a certain task. You will immediately get branded as Miss/Mr Perfect. Let your suggestions trickle in as the days move on. Be assertive so that your colleagues know that you are to stay and mean business. It is better to maintain silence during the initial weeks.
If it comes your way, just listen to gossip, but never indulge in it yourself. Remember, discussing your co-workers, boss or even the former organization can work against you. So, keep your conversations professional and light.
Since you are new and are easily noticed, make sure you reach office on time. Don’t come in late in the initial few weeks or take concession to leave early. Others will view this as favoritism and become more distant with you.
Since you are new you will have to learn to compromise and adjust but do not let other colleagues dominate you. But that doesn’t mean that you take crap from others. Your colleagues may try to push their work on to you to spite you. Be assertive in declining work, but make sure you pull your weight.
Ideally personal equations do not matter. But the harsh reality is that more often than never, it is not just merit but a number of other factors that do contribute to a person’s professional growth. One may not be wrong that a personal equation with the superior may be one of the many factors. Bosses keep evaluating their report groups and graduate some of them into an elite in-group based on various factors. It is perhaps humanly impossible to make such an assessment without considering how well they get along with them. Bosses work closely with such in-groups; and quite naturally, persons in such groups usually tend to garner bosses time and rewards. Merit is like the bread while relationship with the boss is like the cream which together makes the recipe for professional growth.
In today’s knowledge economy, as opposed to traditional business with a top down approach, personal equations with all levels of employees, let alone superiors, has an impact on the professional growth of a person. It would not be wrong to say, a key managerial quality is to build the personal equation with his/her team members.
Smaller companies especially Internet firms, tend to be more open to different points of view. So, if you work in a small outfit, you can afford to argue with your boss and it might not affect your relationship with him/her. As the company grows in age and size, the collective IQ reduces and the collective ego increases too. In a larger setup, one must be more tolerant as they usually believe in the adage, the boss is usually right even when he is wrong. And in tough times like these it’s important to maintain a healthy working relationship with the boss to avoid any potential threats.
Today, having a personal rapport may not help as it is only a superior performance and productivity that matters in the long run. If one is performing constantly, he/she will grow professionally and will naturally develop a good personal equation with his/her superiors because everybody wants performers around them. So, to conclude, instead of wasting time in developing personal equation, one should invest that time in doing the job efficiently which will benefit both the organization as well as the individual.