How Do I Fit?

Who does not love the comfort zone? It is the safest place, but sometimes could be detrimental. 

Ever wondered about how to fit into something new?  May be you are fresh out of school and just landed your first job; or an experienced professional and expert in your field, and just got that new opportunity you have prepared for to make a change and transform an organisation. May be you have just been moved into a new role or new department within your current organisation, or migrated to a new country with culture and way of living much different your home country. You find yourself in this unknown path, exciting and promising, but you are anxious about getting it right.

First be assured that it is human to have concerns about fitting into something new, so you are not alone. The good news is, it possible to achieve success, but it requires preparation and taking the right steps.

In this section, I will some useful strategies to help you overcome your concerns and navigate your new terrain. Majorly around workplace, but these strategies can be adapted for other life situations, such as new relationships, relocation to a new city or even migration.

Observe: 

In managing your excitement of the new, take time to study your new terrain.  For a new job in a new organisation for instance, observe the culture, the norms, the value, the people and organisational behavior. This enables you to know if you truly share the same value with the organisation and how to align your values, goals behavior to fit rather than to be a misfit.

Be Informed:

Make good use of the information that you rece during company onboarding training. Personally dig deep for information from company profile, website or any other information – old or new. These can provide you with history and the journey about the organisation so far.

Don’t Rush: Evaluate:

I know, you have a mandate and you are excited about the change you can bring to the entire system or organisation, but do not rush the implementation of your ideas.  Do much more than observation and carry out a system-wide (organisation, department or group) evaluation of the goings-on. It is not an opportunity for office gossip; but take time out to hold one on one meetings or sessions with team members, colleagues or associates to get their views about the organisation or department; including its needs, challenges and their recommendeation or solutions.

Be Careful with Importation: 

It can be tempting to want to import what works in your previous job or organisation into a new one.  But remember that each organisation differs because they are made up of different people, have different goals, objectives, challenges and at different developmental stages.  So while some ideas or approaches you have used in the past could work, be sure that you have done your homework well before importing something into the new organisation or business unit.

Align:

You have observed and evaluated your new space, to fit, it is important to make efforts as soon as possible to begin to align.  Align to the culture, vision, goals, norms.  In summary align to the ways of doing things in the organisation. For simple thing as dress code, social norms, resumption hours, remote working, corporate communication and more, make efforts to align.  The more efforts you make at aligning and the members observe your sincerity and efforts, the easier it becomes for you to fit.

Participate:

Participate in organisational events and social gathering. This enables you to meet and get to know people within the organisation and exposes you to the informal setting and some unwritten norms.

Contribute:

After you have gone through these steps above (not necessarily in the order they have been listed); it is time for you to contribute. 

Strive to make an impact, to justify your employment and prove your worth.  Strive to be relevant by contributing meaningfully with your quality of work, creativity, dedication, commitment, loyalty and great work ethics.

Remember that organisations are like humans with needs and that there is a need you have been employed to solve.  So be sure to contribute and make it worthwhile for those who took a bait to have you on board.  Add value.

Conclusion:

It possible to fit in a new setting or work environment. Let me also say that sometimes, your success in that new workplace could be determined by whether you are able to fit or not. To be able to fit, requires thoughtful approach and actions. Remember that this excercise is with human environment and could present challenges or obstacles along the way. Therefore, success may not happen over time. So give yourself time to learn and to adjust.

I hope this has been helpful. If you like what you have read, do visit the Resources –Careers’ section of my website http://www.afomauchendu.com for more job search and career guides. And remember to click the share button to share this with your network, like, comment or ask questions below. I will be glad to interact with you.My best wishes in your career journey.Kind Regards,

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