Social Question

jazzjeppe's avatar

How to fit in at a new workplace?

Asked by jazzjeppe (2598points) January 7th, 2010

So I started a new job in August. I like it very much and I enjoy teaching my new students. The problem is that I have a feeling that my colleagues don’t appreciate me. Meh, I am being harsh now, I think they do, but they just don’t make any effort to get to know me or even show they want to know me. Sometimes I do feel they really dislike me… And I HATE that feeling! I want everyone to like me…

I guess there could be a chance that I haven’t been the best socializer. My previous job was great and I loved my colleagues. I guess I miss them a lot and I am being a bit reserved when it comes to making new aquaintances. But I am trying hard to fit in, but I get no response what so ever. And I guess it is hard to come to a new workplace and it is hard to get in to a group. But after half a year I feel things should have been, well, easier by now.

I am not an unpleasant person in any way. I am happy, always smiling, like to meet new people and enjoy a good laugh. Now, the most important thing is that I get a long with my students, which I do and I am very happy about that. But I do feel lonely at times, which I shouldn’t in a workplace with 80 grown-ups working close together.

What can I do? Should I bother as much as I do? Am I only imagine this?

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13 Answers

marinelife's avatar

If you are as garrulous as you say, you need to reach out first. It would have been nice if they did, but they didn’t. Sit down with a group at lunch and ask if you may join them. Listen to what they talk about at first. then if you have additions or comments, add them.

Consider hosting a “I want to get you know better” event t your house.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Keep your mouth shut, do your job well, be pleasant when spoken to but don’t initate any conversations, stay out of cliques and office politics. Develop a reputation as a dependable hard worker. In any new job, you are basically a “nugget”, a second-lieutenant type. Seen but not heard, working your butt off to get a good working reputation.

jazzjeppe's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land That advice would have worked in many other workplaces, but I just feel that in a school among teachers, we should be more “carying” and social.

CMaz's avatar

Bring a cake to work.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@jazzjeppe You still have to “keep your head down” until you get tenure, though. I saw that happen with my mother, she kept her opinions to herself until that magic day.

daemonelson's avatar

School is a place of misery. I’d say you’re doing quite well.

Fernspider's avatar

Cake is a great answer @ChazMaz – almost everybody likes cake. If there was a new person at our work who was nice and brought cake, I would loves them.

MissAnthrope's avatar

When starting a new job, I take my time before leaping in. I take it in stages, the first being observation. I figure out how things work and who people are, then I act. The second step is to start talking to those people I like and who I feel that we have some things in common, but in a very casual manner. I start with small talk and jokes until I feel like I’ve connected and have learned more about them. Hopefully, by that time, I have a few work friends and things feel more comfortable, and then I start opening up and being more myself.

Cake (or cupcakes!) is always good, too. :)

JLeslie's avatar

I agree sometimes it takes time, but I also agree that half a school year already has passed and it is time they treat @jazzjeppe as though she is going to stay and be part of the group.

I would advise don’t try to change anything realting to work, any policies, or make too many suggestions the first year there, just observe all of that sort of thing. Definitely say hello to everyone, maybe have them over for a party, or bring in a cake or cookies as someone suggested. Is there one person you kind of click with? Maybe work on cultivating a friendship with one or two of the people, and then they will incorporate you more with the group.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I have to agree with the idea of bringing in some baked goods. It is just a simple way to get people to think of you in a kind way.

Beyond that you are going to have to find ways to socialize with your peers. Do they hang out at the same place after work? Do they sit together at lunch? Do they participate in certain school activities/clubs? Find something to connect with them on.

JLeslie's avatar

One last idea, maybe ask for some help? Something small. I read somewhere that asking someone for help can build a friendship, because cognitive dissonance plays a part in the other persons mind that if they are willing to help you they must like you.

warka1's avatar

come in early then leave late.

saraaaaaa's avatar

Don’t get too drunk, it doesn’t end well.

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