So you got the job! Congratulations.
New role with a new company and you can already imagine the new desk with two monitors, new pack of pens and stapler. You tell your old job of the last few years goodbye and your new job starts in a week.
Then you realize just how much you will have to unlearn and relearn all over again. Where the security desk is, setting up your printer, figuring out who the negative Nancy’s are, etc. Don’t forget it will be hard enough just getting adjusted to the new drive time, traffic to avoid, and what if the new boss is really anal about being in the office on time? Some people stress out about these things even before singing the new contract. But what is really frustrating is having to learn the office lingo. You know, the things that people say that you have no idea what they mean because you have no reference. You know how awkward it is for the boss to make a joke and you have no idea what they mean?
It’s almost the same type of experience as learning a new language. Studying Spanish, French or German can be exciting and frustrating. As you are just learning the basics, you hear real conversation and realize you have such a long way to go.
Here are some things you can do to overcome the language barrier quickly;
1. Read up on the company website and any articles online.
Before getting to your new world of work, take the time to study what is happening right now within the company through the website and any article you can get your hands on. Check out google, type in the name of the company and search the news category. This will also allow you to ask very pointed questions during your first week to have a better understanding of the company at large.
2. Shadow peers as soon as you arrive.
Find someone who is friendly and be a friend. Take lunches together, ask for opportunities to get time on their calendar to discuss meeting sequences, current projects and what they do on the team. This will probably lead you to even more questions, but this is how the puzzle pieces come together for you.
3. Create a copy of the TLA’s; Three Letter Acronyms.
No matter how big or small the company, you will find that a large part of the learning curve is sitting in a meeting and it sounds like a doctor talking to a alien. As an outsider, you hear all these TLA’s that make your head spin and become numb quickly during a meeting. Write them down on a spreadsheet as they are heard more than once during the meeting. For what you didn’t understanding the meaning to, ask your new friend to fill in the blanks.
4. Join an Team Member Network or (TMN) group.
This TLA, can be very helpful in that you can grow lasting relationships within the company with those around a commonality. There are all types of member networks listed on your intranet site. Some even on generations, softball, culture specific, etc.
5. Find the end user of the company.
Yes, the actual customer that buys the goods and or services of your company. Look to see if you can get persona information or research conducted by your company. This is more of an outside in approach but will prove valuable. Sometimes, the end user can tell you a lot about the company you work for and the role you have in it.