With a new job comes new relationships, and as in the start of any relationship, yours with your new colleagues may have not begun very seamlessly. Perhaps you find them too loud or too much out-of-your-comfort-zone, maybe they never did try to break the ice with you (at all), maybe once you came up to talk to them and did not feel any potential for FriendshipGoals, the list could go on and on! But now it has been weeks and the awkwardness between you and your coworkers seem to be an elephant growing and growing inside the room, leaving you just annoyed and restless at work.
Your feelings are totally valid as it can be very difficult to work with people whom you see on a daily basis and yet with whom you do not have anything in common. Now do not give up just yet! Take to ponder the following reminders to achieve a harmonious workplace that hopefully, works for you and your colleagues.
1. Stop trying too hard
Take a minute to look at your coworkers actions and then at yours. Did you come on too strong and clingy during the first days of interaction? Did you see a surprised and baffled look in the eyes of your colleagues wondering who is this new employee (you) who feels embarrassingly comfortable with people he just met? If you answered “yes” to both questions, then you might have to step back and reassess the situation; you’ve been trying a little too hard!
Aside from your efforts to hit it off with your colleagues just come off as being desperate to “belong”, it also diminishes your sense of professionalism. You have to know that in the workplace, it is only appropriate to be friendly with everybody just as to get the work going and done. However, there is no need at all to be friends with anyone. There is a huge difference! It is certainly not your priority to be close at arm’s length with your colleagues. You are there to get the work done, and work, you shall!
2. Keep it professional, not personal
Use your job (the very reason you are in the room with all these new people) as the primary and sole foundation of all the words and actions that you communicate. Want to break the ice with your colleague? Ask her how long has she been working in the company or what are the things that you should be expecting as a newbie. Do you want to know what your coworkers think about you? Ask for feedback on the output you just made. Anchor everything on the work that all of you do. It is something that you and your colleagues have in common, and which is only viable to be springboard of interactions.
Combining this with the first reminder, you have to learn how to be patient and to be satisfied with what is being handed to you. After all, you are the new kid on the block. Show your colleagues that you are a right combination of a conversationalist and an independent worker in the office. You may be approachable enough to be engaged in chitchats at times but above anything else, you are all about business and delivering quality outputs. Let your work talk of professionalism and integrity, and in time, your coworkers will think of how fun it would be to be in the same group as you, may it be for a task at work or a fun hangout outside.
3. Ask for professional help
When things go out of hand in the workplace, specifically when human interrelationships get in the way of work, it is time to seek intervention through the Human Resource, the most credible and logical people to turn to for solution. You might have already stepped back and kept your personal matters to yourself, but your colleagues would not just hold the other side of the line. They do not communicate to you properly and they obviously do things to single you out. As much as this could be demotivating enough for you to think of quitting your job, perhaps some alternatives could be arranged for you and your colleagues. In general, do not just think about giving up your job for misunderstandings with people in your workplace. Think of it as one way to test your resilience at work and to strengthen your professionalism.
Getting a good job with a healthy working environment may not only be a product of the qualifications in your curriculum vitae. It is also at times a game of luck. So do not feel too bad about your relationship with your colleagues (or lack thereof). It may make the execution of your job difficult, but as an employee in constant growth and learning, none of it shall diminish the efficient individual that you are.