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Careers Advice
5 min read

Tips For Navigating Through Workplace Politics During Your First Few Days

Starting a new job is a time when you will inevitably be feeling a range of emotions from excitement about having successfully secured the job to worrying about how long it will take you to feel part of the team.
Written by
Joanna Clare
Content Manager
Published on
January 22, 2024

Starting a new job is a time when you will inevitably be feeling a range of emotions from excitement about having successfully secured the job  to worrying about how long it will take you to feel part of the team. You will be taking on a new role in a strange environment with colleagues that you probably haven’t met before so it is essential that you approach your first few weeks with no preconceptions or fixed ideas regarding anything to do with the work, the environment and your new colleagues. Aim to start with a blank canvas!

When anyone starts a new job, regardless of age or previous experience, navigating the ‘office politics’ can be tricky and will take some getting used to but it is a really important aspect for building positive professional relationships and to begin to advance in your career. It is always wise to familiarise yourself with your employment rights, company policies and grievance procedures as soon as you can,just in case you encounter any issues in the future. This way you will feel reassured that matters are being handled appropriately.

When you first start your job, it is best to take your time to observe carefully and listen to how the working routine is structured, observing the dominant or key people within the working environment and how they use their power to influence others. While doing so, be polite and well mannered. Show enthusiasm and willingness to establish connections with all colleagues as positive relationships are crucial in any working environment.

Remain neutral and refuse to take sides in any office conflicts or regarding any office gossip. Stay professional and never enter into any unpleasant conversations. This will go far in conveying that you remain a true professional and rise above the negativity of unnecessary tittle tattle. This is especially important in the early days as your colleagues will be forming an opinion of you during this time. Maintain your integrity and uphold your ethical standards in all interactions as this will greatly contribute towards your professional reputation. As time goes on you will manage conflicts gracefully, seeking resolutions that benefit all involved.

Being a person who can be relied upon will earn you both trust and respect so ensure that you meet all deadlines and commitments, regardless of what anyone else is doing.

Communicate in a friendly and professional way at all times and be clear and concise. Maintaining a professional boundary from the start will ensure that you are not taken advantage of by others and although they will be aware that they can approach you for guidance and support, they will also be aware that there is a boundary that is not to be crossed.

In any workplace there are unwritten rules so while staying true to your values and upholding your integrity, you can adapt your behaviour accordingly to allow yourself to blend in with the culture of the organisation.

Contribute positively to the workplace by offering your ideas and skills to your colleagues and to the company. By demonstrating your value, this will make you a highly respected and valued team member.

Dress appropriately at all times as your appearance has a direct influence on how others perceive you so maintain that smart and professional demeanour at all times.

Navigating through the network of office politics is a skill that develops over time. By remaining fully focused upon your long term career goals and staying true to your values you will soon be building positive relationships which will help you thrive in any new work environment and earn you the respect you deserve.

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