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How to Respond to a Welcome to a New Job
The start of a new job is usually exciting, but it can also be nerve-racking meeting fresh faces and understanding the lay of the land. The gracious company, however, will do its best to put you at ease in your new surroundings. Whether you receive a welcome note on your desk, a lunch invitation from co-workers or a small colleague reception, show your appreciation for the people coming together to welcome you.
Accept with Appreciation
Whether you receive a formal welcome in a boardroom, some flowers on your desk or a group of co-workers stop by your office for a morning meet-and-greet, show happiness for their actions. With a pleasant face, act gracious and be confident in your ability to join the company culture. Look everyone in the eye and smile. This way you'll appear thankful for the work opportunity and humbled that people are reaching out and welcoming you.
Observe the Work Culture
As you are welcomed, take notice of what's going on around you. Note whether people seem genuinely interested in getting to know you or whether the welcome seems forced. This speaks volumes about the company culture, people's personalities and their work ethic. Also, take notice of key individuals, such as your boss and subordinates who will report to you. Use these observations to figure out how you might respond to situations while working together and who you might want as a mentor.
Seize the Opportunity
Quickly take notice of who holds what position and think of work-related questions to ask. Your desire to learn about others will help you make a good first impression. For instance, ask the IT person specific questions about the network or an administrative staff member about where meeting rooms are. Not only do most people like to talk about their jobs, but your inquisitiveness shows initiative and desire to learn about the company.
Show Effort Back
Make your welcome a two-way street. If you use your company's welcome wisely, it serves as a tool to understand one another. Ask about cultural differences, share stories about where you grew up or tell a lighthearted joke to reveal personalities. This helps you quickly build a healthy network of friends and colleagues who you'll need for guidance and information, and who will need you as a trusted team player.
Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her print and online articles appear in magazines and websites such as "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent," "Business," the Famous Footwear blog and many others. She also ghostwrites for mompreneurs and business owners who appear regularly on shows such as Ricki Lake, HGTV, Carson Daly and The Today Show.