How to feel integrated in a new workplace

One of the most daunting things about being an intern in an unfamiliar workplace is feeling like you are a true part of the team and not just a temporary employee. There are a few things I’ve found that aid in the process of becoming integrated in a new workplace environment:

  1. Match what you experience, but don’t disappear in the process: This is in reference to the clothes people wear to work (business formal, business casual, casual, etc.) and also in reference to the way people communicate with each other. Does most of the communication take place over email? Does the company use printed work orders or an elaborate sticky note system? Is it acceptable to approach someone’s desk or office directly and talk? The way you dress and how you approach your coworkers definitely distinguishes how much you fit in with the company norms.
  2. Work as often as your co-workers work: The way I have made connections with coworkers outside of my team is by being the only intern in the office until at least 5:30pm and on Fridays. Since I am at the office as often as full-time employees, I’ve had more opportunities to help out supervisors that I wouldn’t normally be working with which has created meaningful connections.
  3. Don’t be a robot: The most frustrating thing I have experienced as an intern is feeling like you are in a “3 month interview” and thinking that means you need to be a robotic worker bee. I have found that the more I express myself and stay true to my personality in the office, the more connections I make with coworkers. It’s better to have fun and enjoy the place you are working at and the people you are working with than to worry that you might say something that will ruin your entire job future.



The bottom line is successful interns should act like they are full-time employees in order to truly feel integrated in the workplace.

-Allie Hardy

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7 Responses to How to feel integrated in a new workplace

  1. I did the same thing when it came to the way I dress and act. I was afraid to wear a short sleeve shirt until I finally saw another worker wearing one. You’re definitely right, you don’t want to be the one that leaves work early as an intern and doesn’t dress up to par. Also good to be yourself, as you mentioned.

  2. hmaarchive says:

    Amen to that. Even if it’s not the right fit in the end, you learn more about what you don’t want in the next job or where you might need to make some changes in the office life to fit into a workplace of your choice.

  3. andrewbantly says:

    I like what you said about observing others around you as a new member to the company. Especially in regard to how veteran(s) go about his or her business. I think it’s important to observe the strategy taken around you and apply it to your own and see what happens. One can always change back.

  4. delaneyryan10 says:

    I really enjoyed how you said that in order to have success in the workplace, you need to make yourself feel like a full time employee. The more you feel like an employee, the more coworkers will feel like you are one. Great post!

  5. sydneyandree says:

    Great post! The best part of being an intern is that you get the chance to win your co-workers over with your personality every day! It’s a shame when interns try to be too serious in the workplace and end up coming off cold and robot-ish.

  6. Wow! You really changed my perspective on feeling like a temporary member of the team! You are right, it is really important to incorporate yourself into the fabric of the company to feel like you are part of the group. Something that I find helpful is getting a routine of saying hi to people and checking in on their day. It is important that your presence in the office is felt.

  7. Sam Cody says:

    Great insight Allie. Sometimes when I show up to work I don’t feel as qualified or as “apart of the team” as the people around me. You give three major points that help interns fit in. I liked the part where you mentioned being a worker bee because people want to work with someone who can work hard and has a great personality.

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