How to Navigate Your Way Around Your New Work Environment

By Paulana Lamonier

After the grueling and perhaps long process of numerous phone and in-person interviews, trying to impress the higher ups and showing your potential boss that you’re worth taking a shot on, you finally got the job you’ve been gunning for.

Now, while you’re making sure that your financial goals are intact, you also want to make sure that you’re leaving a great first impression on your colleagues, managers and team.

The Life Currency spoke to Taryn Burns, senior marketing manager of JLL, a real estate investment management company, on first vital steps to take when navigating your way in your new work environment in your first 90 days at the job.

1. Observe and Ask Questions

When you’re the new kid on the block, it’s important to make sure that you take a chance to get to know who you’ll be reporting to. How do you go about doing that? Burns says by observing and not being afraid to ask questions. “You have to observe a lot but you also don’t be scared to ask questions because that’s when people are more willing to give you those answers,” says Burns. “In order to build up that trust, you have to set up a level of camaraderie... [and] start building those relationships on day one.”

According to Forbes, they stress that it’s important to build a relationship with your colleagues, especially because it’ll help you in the long run. “Push yourself to get in front of others and start forming relationships. Look for ways to extend offers or favors to others. While strong relationships are helpful to understand the culture and get your job done, they also increase your satisfaction.”

In your first 90 days of a job, It’s vital that that you are a sponge soaking in loads of information, observing and asking tons of questions that you feel will help you be better at your job and in the long haul.

2. Know Who The Key Stakeholders Are

While you’re observing and getting to know who you’ll be reporting to in relationship management 101, it’s important to know the power players within your company. Even Burns feels this is a game plan she wish she knew early on. “You’re only looking at the manager because that’s what you see, but you need to know who do they have to report to. You have to know who’s pulling the strings behind the scenes,” stressed Burns. “Depending on the role, you may even be pulling the strings behind the scene. But even if you are, who are the board of directors, or who are the powers that be?. Set yourself up so you know the structure.”

Investing in the relationship with your boss or boss’ boss not only shows that you’re familiar with the company and its power players, but it shows that you’re enthusiastic about the company and the role you play for that company.

One way to create that bond with some of the key stakeholders is by finding safe zone topics to talk about. Burns says that this skill has helped make her office relationships more relational instead of transactional. “Even if it’s ‘how many kids do you have?’ or ‘Where do you live? I love that neighborhood!’ Whatever the small talk is [make sure you] remember those facts,” advises Burns.

3. Learn Their Communication Style

Now here is where you’ll have to apply everything you’ve learned. You’ve taken a few of your colleagues out to lunch, you know that your manager Sarah is training for a half marathon, your colleague Jeff is the administrative assistant and has a dog name Jupiter and that Sarah’s boss, Kristen, is the head of marketing and advertising, a devoted Knicks fan and her mission is to rebrand the company for 2018. You’ve been applying steps one and two. But with knowing who they are, it’s crucial to know your team’s communication style.

What makes a great team player is to not only understand the goal/mission of the team, but also understanding how they operate and their communication style. “What I found about working on a team is that not everybody works the same way. Not everybody is a phone person and not everybody is an email person,” Burns insisted. “I need to know how that person operates. Do I need to write it out in an email, and then call them? Or do I need to get their partner on the same page first?”

Burns also recommended one of the best ways to learning you and your team’s communication style is by looking into the DISC Assessment, which stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. In the assessment, you’ll learn people’s behavioral differences, but you’ll also learn a lot about yourself as well.


Paulana Lamonier is a multimedia journalist & edu-tainer who loves to educate and entertain her audience with compelling stories. She loves Jesus, chocolate and still cries when she watches the ending of 'Set it Off.' Check out her latest updates on her new site, Paulana.co.