Fitting In vs. Standing Out: What is really the way to get “Liked” at a New Job?

The first few weeks on the job are always nerve-racking, so it is only natural for someone to feel like they need to walk on eggshells and make an impression. As a new employee, you are hopeful that you will be “liked” by your fellow coworkers. However, it is oftentimes very conflicting. Do you try and blend in and be nice to everyone or do you try to stand out and really make a big impression? Ultimately it is important to be yourself, but let’s be honest—you are also going to try and make the right impression. 

Knowing when to fit in with a company and when to voice your opinions can be tough. During those first few weeks at a new job, you want to be liked. If people like you, anything you bring to the table in the future will be more accepted. This will make work more enjoyable and will help solidify your future with a company. Consider some of the situations below and whether it might be best to either blend in or stand out: 

5 Situations Most Experience At the Start of a Job

1. Going out to lunch with a few co-workers. 

Stand Out. Co-workers oftentimes become friends because they spend so much time together. They are likely used to getting lunch every once and a while, and it is not uncommon for a group of people to invite the new employee. This happens most often with different departments in a company. If some of your co-workers ask you out to lunch, it’s definitely in your best interest to go. Get to know your co-workers, and don’t be afraid to stand out. This is your chance to really make an impression because you have a good amount of time to get to know those around you. Whatever your thing is—humor, intelligence, storytelling, etc.—now is the time to show it. These are the people that really want to get to know you. 

2. Walking around the office. 

Blend in. You’re bound to run into a few people when you’re walking to the bathroom or to get a glass of water. These people won’t necessarily be in your department, so you may not come into contact with them all too often. It’s a good idea to introduce yourself, but don’t try and stand out and make an impression. You only have a few seconds at most to see someone around the office, so it’s probably not the best time to strike up a conversation. 

3. Attending meetings with your boss and some of your co-workers. 

Depends. Meetings can sometimes be a good chance to show off what you know to your boss, but you do not want to seem like a show-off. In other words, you may want to strike a balance between blending in and making a statement. If the meeting warrants your opinion, give it in a factual and humble way. If the meeting is really just informational, then blend in with the rest of the crowd. 

4. Work parties and/or workplace events. 

Blend In. This is where many people differ in opinion. I personally feel that, for many people, a work function is a place to blend in and meet everyone. You don’t want everyone wondering who the loud obnoxious new guy is, and you don’t want people wondering why you are acting like you are best friends with people you just met. Try and be polite and get to know everyone before trying to stand out. This is your chance to really meet the whole office.

5. Giving a presentation to a group of people in the office.

Stand out. In the majority of situations, giving a presentation means you’re getting a chance to really show what you know about the company. This is the opportunity to impress your boss, and you should take it. Whatever makes you unique; this is the time to show it. After all, being knowledgeable in your field is why you have the job in the first place. This is one of the few times that you can stand out and not seem pretentious during the first few weeks on the job.

Why It Matters

As always, there are exceptions to every rule. No one should ever change their personality just so others like them. These are simply tips to keep in mind in case you are concerned with making a good impression. Many people do not have to hold back or put forward any sort of personality, but many just simply like to be aware. It can be tough to have those natural instincts at first, and it takes years of experience to really understand how a company setting works. 

Amanda DiSilvestro is the Editor-in-chief for Plan, Write, GO. She has been writing about all things digital marketing, both as a ghostwriter, guest writer, and blog manager, for over 10 years. Check out her blogging services to learn more!