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Working somewhere new as a contractor

As a contractor it’s likely you’ll be moving about to different places of work much more often than your average worker. It’s all part of the job in the end, but it can have a big impact on your relationships. With all that moving around, it can be hard to truly get settled in and feel like part of the team. Work environments can be a minefield of unspoken rules and conventions that are easily broken by a newcomer. Here’s a couple of tips to help you get to grips with your new desk.

Learn the Rules and Stick To Them

It’s not unlikely that at times you’ll be faced with some rules that seem arbitrary, stupid and occasionally just utterly insane. You’ll look at them and think them the work of a madman. You’ll think that no one could possibly follow them day in, day out.

Well, as idiotic as the rules maybe, chances are there is a reason for them. People who work together very rarely share the same opinions and thoughts on how things should be done. This can lead to something as simple as the office mugs escalating into month long arguments with the only solution being some convoluted rule that manages to cover all bases and keep everyone happy. Flaunting this rule could upset the delicate ecosystem you’ve entered into and plunge the entire office into civil war.

Build a Good Relationship With Your Co-Workers

You should make an effort to get to know the people you’re working with, even if you’re only there for a couple of weeks or not working as part of a team. It’s not hard to do either, really. Striking up a bit of conversation in the kitchen is a piece of cake, while being willing to join the others for a drink after work is even better. As long as you’re following the rules and being friendly, you’ll start to fit in quickly.

Building up some good relationships with the other people you work with is a great idea. First of all, it will help your time there go smoother. It goes without saying that people will be more willing to help you if they like you or see you as part of the team, plus it’s just nice to be on good terms with the people you work with. It’s also a great way to gain a few new contacts. You never know if the administrator is about to create his first startup and will need your help a month down the line. Keep in mind that each new job has the potential to give you more work later on.

Joshua Danton Boyd is a writer for online accountancy firm Crunch.

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