Not fitting in at work may seem like a insignificant problem, but it’s not at all. Feeling comfortable among your colleagues greatly contributes to a positive work environment, so if you’re feeling like you don’t fit in, here are some things you can do.
Ask yourself ‘why’?
Although the reason you don’t fit in may have nothing to do with you, it’s important to reflect on what some possible reasons may be. Was there an incident? Did you say something inappropriate or offensive? Did someone say something inappropriate or offensive about you? If there was an incident, don’t be afraid to discuss it and/or confront the relevant people in a respectful way.
Figure out what your responsibilities are
When it comes to fitting in, there can be both internal and external contributing factors. Be honest with yourself and ask ‘how am I contributing to this?’ For example, do you have insecurities about your age, gender, experience level, etc. that are making you withdraw and close yourself off from your colleagues? If the answer is yes, know that in order for the situation to change, it is your responsibility to overcome these insecurities. Although acknowledging your insecurities won’t make them go away overnight, it will allow you to see the situation more clearly and will put you in a better position to socialize with your coworkers.
Schedule a get together
Schedule after-work drinks with a small group of coworkers or see if one person would like to grab lunch with you during the week. Yes, this requires putting yourself out there, but you may be surprised with the result. Many people ‘don’t like’ their coworkers or are uncomfortable around them simply because they haven’t gotten the chance to get to know them. If you’re feeling like you don’t fit in, it may just be that your coworkers don’t know you well enough, so give them that opportunity.
Try not to let it get to you
At the end of the day, you may dig deep, assess the situation, spend some time getting to know your colleagues, and still feel like you don’t fit in. As unfortunate as it is, this happens, and there may not be anything you can do to control it. Remember that it’s okay to not be best friends with your coworkers, and just make sure you get sufficient time with your loved ones when you’re not working.
Regardless of your work environment, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Teamsters 987 members are your family, colleagues, and fellow advocates, and whether you fit in with your coworkers or not, you’ll always have a place among us.