8

I've just started my first job a week or two ago, and I am trying my best to approach my workmates and fit in with the team. It seems they're all busy, they haven't talked to me very much. I wonder if it is because I am not a direct hire of the company. I am a contractor - getting paid less but with the same workload.

When I left at the end of the day on Friday, I said,

"Byeee!! I'am going home"

in a loud and respectful tone. No one really responded to my farewell, instead they give me awkward looks - and heard a little voice saying "oookk!" That confuses me and makes me wonder if I said goodbye incorrectly.

The company culture is not very formal - they just use casual names, not Mr. or Ms.

My question is, what can I do in order to say goodbye in a way that helps me fit in with the team?

9
  • 20
    You are over thinking this. – Ed Heal Jun 8 '19 at 5:01
  • 3
    "Have a nice weekend." said sincerely is also a nice way to exit on Friday afternoon. But as Ed said, you might be overthinking it. – selbie Jun 8 '19 at 5:03
  • 4
    You may find more useful comments on Interpersonal Skills... – Solar Mike Jun 8 '19 at 6:46
  • 5
    You're asking the wrong question here. How you say goodbye is probably the one of the least important factors to being considered "part of the team" (although how to fit in is quite a broad, culture-, company- and team-specific topic). How to say goodbye is also something for which you should (a) just look at what everyone else is doing and (b) do what feels right to you (everywhere I've ever worked many different greetings and farewells were used). – Bernhard Barker Jun 8 '19 at 9:37
  • 1
    @Helen Thank you but where is my comment? What happened to it? Was it deleted because I pointed out this person asked a perfectly good question and the responses that spoke against, and even voted down, the question were vicious? – Randy Zeitman Jun 8 '19 at 17:10
15

I'm guessing English isn't your first language? "Byeee!! I'am going home" is a bit of an... odd way of announcing your departure (though it's not rude, and it sounds like the person who made a sarcastic remark was a bit of an arse, shall we say.) "I'm off, have a nice weekend!", "See you guys later!", or "See you all Monday!" would be more standard things to say in my view.

That being said:

I'am trying my best to approach my workmates seems they all kind of busy they didn't talk to me

...it could well be that you're trying too hard. Someone new who comes in and constantly approaches everyone on day 1 could be considered a bit intense and distracting, and that's more likely to make people draw away, rather than towards you. My advice would be to back off a bit, perhaps talk to people a bit less (and be careful not to distract them while they're working), and then see if you feel more included over time.

2
  • 2
    You're right sir. English was not my first language but I translated so I can give an overview about the situations. Probably We have a cultural differences some may misinterpret the way how I stated. In my country we're not using that phrases much rather We used "I'am going home Good byes" That is why I started to ask because probably I sounded like a sarcastic so I will keep your advice in mind. Have a nice day sir Thank you! – Imma Beast666 Jun 9 '19 at 9:20
  • 1
    If anything were an issue, it would probably have been the "Byeee!!". A drawn-out "bye" often reads as very informal, even childish. There is also a faddish and somewhat subculture-driven use of a drawn-out "bye" in American English, which may have colored coworkers' impressions of the farewell whether or not the OP meant such a reference. – Upper_Case Jun 10 '19 at 16:27
6

Keep it simple and keep it about them, not yourself. Say "good morning," "good evening," and "have a good weekend."

If you need something during the workday, say "I have a question. Is now a good time?"

Be patient. It takes people some time to open up to a new co-worker.

3

I often work as a contractor and know firsthand how challenging it can be to be accepted into and fit in with an existing team, but it's important that you do.

You want your work experience to be as stress free as possible. You want it to be as comfortable as possible from the standpoint of interacting with the rest of the team. If you want to be effective and productive in your work, then you need to build some amount of goodwill, cooperation, and trust with the rest of the team. You want them to see you as one of them, not as an intruder or as an outsider.

At least some of your work is going to depend on communication, input, and cooperation with and from the rest of the team. In the beginning they may be distrustful of you, they may be resentful of your presence, they may be reticent to engage with you, and some of them may be outwardly hostile to you.

When you speak, always speak in terms of "us and we", "not you and me". You're part of the team and the team is "us and we". Speaking in terms of "you and me" only reinforces the fact that you're an outsider. Find opportunities to engage with the team, but don't be over eager. Be cordial, be professional, be polite, seek opportunities to be helpful, provide input when and if asked. Say "Good Morning" when you come in and say "Good Night" when you leave. Say "Hello" when you pass people in the hallway or in the lunch room.

There's a real balancing act that you'll need to perform over time in order to be accepted as a part of the team, and it may take weeks or even months.

If you think of yourself as "just a contractor" then that's all you'll ever be seen and treated as. You'll likely be frustrated, unfulfilled, lonely, and possibly depressed. Human beings need engagement and acceptance, even in the workplace.

Don't get discouraged. I recently worked as a contractor at a client for 13 months and it took 3 months before people really saw and treated me as a part of the team. Slowly over time I built goodwill, cooperation, and trust, but the first 3 months were a lonely, often frustrating time. Every day I felt like I was walking into the lion's den. Nobody talked to me, nobody engaged with me. Gradually, over time and with some effort on my part, the team accepted me and I was treated like everyone else. I was sought out for input, advice, suggestions, etc. I was invited to status and planning meetings, I was included in lunch and social events, etc. Persevere and you'll get there.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .