Fitting in is a genuine worry for just about everyone. Nobody wants to be left out in the cold while everyone else is out for happy hour. As a traveling healthcare professional, you’re in a new place almost every 13 weeks and it can be difficult to make friends, even intimidating. Don’t add this to the long list of things you already have to worry about just yet. Check out these tips on fitting in from assignment to assignment!
Do your work
Nobody likes a “Lazy Lexie” and you surely won’t make friends that way either. Be on time (or even early), do what you were hired for and ask others if they need help too. In many cases, traveling healthcare professionals are brought into situations as a temporary fix to an understaffing problem, so helping the facility by simply doing what you know and love will make others notice. Providing your skills could be more important than you think, like a breath of fresh air to your new coworkers, that will surely make them want to take you out to lunch later...after you’ve finished all the things you need to do.
You don’t know it all
Ever met a “know it all”? Were you very fond of them? ...We didn’t think so. Don’t be that person in a new facility. Walk in ready to learn something! If you haven’t completed a plethora of assignments, then it’s easy to think the policies and procedures set at those places are the only way to go about your day. Make sure to keep an open mind to the way things are done in this neck of the woods. If you have completed a copious amount of assignments, bragging about the places you’ve been is certainly not the way to go either. Of course, share your experience if asked! But don’t be a “Boasting Betty”.
Open up and ask questions
Asking questions doesn’t exclusively apply to your work, you can use it when it comes to making friends too! Getting others to open up to you can make a world of difference when you’re in a new place. Ask about why they became a healthcare professional and exchange some of your best stories and maybe even your worst. If you appear closed off and don’t make an effort, it’s likely that no one else will either. Find some common ground and start chatting!
Cooperation is one of the key factors to getting along with colleagues. Accommodate to the different style the facility may have when it comes to policies and procedures instead of pushing back. Take it on as a challenge. Make it your main goal to adapt to all the different styles you come across. As you move from place to place, it’ll become one of your greatest qualities to be able to adapt and change.
Kill ‘em with kindness
So you’ve made a few allies and maybe a couple of friends but there is that one coworker that just doesn’t jive with you. Well, we know that everyone doesn’t get along but working with someone that is not very friendly or even hostile can be stressful and make getting up for work every morning dreadful. First, recognize the differences you share whether it be in personality or preferences in the way that you work. Rather than lashing out or giving the cold shoulder, smile and be kind. Kindness can go a long way and it’ll definitely make you feel better about the situation. You can even give peace offering by bringing in treats for the floor. Everybody loves a delicious cupcake!
Bonus! The golden rule has always been, “Treat others the way you would want to be treated.” But we have a platinum rule. Not everyone wants to be treated the same, the way you want to be addressed may be different than a coworker. So, instead, “Treat others the way THEY want to be treated,” and you will surely make some great friends on your next assignment.
If this doesn’t work and you can’t get the cool kids to invite you to lunch with them, don’t worry! Go out to lunch by yourself and meet people there! You can never please everyone. Make friends with people in your housing complex or at your favorite pub down the street.
Leaping outside your comfort zone is a scary thought, especially when you consider taking the jump every 13 weeks. We have you covered, though! Do your work, be open-minded and you will surely be making some new friends in your next place. You can make the most out of each assignment by meeting some amazing people in your same field by taking these tips! Have you made a long-time bestie on an assignment or perhaps even a romantic interest? Tell us about it!