There are all sorts of reasons why professionals relocate. Some are motivated by new job opportunities, other are asked to fill an open position in a new office, while others simply volunteer for an opportunity to see new places. Whatever their reason, all relocating professionals will face similar challenges in their new environments. One issue that will become relevant on the daily basis is the task of building relationships with coworkers and finding a social niche. While professionals aren’t required to become close friends with their new coworkers to be successful, their transition will be considerably smoother if they can fit quickly familiarize themselves with the social dynamics at play within their new work environment.

In fact, Forbes warned that an inability to fit in at work is a major contributor toward fast turnover. By building up positive relations with fellow employees, professionals can ensure that their office is full of advocates. Recently relocated workers can leverage the following suggestions and strategies to navigate their new work environments more effectively.

Excelling at your job is one of the easiest ways to make new allies.Excelling at your job is one of the easiest ways to gain new allies.

1. Good first impressions go a long way
It’s not uncommon for the first meeting between two people to set the tone for their entire relationship. In a work environment, this principle is taken to the extreme. Professionals who chat up influential acquaintances and impress the supervisors will have a considerably better experience than those who butt heads with managers and peers from the start. That’s why it makes sense for recently relocated employees to bring a smile and a good attitude with them on their first day at the new office. A sunny disposition makes more friends than enemies, even when dealing with a language barrier.

2. A competent employee is a popular employee
Often one of the easiest ways for professionals to make friends and earn respect is to simply do their jobs to the best of their abilities. People tend to take it personally when mistakes made by new peers tack on extra work to their daily to-do list, so professionals can strategize to avoid the ire of their coworkers immediately by meeting and exceeding expectations from day one. Once word gets out around the office that a new employee has something of value to bring to the table, it’s only a matter of time before positive work relationships begin to develop on their own.

3. Food is a universal conversation starter
Human beings are social creatures, so lunch and dinner time are optimal opportunities for workers to connect with their new peers following a professional relocation. Fox Business stressed that these types of social interactions are critical for developing the strong working relationships that help make employees successful after a move. A bit of social activity is especially valuable for workers that have relocated from faraway states or foreign countries. Finding ways to manage the anxiety associated with this transition will have a big impact an employee’s success in relocation.

“Pick up a translation book as quickly as possible.”

4. Be resourceful and willing to learn when working in foreign lands
Professionals relocating out of country face the unique challenge of having to learn a new job, culture and language at once. The same strategies listed above apply overseas, but relocated workers will have to do a bit extra to fit in with their new surroundings.

If relocating to a nation where a foreign language is spoken, it will behoove employees to pick up a translation book as quickly as possible. While learning a new language can be a hard, long road, professionals will have difficulty feeling truly at home in their new surroundings until they can communicate effectively with those around them.