14 October 2016
When starting any new job, there will usually be a learning curve to get adjusted to the environment, team members, and daily responsibilities. Although you’re not always expected to hit the ground running on day 1, your performance during the first few weeks is crucial as it will show your manager that they made the right or wrong decision to hire you. Whether you’re just entering the workforce, or starting a career in a different industry, you should avoid making certain mistakes that might speak negatively to your professionalism. Therefore, in order to make a strong first impression on your new employer, avoid making the following mistakes: Being habitually late As a new hire, you always want to put your best foot forward by arriving on time and meeting deadlines for assignments. However, even repeatedly arriving a few minutes late during the early stages of a new job can eventually lead you to develop other bad work habits. In other words, once you become comfortable arriving a few minutes late, this behavior has the potential to affect other areas of your productivity. Along the same lines, asking for extensions on projects or missing deadlines altogether can raise red flags to your manager about your time management skills and dependability as a team member. As a result, avoid this route altogether by arriving on time and regularly beating deadlines. Dressing unprofessionally While it’s obvious that you should dress appropriately at work, at some organizations, there is a fine line between ‘relaxed’ and unprofessional attire. Depending on your company’s dress code policies, you might be able to dress in a manner that shows off a bit of your personality. However, since you’re in a professional setting, you don’t want your presentation to distract your manager and colleagues from your skills and hard work. As a general rule of thumb, you should dress more conservatively at first and take cues from your coworkers to know what proper attire is. Using technology inappropriately If you find yourself in a cubicle for long periods at a time in front of a computer, it can be tempting to peruse social media during working hours. While reading articles relevant to your job might be okay, messaging on Facebook, posting to your Twitter, or chatting on Google are just a few ways of using technology inappropriately. Therefore, you should be cognizant of how your technology usage throughout the day can affect your ability to stay focused. Waiting to be told what to do Effective communication is an important aspect of getting accustomed to working with a new team. Therefore, it’s important that you take proactive steps during the early stages of your new job to ensure you understand the best process for proactively getting work done. Instead of waiting to be told what to do, regularly asking for feedback is one way to get a better understanding of what you’re doing right and what could be improved upon. Along the same lines, engaging with your manager and team members to learn the best ways to deliver updates or collaborate on certain types of projects will save you time down the road. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions or for help! If you don’t, it can only hurt your ability to do your job better in the long run. Taking constructive criticism personally When learning anything new, you are bound to make mistakes at some point. Unfortunately, as a young or new employee it can be easy to confuse constructive criticism with a personal attack against you. As a result, it’s important to remember that you were hired based on the work you would be able to produce. When your manager gives you feedback on ways to improve, you should take this as an opportunity to learn and grow.