Let’s face it. Few things in your professional life are potentially more embarrassing than losing your job during the probationary period. With the rising popularity of LinkedIn, you’ve no doubt updated your status to let the world know about your new job and made lots of phone calls to your friends and family to tell them the good news.
So the last thing you want and the most embarrassing situation to avoid is bombing out of your new gig during the probationary period. Unfortunately, that nightmare scenario is all too common in workplaces these days, especially when the unemployment rate is high and there are literally hundreds of eager job-seekers just itching to take your job.
Some statistics suggest one in five people don’t make it through their probationary period.
But there are some easy to follow steps you can take to avoid all of that.
First things first. You’ve got to get the basics right. Dress smart and look sharp at all times. Turn up to work on time, if not a little earlier. Always be polite in every interaction with your new colleagues. Listen, learn and follow directions from your manager and boss. Have fresh breath!
These steps all may sound simple and obvious, but you’d be surprised how many new staff members fail these basic tests.
An important tip to help you get these basics right during your probationary period is to take extra good care of your health. Cut down on alcohol, take up exercise if you’re not keeping fit already, get as many early nights as possible and eat healthy foods. You’ll look good, feel better, increase your focus and reduce the chance of making mistakes.
During your probationary period, also don’t forget you’re constantly under the microscope. Bosses and managers, as well as colleagues, will instinctively look for your faults and any mistakes you might make. So pay attention at all times to everything you’re doing and carry out even the smallest tasks with high quality and distinction.
Another important pitfall during your probationary period is the politics of the office. As a new staff member, you may be seen as a potential new ally in a personality war, or get roped in to power plays or disputes between existing colleagues. It is so important to remain neutral and on good terms with everyone in your workplace, from the highest paid executive to the front office receptionist.
In short, avoid office politics at all costs. This is a philosophy that should extend throughout your career, not just in the probationary period.
A final tip to make your probationary period a success is to learn all you can about the company, its history, its culture, your colleagues and your boss. The more you show passion and interest for your new job and the company or business, the better your chances are of staying on after probation.
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