Congratulations! You have landed your next amazing role. Maybe you are nervous about your big first day. We’ve written this blog with some Do’s and Don’ts to help you pass probation and begin your next role with your best foot forward.
The first few days or weeks of a new job can be overwhelming as you will be meeting lots of new people, learning new processes, and adjusting to a new environment. Being on probation can make beginning a new role daunting, as you may feel like you’re under more pressure.
Probationary periods are common and can vary from one month to six months or even longer, depending on the role or employer.
Probation periods work both ways; it’s an opportunity for employers to recognise if a new starter is a good fit and an opportunity for you to decide if the role is right for you. Whilst it is rare, on some occasions you may decide that a role is not quite right for you, this is why there is usually a shorter notice period during probation. This just ensures it’s quicker and easier to move on during this stage of your employment.
Do people fail probation?
Very few people fail to pass their probation. The average is just under one in every five new employees. The reasons people fail probation are:
A reluctance to accept feedback.
Not the right personality fit for the job
Weak interpersonal skills
So, let’s look at the Do’s and Don’ts for your first few months in a new role, to help you settle in and pass your probation.
Ensure you dress appropriately for your new environment. Try to be punctual in arriving at work and for meetings. Arrive at work prepared to begin your day.
The probation period is the ideal time to identify if you’re going to be a good fit for the team. Co-workers like to be around people who are easy to get along with, those who add value to the team, and let’s not forget, those with a great work ethic.
Keeping a positive mindset with a can-do attitude and portraying positive body language, as well as being approachable will assist in creating a good impression.
Take Feedback onboard
During your probation, there are most likely going to be frequent 1-2-1 meetings planned with your manager to provide you with feedback. This is normal and assists with keeping track of how you’re performing and settling as well as identifying areas for improvement.
Ensure you take all feedback on board in a professional way. Demonstrating that you can positively receive constructive criticism can be a great way to show your new employer that you are committed to improving your skills. It is also a great opportunity for you to discuss any queries with your manager regarding your role.
It’s quite common when you begin a new role that your workload may be less than that of your co-workers. Try not to use this as an excuse to leave early as you should highlight your commitment to contributing to the team effectively.
Use any downtime to be proactive and ask if you can help your colleagues with any other tasks. This will demonstrate that you’re keen to help support your team’s overall goals and not just your own.
Use your mobile phone
Whilst at work, focus on the tasks of your role. Only use your mobile phone when you’re on a break or once you have finished for the day. Some companies may have a relaxed policy about mobile phone use but don’t presume it’s fine to be scrolling through your apps at 9.30am. This could damage any good impression you’ve already made.
Copy other employee behaviour
If other employees are acting differently than what you believe to be the right way at work, don’t assume that it is ok for you to do so too. There may be adjustments made for your colleague or different agreements in place that you aren’t aware of.
Good luck with passing your probation and wishing you all the best in your new role!