24 Aug What Not to Do in Your First 30 Days on the Job

Starting a new job is exciting, but it can also be nerve-racking because you don’t know what to expect from your new boss and coworkers. While new-hire training is essential and you should definitely take it seriously, it can’t fully prepare you for the everyday ins-and-outs of working at your new role.

Ideally, you want to give the best first impression you can, especially if there’s a probationary period before your employment becomes permanent. Instead of focusing solely on what to do when you start a new job, also think about the mistakes you shouldn’t make. Here are several tips on what not to do during the first 30 days after you’re hired.

Arriving Late to Work

Punctuality is a virtue in all aspects of life, and this is even more true when you’re a new hire. You should strive to arrive to work on time each day, but if there is a valid reason why you might be late, inform your superior as soon a possible with reassurance that tardiness isn’t going to be a recurring issue. Also, “being on time” in the first month actually means showing up 10 to 15 minutes early each day. You need to show your boss that you are serious about your new job and appreciate the opportunity you’ve been given.

Bad-mouthing Your Previous Employer

It’s fine to be excited about your new job, but don’t let your love for it cause you to bad-mouth your old one, either with coworkers or online. Be gracious in any mentions of your old job. Speaking ill of your former employer is tacky and can make you look bad to your new one. Don’t give a negative first impression of who you are as a person and a potential employee.

Having a Conflict With a Coworker

Sometimes conflict can’t be avoided, but if you’re new, you should take the time to get to know your coworkers and avoid conflict with them. Making poor first impressions on your coworkers is just as detrimental as making them on your supervisors. If appropriate, set up a one-on-one meeting with your each of your colleagues to introduce yourself. The more you seem like a team player and an easy person to work with, the better your chance of long-term employment.

Calling in Sick

Short of landing in the emergency room, you shouldn’t call in sick those first 30 days at your new job. Similar to being late, calling in sick suggests you’re not serious about your new job and can call into question your commitment to the company. Of course, if you’re genuinely ill, don’t report for work. But make sure that when you return, it is with a doctor’s note that proves you were sick and not playing hooky.

Missing Deadlines

Any work or project assigned to you should be turned in not just on time but early in the first 30 days. You must establish yourself as a reliable employee and a team player. Being late to deliver on a project can make your bosses question whether you are the right person for the position. You may also turn coworkers against you if you’re submitting work late or not completing your portion of a project.

Challenging Established Norms

It’s great that you have good ideas about how to improve the company workflow or make things more efficient, but your first 30 days on the job isn’t the time to share them. In the early days, your job is to learn and understand the work culture and figure out how you fit in. Only once you’re an established employee and have built solid relationships with your coworkers and superiors should you start making suggestions on how to improve any aspects of the business.

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