A new job is exciting and interesting for any employee especially after researching several job opportunities. At the same time, it can be equally distressing. There are so many unknowns – the culture, people, job expectations and so on. As a new employee, you might be anxious to fit in and demonstrate your ability to add value to the organization. You do need to focus on making a great first impression, no doubt. But, you must also be aware of the things that can be detrimental to your growth in the organization in the long run. Here are five critical mistakes to avoid when you make a fresh start at a new place of work.
overlooking the office culture
Every company has its own work practices and norms. Try and understand them as early as possible. Don’t do as you please or follow your previous employer’s culture. Office culture includes verbal and non-verbal communication, paper work, dress code, access to specific areas, and many other aspects. As the saying goes – first impressions are everything. Surveys indicate that 93% of employees feel it’s important to deeply understand the company – its culture, values, business model, future plans, etc. Don’t risk being isolated by your colleagues or offending your boss by not adhering to the rules.
being too eager to add value quickly
You were most likely hired for your job because of your specific skills or expertise. It’s normal to want to show your new employer that you can add value quickly and that you were the right choice for the job. However, draw the line at over-enthusiasm; which can be misconstrued as boastful. Employees at most organizations typically have 90 days to prove themselves. In the first few days of a job, understand that despite your skills or experience, there is a lot you need to learn. So, demonstrate that you are willing and open minded to learning thoroughly.
making assumptions about the job or the company
When you applied to the company, it’s quite likely that you read up on the background of the company. You would have further added to that knowledge during the interview process. However, try to not form any opinions or make assumptions about the organization too quickly. Instead, validate your assumptions with facts. About 20% of new hires quit their job within the first 45 days. This could be a mistake. Sometimes, it can take you several months before you understand the company and its culture. Patience is your new best friend.
ignoring your colleagues instead of engaging with them
If the company policy doesn’t provide for one, ask for a mentor or buddy – a person who can help you settle in, understand the organization and help you get started with your tasks. Having a mentor has been shown to increase engagement, leading to longer work stints of up to five years. Also, remember to engage and interact with your colleagues. Find out about their experiences. Your colleagues and peers are the best people to help you with the ‘lay of the land’ and understand the expectations around your new role. Of course, once you are settled in, don’t be afraid to ask them for feedback to ensure you’re on the right track. People who have been in the system for a while can help you better understand the organization and decipher how you can best add value.
making promises you can’t keep
It’s quite natural for you to be eager to prove yourself in a new organization. It will take time to fully understand your role and expectations and with your colleagues, customers, and the business to recognize your own potential impact. You can do a lot of damage to your growth prospects as well as the organization’s - if you are overconfident about what you can accomplish before you truly understand the demands of the job and the business landscape. New employees typically take up to three months to understand their new role and become fully integrated into their job.
Settling into new jobs in India can test anybody’s patience. However, as a new employee, a clear understanding of your role, the organization, your peers and also your superiors will help you perform your role better. Taking the time to acquire a thorough understanding of your role and its expectations can help you grow and add value to the role you have been hired to perform.