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5 Mistakes to Avoid in the First Week of New Job

Spectr News Theme Isny Dewi R.
29, October 2019
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New job mistakes happen all the time. Obviously. a new job is bloody nerve wracking. Will you get on with your new colleagues? What do you even wear? But, there’s one thing that many experts unanimously agree is non-negotiable, making a good first impression. 

So how do you balance being yourself with being your professional self? What are the dos and don’ts when it comes to your first day? Here’s what the pros say when it comes to new job mistakes.

1. Not Asking Questions
When it comes to new job mistakes, there’s one thing you should always avoid, and that’s not asking questions. Leadership Coach and Neuroscience Practitioner Dominique Stillman advises new starters not to nod along if you don’t have a clue what your boss or senior is talking about.

“A common mistake is lacking the confidence to ask questions, nodding or stating understand when in fact it’s not there,” she explains. Asking questions for the first few weeks is an expectation and builds trust. It can actually be unnerving if a new person has no questions.

Director of Smart Coaching & Training, Isla Baliszewska says, “asking questions is always good as it shows interest, a desire to learn, and engagement. However, pick the right questions to ask, at the right time, to the right person for the right reason and don’t over do it.”

2. Being Too Critical Too Early
New job mistakes are common, but one thing you may find is that you’re not initially taken with your new position. Maybe you’re unsure of your peers, perhaps you instantly don’t like how your boss talks to you. Whether it’s a big deal or a niggle, try not to let it cloud your judgement straight away.

Dominique continues, “n day one, and for some time, it is key to avoid criticising what is. Hold those criticisms until you are sure they are valid and you can voice them in the right way (as ideas for change) and to the right people. What you should do on your first day is be on time with positive energy.”

3. Introducing Yourself or Not
Dominique says, “this can be tricky initially, especially when you can be meeting new people in 1-2-1 situations or groups. My advice is to consider the impression you want to make before you arrive, how do you want people to think or feel about you in these early days?”

IAPC&M Chief Operations Officer, David Monro-Jones tells, “this depends, to a degree, on what role you have. If it involves meeting lots of people, then you can introduce yourself.” A good organisation will have an induction programme that will help you settle in and meet the people you need to. If you are shy (or not comfortable in some social situations), this can be worked on with a coach.

4. Have to Stay Late
Do you feel awkward leaving work on time when you’ve just started? If so, you’re not alone. Packing up and heading out of the door bang on time can leave you questioning whether or not your boss is judging you for it. However, Dominique advises that you should always leave on time, whether it’s your first week or your last.

It should never be wrong to leave on time, especially in an office or non-shift environment. If part of your contract negotiations involved leaving time, it’s important to stick to this so others understand this will be normal for you.

David adding, “start and finish times will have been explained in the induction (hopefully) and your line manager or mentor should be there to guide you in your first few weeks. If you have completed what you need to do, then there is no reason to stay later, unless you are learning something.”

5. Being Too Comfortable Too Quickly
Being the new person changes the dynamics of a team or group of people and they need to adjust to this, too. Being yourself is important, but being mindful of those around you and that they may not be as thrilled to see you as you are is worth keeping in mind. It can always help to listen more and to take your time to work out the best way to communicate with those around you as individuals.

It’s important to be confident, but don’t overdo it. Try and strike a balance between the two. Get involved in discussions and also know when to listen and observe. It might be hard to appear confident if you are naturally shy or quiet, so finding a way to do this might be through connecting with a colleague who you feel comfortable with.

Always remembering it is likely that people won’t generally warm to the loud, overly assertive newbie. However, they will appreciate attempts to integrate and get to know you. David adds that you should be yourself and surround yourself with as many or few people as makes you most comfortable.

 

Top Photo Source: pixabay.com

Isny Dewi R.
Isny Dewi R.
Journalist
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