How to Get Past Your Probation

Starting a new job is scary.  Not only are you forced to fend for yourself in unfamiliar territory, but you are required to pass your probationary period.  This means that for the next 90 days, your employer can terminate your employment for any reason.  Here are some tips that will help you successfully get through the next three months:

Ask for feedback.  Don’t assume that you know what your employer is thinking.  Open the dialogue by asking them for feedback.  This way, if there is a problem, you have an opportunity to fix it.

Make friends.  When evaluating your performance, your manager will be looking at how well you fit in with the team.  Also, if you form connections with your co-workers, they will be more willing to support you in achieving your goals.

Have a positive attitude.  Nobody likes a whiner.  When you are the newest member of a team, it is important that you bring positive energy to the organization.  Even when you don’t know much, you can make an important contribution with a smile and an upbeat attitude.

Don’t get too comfortable.  While your co-workers may be spending a lot of time chatting and taking extra long lunches, remember that you don’t yet have that luxury.  As a new employee, you need to do everything by the book.  Remember that right now your managers are forming their opinion of you; make sure that you leave them with a good impression.

You are enthusiastic about starting your new job, but don’t forget that your employer is probably just as excited about having you on board.  You were likely selected from hundreds of applicants.  Show your employer that they made the right decision by doing more than is required of you.  Volunteer for tasks that nobody else wants to do and exceed their expectations with your performance.  As your managers notice that you consistently go the extra mile, they will have no doubt that they want to keep you on their team.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)

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