Written By: Marc Belaiche, CA
Congratulations! You were hired for the new job and proved you were the best candidate for the position. Now comes the next challenge − the probation period.
With any new position, no matter what level, the first 90 days are crucial. This article outlines some ways to make a positive lasting impression on your boss, co-workers and subordinates.
Adapt to the environment
Change can be very difficult to deal with, especially when moving from a large to a small company or vice versa. From the outset, make an effort to build relationships with other employees. Don’t alienate your associates with any radical moves. Get to know the culture and adapt to it rather than expecting the new organization’s culture to adapt to you.
Move forward and don’t dwell in the past with comments such as “At my old organization we did things this way.” These remarks will put you in a negative light to your employees, coworkers and bosses. Embrace change, broaden your horizons, and keep an open mind to new ways of doing things.
Make yourself available
Be willing to come in early, stay late and put in the extra work necessary to make a lasting impression.
Offer to help others and/or take on some extra work to demonstrate that you’re a team player. Don’t bury yourself in work, but go the extra mile to build a good reputation by working hard and persevering through challenging assignments.
Understand the company policies
Whether your previous job lasted 6 months or 16 years, you became familiar with their rules and regulations. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the policies and procedures at your new organization, both written and unwritten. For example, your last office may have had casual Fridays, but you don’t want to learn the hard way that your new organization has a different policy.
Introduce yourself and nurture relationships
From the person who manages IT, to the human resources person, to the person who processes your payroll − they’re all important and can help you integrate into your new environment quickly.
Take the first step and introduce yourself to people you haven’t met in the organization. Extend your hand and make eye contact as a quick ice-breaker. Try to remember people’s names so you can greet them by name the next time you meet.
Sometimes a little gesture like bringing in donuts, or thanking an associate for help can go a long way. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are relationships. Get friendly through small talk, whether it’s at the water cooler, or by asking some co-workers out for lunch.
Arrive on time
Punctuality is essential; sometimes nature and traffic can cause delays, so plan accordingly in your first few weeks. Always have at least one alternate route that you can use and research ahead of time to see if there are any road closures that will slow you down or make you late.
Also, showing up on time for scheduled meetings in the office sends the message that you are organized and respectful of other people’s time.
Don’t dominate conversations or be a know-it-all
Do more listening than speaking, especially in the early stages of your employment. People will be more drawn to you if you listen to their ideas and concerns.
No one appreciates the new person who gives the impression of knowing everything and having all the answers. Be humble and learn by watching and observing what’s going on around you for the first few weeks.
Whether it’s for feedback or assistance, take the initiative to enhance your performance and better yourself by asking management, co-workers and/or subordinates any questions you may have.
Don’t stir the pot
Unless you were brought in specifically to make big changes quickly, it’s important to make changes slowly and methodically. Make sure you understand why systems or procedures are set up a certain way before attempting to change them.
The first 90 days of your employment can set the tone of the relationships you form with others at your new organization. Remember that first impressions count − don’t try to stick out like a sore thumb!
Marc Belaiche is a 1990 CA and is President of TorontoJobs.ca, an Internet recruitment business and recruiting firm located in the Greater Toronto Area in Canada. Marc has been in the recruitment industry since 1995. TorontoJobs.ca allows companies to post their positions online, search a resume database to find candidates, provides outplacement services and full temporary and permanent recruitment services. It also allows candidates to search and apply to positions directly online and get career, interviewing and resume tips all at no charge. Marc is also President of www.TorontoEntrepreneurs.ca, an organization geared towards business owners. You can reach Marc at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out TorontoJobs.ca.