Congratulations on your first job! As exciting as it could be, starting a new job and stepping into the professional world of work can be tricky and daunting, especially when you are still finding your sea legs in a new position.

As a newcomer, you might find it hard to adapt to a new role and environment. In fact, according to an article in Training Industry Quarterly, it takes at least 1 to 2 years before an employee is fully productive and able to get used to their new position. That means, during your first month, you might make mistakes that could be fatal to your professional reputation.

To avoid this, it is crucial for you to stay informed with common fatal mistakes a new hire makes in their first month.

X Falling in love with the company more than the job

We all have that exciting feeling when signing a job contract in a dream company. However, you should not be carried away with that happiness. During the first month, try to enjoy and do as much as a job you can and take credit for it. The company you are working might offer so much comfort, nap pods, healthy diets, or other perks that make you fall in love with them. But, remember, self-development does not come from comfort, in fact, they are built from a pile of barriers and challenges.

The point is, you should not focus on comfort if you want to gain career progression.

X Always follow instructions

As a newcomer, you might find it difficult to voice your opinion and ideas, however, you should speak them up anyway. While your manager might know a lot about the field of industry, always saying yes to his instruction indicates that you have a lack of innovation, which could be bad for your self-image. Besides, your manager does not “know-it-all”, he might end up assigning you to an unclear task or give unclear instructions, which could negatively affect your wellbeing. Thus, voicing your own expectation is needed. 

X Not asking for help and feedback

Being “the new guy” does not come easy. Asking for help and feedback could probably two of the most difficult things to do in a strange land of working place. You might think that asking for help can be perceived as incompetence and incapable individual that might result negatively in your new professional career.

You have to throw that thought away, nevertheless, because not asking for help or feedback could result in negative thoughts. You are still new and might lack knowledge about your new role, thus, not asking for help or feedback can stress you out. In addition, your peers and managers might also think that you don’t need help, are very antisocial, and do not open for collaboration.

X Treating work project like school assignments

You can do your university assignments on its due date but doing the same to work project is a fatal mistake. During your university life, doing a mistake in your assignment will result in a bad grade. While in the workplace, making mistakes can be seen as a fatal and incompetent behaviour. You should also acknowledge that a work project is much harder than “school assignments” as it might require more time to accomplish. Besides, the end results can sometimes ambiguous and you often need to find a solution yourself. Relying on co-worker or manager might not be really helpful as they have their own duty so they might not have time to focus on helping you in your job.

X Doing project lazily 

This is your first month of probation and the employer closely watches your every move. So, never show a sign of laziness when doing your task. The tasks might be hard to complete which decrease your motivation to finish it. But remember, if they find out you are not competent and reliable today, you might no longer work there the next day.

X Isolating yourself

As the new guy, it is normal to feel uncertain about how you will fit in the environment. You might also find yourself uneasy to ask or talk to people and find yourself alone in the corner of the office or being too focused only on your tasks all the time. Please don’t do that.  

Isolating yourself is a sign of unwelcome behaviour. If you can’t openly express yourself due to uncertain feeling, you should as best as possible be “the tough and bold kid” – talk and be sociable as you can and make sure you don’t eat alone.

X Ignoring the corporate culture

The dress code, the dynamics and politics of a company is important. It shows the unique cultural code and sometimes, is used as a brand representation of an organisation. Thus, ignoring this part could lead to unacceptance of one’s behaviour. Ignoring the company’s cultural code can also make you stand out in a negative way. For example, former employees might think that you are given special treatment so they start to backbiting you or talking bad about you.

X Work too hard and beyond limitations

We were taught to go beyond our limits if we want to succeed. But a “limit” also has a limitation. If you want to be seen as a new diligent guy, that’s fine. But be mindful with your own health and condition. Asking for 5 days of sick leave in your first-month job does not seem “professional”.

Therefore, albeit it is your months of trial, you should set boundaries and expectations for yourself. You should also ask clear expectations from manager to avoid miscommunication.  

Read also: Key Skills Needed to Survive the 21st Century

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