4 common mistakes that everyone makes at a new job

6th Apr 2017
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Starting a new job is a nerve-wracking experience. It’s like your first day at university all over again, where you know that you need to form a base with the right people for the next three years and be taken seriously through all your antics. Similarly, you are expected to forget all the idealistic concepts that your school-life ingrained in you, in order to derive the truest experience you can take back from this new chapter.

However, in an attempt to dive headlong into the whirlpool of new possibilities that a new job is expected to offer, we often end up making several perennial mistakes in our first few weeks. Just like university, we go out on a limb and try to please everyone around us, we try to overcompensate for joining the show late, and we stick by the route of ‘figuring it out’ instead of saving a lot of wasted time by asking the right questions.

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While every person reacts to and views a new job differently, here’s a list of common mistakes that most people end up making in their first few weeks.

Trying to please everyone

It’s a common norm to try and form good relationships with your colleagues and to win the favour of your bosses. However, in an attempt to be liked by everyone in your office-space, you may end up coming across as too eager to please and be taken advantage of. You don’t want to be known as the new kid who is sucking up to the popular kids in class. No matter the age, that always ends up damaging your credibility, the one factor you need to be recognised for. To this end, learn to be cordial and friendly with your colleagues, but make it very clear to the same that you are not here as a pushover. You’re here to work for the company, but in the way you seem fit.

Assuming the culture is the same

You may have worked in the most profitable company with the most effective work-culture, but no one wants to hear about it in your new office. Referring to ‘how things were done in my old job’ will only bring you a collective raised eyebrow and irritation at the fact that you are trying to compare two different entities. Although it may be difficult to not constantly base a solution to a problem in the way you learnt it in your old job, you need to realise that your present company thrives on a culture of its own making.

Not asking enough questions

The first few weeks of any job can be confusing. Even if you have prior experience in the same role, the way you are required to carry out your work can be completely different. To this end, you should always be in the clear of what your role demands, be it from a supervisor, an HR manager, or someone from your team who has a better idea than you. However, in fear of coming across as too annoying, repetitive, or unsure, you may often refrain from asking the right questions that will help you. In your head, you may think you’re dodging the bullet of judgement, but the truth is that is that you are well within your right to ask your questions, as many times as it takes to get a clearer picture of your role and responsibilities and to whoever you think can give you your answers.

Taking on more than you can chew

While delivering well in the first few weeks of your job is an additional bonus for sure, there may be a situation where in your enthusiasm, you’ve taken on more work than you can possibly complete effectively, rendering you unable to give your 100 percent to your work. To this end, you should just focus on taking on a workable workload and carry it out perfectly, which in turn will get you the critical acclaim you desire.

So the next time you witness a newbie in your office or you yourself join a new work environment, remember to keep these four factors in check, to help them or yourself obtain greater credibility and carry out the given work in the best manner.

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