Starting a new job can be a stressful experience. On one hand, you’re trying to learn the ropes and adapt to a new work culture, while on the other, you’re striving to make a positive impression on your colleagues and superiors. Balancing the roles of an eager learner and a likable co-worker can be challenging.
Every action you take can have consequences, especially when you’re the new person in the office. In your quest to fit in, it’s important to avoid the following ten actions during your first month at work.
1. Being Late for Work
Making a good impression starts from the first hours of the workday. Being late is generally frowned upon in the office. Always factor in extra time for potential issues like traffic jams, forgotten items, or parking difficulties, at least until you’re familiar with your commute. This way, you can arrive early on good days and still be on time when unexpected issues arise.
2. Being Arrogant or Cocky
Even if you hold a high position in your new job, the first few months are not the time to appear bossy. Take the time to learn and understand the work processes and culture of your new environment, while allowing your co-workers to get to know you. Use this crucial time to understand the norms of the office before implementing a management or work style that you find suitable.
3. Posting About Work on Social Media
In this digital age, information spreads quickly, often without your knowledge. During the critical early stages of your job, such information could make or break your career.
Always be mindful of the differences in work cultures and norms between your new and previous workplaces. Refrain from posting any work-related comments, positive or negative, on social media to avoid potential misunderstandings.
4. Remaining Silent and Pretending to be Ignorant
As the new person in the office, you’re expected to ask questions and make mistakes. Don’t hesitate to ask your colleagues even the most basic questions. Making assumptions about how things work can be risky.
Clear your doubts as they arise to prevent them from accumulating. People are generally more helpful when they understand you’re still learning your way around.
5. Participating in Gossip
Gossip is generally discouraged in the workplace for good reasons: it often carries incomplete or incorrect information, also known as rumors. Gossip can negatively impact company morale and relationships within the office. Avoid participating in gossip to prevent becoming a victim yourself.
6. Being Judgmental or Close-minded
Every organization has its own challenges that may seem trivial or absurd to a newcomer. The solutions may seem obvious, but change can be difficult for people who are comfortable with their current methods.
Avoid pointing out what you perceive as errors or stupidity, as it can lead to negative attention. Take time to understand the bigger picture before jumping to conclusions.
7. Flirting Excessively
People tend to judge you based on your initial behavior. Making advances on your co-workers during your probationary period may not be beneficial for your reputation, especially if someone else is interested in the same person.
Be charming and respectful, but avoid being overly aggressive in starting relationships. Focus on making a good impression on those who decide whether you keep your job.
8. Taking Sides
Office politics exist in almost every workplace. You may find that there are cliques or groups that move and think together. While it’s fine to align with co-workers who share your values and work style, remember that taking sides can create invisible boundaries. This can limit your opportunities to learn from a diverse range of people. It’s best to remain neutral and objective.
While it’s natural to want to impress your new bosses and colleagues, it’s important to go with the flow. If you consistently go above and beyond forevery task, you set a precedent that others may be expected to follow, potentially upsetting the balance in the office. It’s best not to overdo things. Show enough enthusiasm to be seen as a valuable team member, but not so much that you’re seen as a threat.
10. Revealing Too Much About Yourself
As the new person in the office, it’s not advisable to reveal too much about yourself, no matter how likable or sociable your colleagues may seem. You never know if someone might use that information against you. Information can fuel gossip. However, be friendly and polite to everyone.
Keep an open mind and avoid being judgmental when it comes to people you’ve just met. Some people take longer to warm up to you, so don’t take it personally if they seem distant at first. Engage in casual conversations with them. Over time, you’ll identify who’s trustworthy enough for you to share more about yourself, your strategies, and your future plans.