30 October 2013

What NOT To Do As The New Employee


Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell

Barry Chignell worked in Ciphr's marketing team from 2012-2020.


Career development


Starting in a new job at a new company is a nerve racking time. Fitting in, learning the ropes and remembering everything seems overwhelming. Not making silly mistakes and giving a bad first impression is very important. Remembering not to allow yourself to fall into the following traps will stand you in good stead with your new colleagues and managers.

Assume you know everything already, and letting others know it

At a new company, you won’t know everything, don’t assume you do. Even if you know the role itself back to front, this was with your previous employer – there will be different technology, processes, expectations and people involved in your new role, and this needs to be respected. Sitting at your desk and answering every piece of advice regarding your new role with “I know” will not win you any fans. Even worse is pointing out how bad the processes are at the new company. There’s a time, place and way to address improvements within a business. Verbally berating how things are done, during your first few days, is not the time, place or way!

Criticising the technology used by your new employer

Every business uses different technology. From the HR software to email systems, businesses choose the programs they use based on many factors, most of which you won’t have a clue about until you’ve been working for the business for longer than at least a few days, if ever. Sitting at your desk insulting the email system is not the way to make friends with IT. Take the time and make the effort to learn the systems relevant to your role before even thinking about moaning about the functionality they offer.

Bad timekeeping

Showing up late, or taking an hour and a half for lunch, is one of the most obvious mistakes for a new employee to make. Bad timekeeping is one thing that everyone in your office will notice and frown upon. A lazy attitude to the hours that you are contracted to complete is a reflection on your general attitude towards work, and a sure fire way to a meeting invite from your manager
(for the wrong reasons).

Be on time.

Inappropriate attire

Again, obvious. Wear attire appropriate to the business. If you’re not sure what the dress code is, then show up on your first day in business dress, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. Even if a business has a relaxed dress code, there will still be rules that need to be followed, don’t try and stretch the rules.

Not getting to know your colleagues

Ignoring your colleagues, or being overly introverted, will obviously hamper your integration into the team in your new surroundings. Unless you’ve landed a job with a company whose employees don’t mix generally, which is very unlikely, you’ll probably be asked to join your new colleagues for lunch or a drink after work – accept this invite enthusiastically. Getting to know your colleagues on a professional and social level is the best way to become part of the team and learn the most effective way to work with those people. Getting to know people doesn’t include spreading rumours or bad-mouthing colleagues behind their back, this will have a very negative impact on your reputation and probably land you in trouble with management, as well as the person concerned.

Refusing to adjust to the new company culture

A new employee refusing to adjust to the way in which a company does things will come across as arrogant. Acting like you know best, and being unwilling to listen to an alternative is not a great first impression. It may well be that you do know that a process can be completed in a more efficient way, however, as mentioned before, there’s a time and place to discuss streamlining and efficiency. Learn the ropes and the ways that things are done before trying to change them. It may well be that there’s a reason for the ways in which processes are completed differently at the new company.

Not paying attention

Seeming distracted or, worse, bored, is a huge ‘nope’ when trying to integrate into a new business. Listen to instructions, ask questions (not too many) and take notes. This way you’re seen to be interested and eager to learn, and you won’t have to ask the same question twice. Paying attention will also make it easier and quicker for you to learn the new ways in which your employer works.