There are a lot of reasons why someone might not pass their probation period. The most obvious one is that they are really not fitted to the role, meaning that they’re not a good worker. That’s the one that you hear over again in stories. They seemed great on paper, but when they arrived, they had no work ethic.
Make sure that you are not one of those cases. When you arrive at your new job, you can demonstrate that you are perfect for the role and that you do have a good work ethic to get through your probation period.
We’re breaking down how you can demonstrate your work ethic here, and a few more pointers on how to approach your probation period.
Do accept feedback
Go into any situation in your probation period concerning feedback with an open mind. You might have to adjust your mindset to do this. Remind yourself that these people are looking for someone who can do the job well, they don’t want to go through the trouble of finding or training someone else, which means they are looking for you to improve. They want you to stay. You don’t have to believe that is entirely for your benefit, but you do have to believe you and your colleagues have the same goal: for you to stay in the job.
This should see you get through anything, be it a quiet “Oh by the way” from the colleague in the next desk, or a formal evaluation from someone higher up.
Don’t slack off
You are there to work, which means showing that you are ready to work. During your probation period, don’t show up late or leave early without a valid excuse. Get through everything that is given to you to do, even if you have to stay a little longer to get it done. Show that you’re ready to work by asking to help out with other tasks. If you get things done quickly, you’ll get the chance to mention to someone higher up if you can help elsewhere, which is a good way to show how fast you are picking up the job, but also that you are interested in the overall success of the team, not just your own priorities. Plus, it’ll be appreciated by another team member who is perhaps struggling and score you points in the team.
Do work on/show off your interpersonal skills
Interpersonal skills might sound like things you should simply gain by existing in this wide world, listening, teamwork, responsibility, leadership, motivation, patience, etc. but they need demonstrated to make sure that your teammates are picking up on them.
You can listen, sure, but how is your manager supposed to know that while they’re talking to you? Well, you can demonstrate it in your probation period with active listening, which can be made simple by putting down your phone or switching off your screen while someone is talking, but also by responding to what they are saying. Try to finish a sentence if they’re struggling for a word, which demonstrates you were listening enough to guess where they were going with their point, but it can come off as annoying, so it would be better to answer questions or give suggestions where you can.
You can find other examples of demonstrating interpersonal skills on job websites like Indeed, if you need more pointers.
Don’t stay on your phone all day
No matter the environment, be it a strict, old-fashioned office, or a Silicon Valley development office, there are basic rules of etiquette, and staying off your phone is one of them. Some places might tell you to put away your phone in the workspace, and others are fine with you having it on you as long as you aren’t seen to be spending too much time on it. During your probation period, this is dialled up a notch since you are supposed to be showing your new employer and team just how excited you are to be there. You could be telling your friends how much you love the job, but it doesn’t matter. Your boss needs to know how much you love the job, and you aren’t about to text them that, so put it away.
Do stay visible
Don’t assume that if you keep your head down and get the work done throughout your probation period that, that alone will be enough to get you recognised. You have to be seen to be enthusiastic about the work. It can give the wrong attitude, of not wanting to learn, like not wanting to learn the way things are done in the office, as well as not wanting to integrate with the team. Ask the occasional question and look for opportunities to shine. If you have a suggestion, share it. Volunteer to do a task that appeals to your strengths.
But while you’re visible, make sure you stay professional. Dress appropriately, come to meetings prepared and arrive where you are needed on time.
With these tips, you should get through your probation with no problem. If you need more information, contact us today!