Starting a position is just that - the start (to a long career). To draw the parallel, it’s like marriage, after which life begins. Starting off in the job is crucial, as there will be no second chance to make the first impression. Below is an overview of the 3 most common mistakes rookies make at work, as seen during corporate therapy sessions.
1. Relying on the Good Ol’ Fellows
There’s nothing better than a good advice from a long-term employee, right? Well, not always. You see, the idea behind forming a group of the good ol’ fellows is not to help those in need. But to help themselves. So, if an NE gets unsolicited advice from a group like that, they should think twice before acting on it. After all, if these guys were doing such a good job, the company would not need NE's, right?
2. Drawing Conclusions based on the Information Gap
There’s expertise and there’s knowledge about the workplace. Expertise can be easily transferred from one company to another. Knowledge takes time, period. In the meantime, NE’s are left with the information they are given one day at a time. Which creates the information gap between the rookies and the rest of the employees. A lot of NE’s think that their main task in the job is new action. But that would mean the decisions would come from the information gap, and thus are not fully analyzed. So. Instead, the best new employee option is to fill the information gap with insight on the workplace and the workforce as soon as possible. That, and only that, guarantees success in the job.
3. Doing Too Much, Asking Too Little
Time and again, new employees try to prove their worth by engaging in a lot of action. Which only improves chances for mistakes. Indeed, the idea behind probation period - initially - was to give time for the NE to ask questions and gather information needed to perform the function later on.
And that is exactly how probation periods should be treated. Sooner or later new employees will make mistakes. So, why not sooner? Engaging in smaller tasks minimizes the losses, which are the necessary evil behind starting anything new.
So, being a rookie in the job does not mean one has to make all the rookie mistakes. Avoiding unnecessary (fr)action, listening twice as much, and not trying to “fit in” too often are especially important. All NE’s make mistakes. But they shouldn’t be delayed to become super costly. And the outcomes are on both: the HR, and the NE.