Landing a new job is an exciting chapter in most people’s lives. It brings forth an opportunity to learn new things, form new networks and hopefully, advance your career. The first few weeks of starting a new job can also be scary; you want to make sure that you’re doing your best at your job, while also fitting into a new organization seamlessly, and it’s not always an easy task. So what are some of the mistakes you can avoid?

1. Not seeking clarity on role deliverables and KPIs – Sure, you were hired because of your skills and competencies and you’ve talked over the role several times in the selection process. However, being on the ground doing the actual work is different, and of course, things are always changing in the workplace so every once in a while, you may be required to take up tasks, not in your JD. It is crucial to keep in mind that you will be assessed based on agreed KPIs. If this is not clear from day one, you may find yourself in a difficult situation at the end of your probation being assessed for areas you were not aware you were accountable for.

2. Isolating yourself from the team -Forming new relationships can be difficult for some of us, however, isolating yourself from the rest of the team and only choosing to focus on your work is not a great idea, as you think it might be. Team synergy is a critical element of most organizations’ success, and it’s important that you interact with the team to learn more about what areas you will need collaboration on, accelerate your adaptation into the culture and hey; this is also an opportunity to form new networks, who knows how they may come in handy in the future?

3. Setting unrealistic expectations –  Starting a new job can put you under pressure to want to overextend yourself to please your boss, thus making you agree to or come up with unrealistic expectations within a short period of time. Before committing to this, we advise that you understand from your supervisor and the team how long certain tasks or projects have taken so that you don’t set yourself up for failure.

4. Not observing organization culture –  Before you decide to do things like you were doing in your old job, or assume that they’re acceptable, take a few weeks to observe and become aware of how work is approached in your new workplace. What values are upheld often? What approaches seem non-negotiables?. Blasting loud music on your portable speaker, having casual Wednesdays or working from home may have been allowed in your previous company but doesn’t mean it’s standard for all organizations. Find out what the norms are, what processes are in place and ask as many questions as you can.

5. Criticizing everything without seeking to understand the context – When starting a new job, it can feel taxing to be trained all over again, on things you feel you already know. Therefore, you may feel the need to criticize the processes of your new organization because you find them tedious, or just different than what you were used to. This may then prompt you to suggest drastic changes that the organization may not be ready for at that particular time. Sure, new ideas are always welcome, however, suggesting them with a “been there done that” attitude comes across as a bit crass. Before suggesting new ideas, aim to learn more about how things have been done, how other team members feel about them and what impact they have on the organization so that you make informed opinions.

Here’s an insightful article with 5 questions you can ask when starting a new job that should help you if you just started working in a new job.

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