Most companies nowadays test a new employee’s suitability, fit and quality of work by making them go through the so-called trial period, also known as probation. This can range from 3 to 6 months. It can seen a very long time to keep on your absolute top form and be always eager to please and hit your targets and goals. I have known people who left in the middle of their trial period because they couldn’t stand the constant pressure to impress any longer.
A lot of people have just finished university exams (or are about to finish) and are ready to embark on new careers, or a search for the right job. So I have created some guidelines to help new employees to get through the trial period unscathed.
- Learn about the company, internal politics and relationships by listening and observing every day. Try to arrange a coffee meeting with somebody you like and who has been in the company for a while to gain their insights into power dynamics, who is the real boss and other aspects of internal politics.
- Aim to get to know 3-5 people each week from different departments within your company. This way you will not only extend your intra-company network but also build relationships that you can fall back on in case any other opportunities arise in the future.
- Establish a good relationship with your boss. You will need their support, at least during the immediate time frame. So flatter, discuss, listen – anything that can get your immediate supervisor on your side (and keep him there!)
- Deliver high quality results. This is a given and goes without saying.
- Improve your communication skills by volunteering to speak at a relevant event, actively contributing at meetings, offering to make presentations. In other words, seeking any opportunity to make yourself known within the company and demonstrating your excellent verbal and written communication skills.
- Always be professional, follow the dress code closely, adhere to company values as much as you can and get to know your colleagues in informal ways – at team drinks, lunches and other events.
For further advice and to take park in our 2 hour workshop on how to succeed at your company during your trial period, please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org