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Top tips to passing your probation period

Published: Wednesday 18th November 2020

According to new research conducted by Worksome, a third of newly-hired UK employees fail to pass their probation period. So whilst you may think that getting a job in the first place is the toughest part, the real challenge could, in fact, lie in passing your work probation.

Let’s face it, probation periods are challenging, to say the least. Starting a new job comes with putting yourself under a lot of pressure to succeed in this new role and the added stress of knowing you’re on trial doesn’t really help. But there are several steps you can take in order to secure your position with your new company. Therefore, we have made a list of top tips to help you not only survive your probation review but also pass it with “flying colours”!

Ask questions whilst in your probation period

The first few months of a new job can be stressful and challenging. You will be taking in new things every day and there will likely be high expectations for you to perform well right from the start. Under these circumstances, you should keep in mind that showing willingness to learn and improve will prove key assets that will certainly help you to impress your employer.  So, always be eager to learn as much as possible and the best way to achieve this is by asking questions. Asking your colleagues and supervisors for advice and tips is a good place to start with. It won’t only help you to learn new skills, but it will also set an excellent way of building relationships in your new workplace.

I am new written on a memo at the office. probation period, starting new job.

Demonstrate quality and attention to detail

Attention to detail is a key characteristic that most employers look for in new hires and an integral thing for your new employer to see from you. This is because they want to as quickly as possible be able to let you become more autonomous in your new role. Showing attention to detail in your new tasks proves to your employer that you’re actively engaging with your new job. An additional tip here is to keep asking your line manager for feedback on a regular basis, showing that you’re constantly seeking to improve yourself, you’re focused and that you’re taking your role very seriously.

Whilst in your probation period, always be on time

Traffic, public transport, they can be a nightmare in the mornings and we’ve all been there! But there’s no excuse to be constantly late for work, let alone when you’re just starting out in a new job. Want to make a good impression and pass your probation period? Be on time! Even if it means you have to leave earlier in the morning. If you want to make a good impression you have to make real effort and show you are reliable. Bad time-keeping is a pet hate for managers as it reflects unpunctuality and inability to be relied upon or trusted as an individual. Hence, being late for work is a definite way to ensure you won’t pass your work probation.

It’s important to note here, though, that it should, of course, be understandable if you have a legitimate reason for being late every once in a while. Life happens and unexpected problems do come up occasionally. So if the inevitable happens and you are late, show you understand the importance of punctuality and attendance and always inform your manager.

two colleagues discussing new project using tablet in the office

Be mindful, polite and pay attention to the company culture

Take some time to work out how the company culture operates. This can be one of the biggest areas of failure to fit in for new candidates. Whilst every person brings their own values and unique approach to a role, company cultures can significantly differ from organisation to organisation. Therefore, understanding how your company works, and adapting your practices (even just slightly) to fit in, will be a great help!

Don’t take time off in your probation

When accepting a job offer, it’s important to tell your new employer about any holidays you’ve already booked. Aside from any pre-existing commitments, avoid taking time off during your probation period. If you’re genuinely too sick to work, call in as soon as possible, apologise, and offer to bring in a doctor’s note. 

On a final note, other things to help you shine in your new role and impress your employer are good communication, accountability as well as being positive and well prepared. But most importantly be willing to work hard and go the extra mile by putting in extra hours to prove your commitment. By following the above tips you will certainly impress your bosses and achieve job security.

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