#GRADUANTOP10: What Not To Do At Your New Job

By Mel Sim

Follow this guide and you’ll start on the right foot making the right impression.

Awesome – you’ve finally landed a new job. You want to make a good first impression and learn as much as you can while making some new work friends as well. Then these 10 tips will help you get off to a good start.

#1 Don’t show up late
What does it say if you show up 15 minutes late to work during your first month? That hiring you might be a mistake. Either be there a little earlier or on time if you want people to take you seriously.

#2 Don’t dress unprofessionally
Unless you work for a start-up or a creative company (even then there are appropriate dress codes to follow), you don’t want to show up at work like you’re going out on a Friday night. Find out what the dress code is – or to be safe, show up in a basic professional attire on the first day (shirt and pants for guys, work dress for ladies) and take a look at what everyone else is wearing.

#3 Don’t park at the boss’s spot
You don’t want to be the newbie who parked her car in the big boss’s spot. You also don’t want to assume that anything goes in your company. Go to HR on your first day or attend orientation so that you get a good idea of how the company runs and what are some of the unofficial rules.

#4 Don’t turn down lunch invitation
When your new colleagues ask you out for lunch, say OK. This is a great opportunity to get to know your work mates better – and vice versa so that your relationship with them is off to a good start.

#5 Don’t do too many personal things on office hours
Don’t answer too many personal calls. Don’t always have your head down in your phone replying messages. Don’t be caught uploading Instagram stories or checking out Facebook profiles. Don’t go for two-hour lunches with a friend. Your office hours should be used for office matters, and not your personal affairs.

#6 Don’t get caught up in office gossip
Gossip happens in every workplace. You can’t ignore it but you don’t have to take part. It pays to keep your ears open (so you know some office dynamics) but keep your mouth closed. Also, keep in mind that not everything you hear is true.

#7 Don’t ask for more money
Wait – you just started and already you want a raise? You and your employer agreed to your salary during the hiring process so changing your mind about that now will not do you any good. Besides, you need to work long enough to prove your value to your employer before you can even think of asking for a raise.

#8 Don’t take leave too many times
Thinking of applying for a two-week break to Europe in your second month of employment? Not a good idea – your boss will be wondering if you’re serious about the job and your colleagues won’t appreciate the extra work you’ll be laying on them. If you already have your holidays plan before you start your new job, make sure to mention it to the hiring manager so that they can actually plan to hire you later or are informed way in advance of your trip.

#9 Don’t try to change things
Of course you want to make a good impression from day one and show that they made the right choice in hiring you. But be cautious when suggesting new ways to do things as it may not be the best way to demonstrate that you’re a team player. Plus, nobody likes a show-off and being the newbie, the time is now for you to observe and learn, not change how things were before.

#10 Don’t be afraid to ask for help
How are you going to learn if you’re stressed about asking for help? Don’t worry about looking clueless; you’re the new person after all! Rather than make a mistake that can cause the company time and money because you were too shy to ask for help, ask as many questions as you need to know how to do your job well. It’s actually expected of you.

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

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