Starting a new job can be a nerve-wracking experience, but the more prepared you are for it the easier it'll be. You want to make a good impression on your boss and coworkers without going overboard and looking like you're trying to kiss up. Finding a balance is key, but some new employees make basic mistakes that many of us have been guilty of at one time or another. If you're a new hire, avoid making the following mistakes if you want to get ahead and impress those around you.
Your boss is likely going to give you a bit of guidance when you first start or assign you to a coworker who can help you get accustomed to the work you have to do, but other than a little instruction, don't expect any hand-holding. It's going to come across as if you're not willing to learn on your own and you're expecting others to basically do the work for you.
Asking too many or too few questions
There are some who ask way too many questions, however, I've always had the opposite problem. Both are common mistakes many new hires make that can cause some issues. If you ask too many questions, it comes across as if you're not self-sufficient and if you ask too few because you're nervous about looking incompetent, you could screw up on something important which I've actually done a couple of times before. Only ask a question if you really don't know the answer and you've already tried to figure it out on your own and don't hesitate to ask for clarification before proceeding with work if you're only somewhat sure you're doing the right thing.
Not learning the ways of the job
Don't make the mistake of thinking things are going to be the same as at your old job. It doesn't matter whether you're working in an office or out in the field, every business has a set way of doing things and the sooner you learn the ways, the better it will be for you.
Bosses want employees who know how to play well with others, so if you're a loner and have no interest in socializing with your coworkers, it may not put you in the best light. Strike up a conversation with at least one coworker a day for the first two weeks you're at the job. Put out candy at your desk so it invites others to go up and talk to you. Getting to know your coworkers is a great way to make new friends as well as new contacts.
Doing exactly what your job entails
I was training a new employee at a previous job and I had asked her to take care of a task while I was on an important phone call. She refused stating that it wasn't in her job description. My boss overheard, called her over and asked her to do the same task to which the new employee responded with the same answer she had given me. She didn't last very long at the office. If your boss or someone who is training you asks you to take care of something that's not in your job description, there's a reason for it. Sometimes it's a test, other times it's not, but don't hesitate to step out of the box and get it done to show you're a team player.
Not working your assigned hours
When you start your job, you'll likely be given set hours that you have to work each day. Quite a few new hires think this is a guideline rather than a rule. Whatever hours you're given to work, you're better off coming in at least ten minutes early and leaving ten minutes past the end of your scheduled work day. It shows you're devoted to the job and not a flake. If you're asked to work extra hours, go for it. Also, unless there's a life or death emergency or you're so sick you can't move, don't request any days off from work for at least the first three to four months at your new job.
Sharing too much information
Your coworkers don't need to know what your bowel movements were like yesterday or how you accidentally flashed your neighbor while you were cleaning the windows last weekend. There are certain things you should only share with your friends and even if you're friendly with your coworkers, you should still wait quite awhile before you share anything personal. The last thing you want is to be at a new job with a bunch of people who think you're a weirdo and who talk about you in a negative way behind your back due to the information you shared.
Being under or over-dressed
The dress code at your job is in place for a reason, so take notes and make sure you stick to them. If you can wear jeans, go for it, but make sure there's no holes in them. Wear a dress if you'd like, just not one that you would see on the dance floor of a club or at a wedding. It's all about balance and having your own style while meshing with the work dress code.
Having an inflated ego
Thinking you know everything and you're better than everyone else at the job are two of the biggest mistakes you can make as a new hire. Not only is your attitude going to rub people the wrong way and turn them off from getting to know you, but it's likely going to have an effect on your work as well. Be nice to everyone at your job from the lowest man on the totem pole to the CEO and you'll get a lot further than if you try to steamroll your way in with a negative or snotty attitude.
It's surprisingly easy to avoid making a slew of mistakes as a new hire. All you have to do is be as kind as possible, do your best at your job and get a feel for the work environment before you officially consider yourself an insider. Stay positive, accept constructive criticism and work hard and it can go a long way at your new job.