Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a New Job

Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a New Job

You must be so happy. After going through that entire hustle of applications and interviews, you finally landed the job. We mean, whew!

Then there’s also the possibility that you’re not as excited about it as you should be. Take comfort knowing that you’re getting closer to what you want.

Or you’re in the group that can’t sit still for the excitement churning in your stomach…maybe it’s dread though. You’re thinking you’ll get in there and mess everything up. Ok, maybe it’s a mix of excitement and dread. Don’t worry, we totally understand. That’s why we’re here for you.

At least we both agree on one thing- now is not the time to relax your oars. If anything, these first few weeks in your new job must be treaded carefully since some errors can prove fatal to your stay in the long run.

No need to be nervous. Only take note of these mistakes you should avoid as you start your new job and we guarantee you a smooth transition and beautiful experience there.


Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a New Job

  1. Not Being Open to Learning

Even if your new job is still in the same industry, or you have previous experiences, you must be careful how you apply those. Don’t get us wrong, your past knowledge is truly an edge that should set you apart from others but you must do so carefully.

Every company has different company culture, process, something unique to them, and how they operate. Or you could be in an entirely new environment from what you’re used to. Either way, start the new job dedicated to learning and observation first.

It’s only in the movies that a new employee immediately starts attaching company culture and has the whole people flicking to them in support and at the end, there had been a revolution. This is not Hollywood. Keep your head low and learn.


  1. Being Overly Anxious

We understand that this is a new experience you have opted for and quite possibly, something you’ve looked forward to for a long time. When considering it like this, then we know that those little butterflies in your stomach are allowed.

Your nervousness may manifest in different ways; stuttering, dropping things, over staring, and awkward blabberings among other embarrassing things.

Your getting it right from the onset means looking professional and none of those things makes you look the opposite. So you should not allow those jitters to overwhelm you.

Do whatever makes you feel confident. Practice your smile in front of the mirror, your handshake and how you’ll introduce yourself, and even your sitting and walking posture.

The more you practice, the more confident you’ll feel and it’ll be easier to perform them just as you rehearsed when needed. You’ll be doing yourself, colleagues, and boss a favor giving them that handshake with the simple message- I’m the best man for this job, you won’t regret hiring me.


  1. Not Asking Questions

Your first few weeks are like an incubation period. You ought to get the most out of it. Use it to get acquainted with people, places, types of equipment, rules, tasks, responsibilities, and the general environment of your new workplace.

During your initial weeks, some mistakes are allowed. Your questions will be easily tolerated and answered, even expected of you but if you keep from asking questions about any confusing details, then the jokes on you.

When you make mistakes later, you’ll have to bear the consequences without excuse.  either from fear or pride, then the joke is on you.

Imagine that three weeks into the job, you’re asked to use one of the equipment you’ve witnessed being used from the beginning but you can’t because you did not understand the device and were too self-conscious to ask?

I don’t know about you but it makes you look dumber. So ask all your questions, learn the answers, be observant too, and smooth in how you ask them.


  1. Not Being Punctual

Starting your first day coming late to the job does not look well on you. You know what they say about first impressions, right?

There’s one other thing that doesn’t look well on you, neither does bode well for you- repeating the mistake regularly those initial weeks. There can be no excuse for this behaviour.

It shows that you do not value the job enough to put invaluable effort and you’re not the only one taking note of your behaviour. You may not last in that new job.

Going on time to work is not the only facet to this. Meeting your deadlines is important those weeks too. It strengthens the bond and trust of your colleagues towards you.

Don’t forget you were hired for a reason- to alleviate their workload, as an extra hand and head, as their manager, etc. They need to know that these wishes have been fulfilled in you. Anything other than this and the atmosphere around you will be strained with disappointment.


  1. Not Dressing Appropriately

Yes, very important. You have no business going to any occasion without knowledge of the clothing expected of you or giving prior research to it.

Find out what the clothing culture is like there. You want to make a statement that says, “I’m smart and I know what I’m doing”.

Do some shopping if necessary but stick to your budget. You can dress well if you know the right places to go and the right combinations. A 20-minute session with the internet can smoothen your journey and up your game.

Having a personal style and brand is very cool but your new workplace is not the place to show it if it doesn’t fit in with the organization’s culture.

If you’re not sure what to wear, try contacting the HR department, your contact in the company, or a friend there already. Don’t worry, many letters of employment contain the approved dressing code. If none of this works, then a simple corporate can suffice until you can do some on-site investigation.


  1. Not Pulling Your Weight

As a newbie, don’t make the mistake of sitting around or allowing others to do your job for you.

Learn quickly. Do not aim to be a liability to your colleague or direct supervisor. Watch what they do then work! That’s what you’re being paid to do.

We must bring to your notice another playing card hand synonymous with not pulling your weight which is playing the pity game. While some will try to prove themselves the first few weeks, a minor set will try to get out of as much work as possible.

It begins to seem like the reason they applied for the job in the first place is to get paid for doing nothing. When your colleagues catch on in the future, the sting will be painful.


  1. Becoming an Island

Before you give that usual excuse, we’ll do it for you- You’re an introvert. True, personalities differ. Not everyone can start up a discussion or be comfortable enough to contribute to one, especially in a new environment.

There are also many reasons why people will choose to be on their own in their new workplace. We understand it all but we also understand what a great mistake it will be.

Your silence or need to be on your own can be interpreted in a whole lot of strange ways, like snobbish behaviour that will have a negative clap-back at you.

Interact with your colleagues, starting from your partner, team, other teams if applicable, and then others. Not just in work relationships but as individuals. Those relationships will come in handy in the future. Plus, it’ll help you settle in faster.

The workplace is built on unity. There are tentacles weaving everyone, every department together. You would be placed in a particular one and you’ll need to become a part of the system. That’s why they’re called an organization in the first place.

  1. Being Over familiar with Others

Wow, so you’re sure the above is not for you because you have such a wonderful, boisterous, engaging…and exhausting personality. You’ll need to remember that what you’re getting into is a new job, not a get-together.

So be collected and calm. There’s no need to discard your usual engaging personality but you’ll need to get it under control. Do away with all the talkativeness but keep the energy and enthusiasm.

There is more chance of offending people when you talk too much. Don’t throw yourself into people’s personal spaces or force yourself on them. They are the ones to let you in.

You’ll need to observe for the first few weeks. Learn about people and what makes them tick. Then slowly creep into them. Have you heard people say, “I didn’t know you were like this when we first met!” Yes, that’s the way it’s meant to be.

Don’t jump into the new job either on the offensive or defensive. Find your balance between relaxed and confident.


  1. Not Reading the Company’s Rules and Regulations

Most of them may turn out to be the usual things you’re used to; do not use company WiFi for personal purposes, always wear your safety helmet at all times, and do not be found out of your desk for up to 30 minutes, etc. It depends on the kind of job and its industry. Still, you must read them all.

Take your time to study and commit them to memory. It’s less bothersome and more peaceful to always be on the side of the law. If you’re the natural rebellious type, the workplace is not for you. Every company needs a serene environment to thrive.


Starting your initial days falling into troubles you could have otherwise avoided if you had only read the company’s rules is very silly. It will show in your performance review. It does not portray you as smart either.


  1. Speak Up when Needful

We’ve been hitting in the need for confidence since the beginning of this article. If indeed you are confident, you will refuse to be walked upon.

If you find yourself in a hostile or repressive environment, do not just take it. Refuse to be bullied and go through the right quarters to report it.

Allowing your rights to be stepped on from the start of the new job will set the pace for more abuse. Do not kiss up to others too. That’s why you should get your job on a clean platter so you can lift your chin and speak out because you know how valuable you are.


You’ve heard it all, now you must gear up and go make an awesome experience out of your new job. You have got all it takes and you are ready!

Career Advice

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