Make it permanent: How to delight your new employer & pass your probation

5 minute read


You’ve landed your dream job… now it’s time to pass your probationary period with flying colours!

Your probationary period can be pretty stressful. You’re trying to get to grips with a brand new environment, memorize products/services and not to mention, impress your new boss!

But, remember that you’ve made it this far for a reason. The probationary period is your employer’s chance to determine whether they’ve made the right choice and your chance to show them exactly what you’re made of….

1)      Timing is everything…

There’s no better way to prove that you want to do a job than being on time. Now, we all know that public transport can be a nightmare and there will be days that it is completely out of your control. But don’t make lateness a habit. In fact, if you are running late, be polite and call your team leader so that they are aware of the situation. Plan your journey so that you can get in comfortably with 15 minutes to spare.

That’s an extra 15 minutes to relax, grab a coffee and talk to your new team!

2)         Connect with their mission statement & ethos

All charities and not-for-profit organizations are fueled by passion. The people that work there will often be very dedicated to the organization’s cause and they’ll want to see exactly how much it resonates with you. Listen out for key industry news, read leading sector publications and talk to your colleagues so that you are constantly being kept up-to-date with what is happening and can participate in discussions.

3)         Show an eagerness to learn

Not knowing what you’re supposed to do isn’t a crime! You’re new and it’s perfectly natural to have questions about your role or the organization. Ask as many questions as you need to! Failing to do so may leave people thinking that you’re not all that interested and that is the last thing that you want to do. Show that you’re willing to use your initiative by constantly trying to improve yourself.

Remember: ‘questions are the creative acts of intelligence’ – Frank Kingdon.

4)         Be a Team Player

One of the most amazing (and sometimes frightening) things about your first day, is being exposed to so many different characters. Getting along with your new team will be one of your greatest selling points. Your probation isn’t just about proving that you can work hard, it’s also an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to lead and be a real team player.

Your aim is to work together and produce results, so make sure that you get to know all of the people in your team. If you’re naturally introverted, try to push yourself out of your comfort zone so you come across as really friendly and approachable. By doing this, you will automatically draw people in.

Instead of sending a colleague an email, why not go over to their desk and talk it over? This will melt the barriers and help you to feel more comfortable. This also allows you to meet as many people as possible, understand what they do (and how it relates to your job) and others can get to know you too.


5)      Own it

Mistakes happen. You’re human and that means just that! At some stage, you will make an error. If this happens in your first few weeks (or, in fact at any time) always be honest and own up to it. Don’t panic or waste time beating yourself up – your employer will appreciate the honesty and respect you for it. If anything, it’s an opportunity to reflect and put processes in place so that, next time, everything goes as planned!

6)      Don’t take time off

Try not to take time off during your probationary period. Remember, this is the time that you’re supposed to be learning and making your mark, so anytime you take off, is the time that you’re not doing what you’re required to do. Your focus is showing your employer that hiring you was the right decision! If you’re not there, your employer can’t see your hard work, skills and talent!

7)      Be proactive

You want to be remembered for all of the right reasons. Try to make your mark by sharing your ideas and participating in discussions whenever you can. Show that you’re using your initiative and don’t always need to be directed. Most employers don’t want to micromanage! So, make it clear that you can be independent and contribute to the success of your new organization.

8)      Avoid getting silly…

Getting to know your colleagues outside of a work environment can often lift some barriers, giving you the space to relax and be yourself. If you do go to a social gathering (and alcohol is involved) BE VERY CAREFUL. As they say, it takes a lifetime to build a reputation and a moment to undo it… so be mindful!

9)      Deliver, deliver, deliver

Bend over backwards to deliver above and beyond your Manager’s expectations. Remember, the more you do, the more your employer will rely on you which, in turn, makes you more valuable to them. Always go that extra mile – you have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

10)   Be confident but not arrogant.

There is a very fine line between the two. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with taking ownership of your work (that’s what your team wants to see!) your manager doesn’t want the hassle of dealing with someone that’s constantly trying to overshadow others and put their stamp on everything. Over-shadowing colleagues can have a negative impact on your reputation and damage your relationship with other people.

It also pays to avoid self-praise. Let people see the fruits of your labour and not hear it directly from you.

11)   Be positive.

It’s a well-known fact that being more positive in your behavior, language and outlook makes room for greater success, satisfaction, and reward in life. Positivity helps you engage and communicate with your colleagues and projects a good image of yourself to others, whilst showing your attributes and personality in the best light.

12)       Ask for feedback

Once you feel settled and have gotten to grips with your new role, schedule some time to get feedback from a manager or team leader. This shows that you care about your performance and are looking for ways to truly contribute to the organization. Once you’ve received the constructive criticism you have the tools in place to surpass their expectations!

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