Frustrated with trying to keep a job once you get hired but it seems over and over they let you go before your probation is up? Not getting the kind of results you’d hoped for? It could be one thing or a combination of things that’s preventing you from sticking with a company and having them stick with you. If you could put your finger on exactly where you’re not being competitive it would certainly improve your chances.
So to help out, I’ve put together a list of things to keep in mind as you go about work in those early days on the job. Remember this is a general list of ideas and please feel free to add to this list with ideas of your own that you’ve found effective.
- Enthusiasm. For a long time now, employers have stated over and over that the people they hire must show some degree of enthusiasm or passion for the work to be done. You demonstrate enthusiasm with a positive attitude, investing yourself in learning the job, showing up on time, putting in the effort while you’re working to increase your productivity.
2. Interpersonal Skills. Most jobs these days require contact with others including co-workers, customers, supervisors, etc. When you work you become a part of a business that others are continually working hard to establish and build a reputation on. So even if you’re not naturally a people-person, to ultimately be successful work on being friendly, find your smile, initiate contact with a warm greeting and generally just be nice.
3. Commit To Learning. When you’re hired, congratulations are in order. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking the hard work is done. It’s now up to you to learn what you need to know as quickly as you can to become fully productive. When first hired, that organization puts money into training you – even if you can’t see it. They may assign someone to show you the ropes and if they do, not only are you not producing fully yet, neither is the person who is training you in addition to the work they’d normally be doing full-time.
4. Be Accountable. Employer’s want people who will show up when scheduled a few minutes early, then actually do the work they are being paid to do. When you stand or sit around and waste time, from their point of view you’re dead weight and stealing money by being unproductive while still expecting your salary. When no one is watching, do what you should be doing and do it with some pride.
5. Make The Investment. Do more than just work hard; work with intelligence. In other words, this is an opportunity for you to gain some useful and current experience. It may not be your forever job or dream job. So what? You applied, you got hired and now you’re an employee. Invest yourself in their business and at the same time you’re investing in yourself by learning something new, improving your existing skills and becoming more competitively attractive.
6. It’s NOT about you. Employers tell me they just don’t understand why it is that many of the people they hire seem to have this attitude that the employer somehow owes them something. When you work with an organization you should be thinking about what you can do to contribute your skills, ideas, energy and experience and not expecting to walk in one day and the next week ask for a raise. This kind of behaviour shows a real lack of understanding for the business, your own worth to the employer and the other employees who have worked there longer than you. Make it about the employer and you’ll generally benefit too.
7. Be Respectful. This is huge! That organization does things the way they do for a reason. Unless they specifically hired you for your innovative and creative ideas, keep your thoughts to yourself and learn how they do things. It could take up to a year for you to fully understand what they do and why they do it. Sometimes what they do in April differs from what they do in March, and you’ll have to stick around a full year to experience that activity if you were hired in the month of April. Respect the processes in place.
8. Leave Your Issues At The Door. Over time people in the company will want to get to know you better and they’ll take a personal interest perhaps in your life outside of work. However, in the beginning, it’s good advice to leave any personal problems and challenges outside the door when you show up for work. Focus your energy on the job you’re getting paid to do. Problems with your girlfriend, the landlord, your unpaid parking fines and health issues aren’t nearly as interesting to others as you think they are; don’t be a distraction.
9. Positive Attitude. Show up with a heavy, brooding attitude and you won’t last long. People like being surrounded by others who are generally upbeat and positive. A smile, saying “Hello and good morning” doesn’t take that much effort. If you work with the public, thank people for their business or their interest in the business. If you work with others, the odd word of thanks for helping you out while you get settled goes a long way.
All the best everyday!