Starting at a new job is never easy. It takes time to adjust to a new workplace and sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. Though managers will give you time to adapt, it’s important to take careful note of how you do so in addition to getting yourself up to speed as soon as possible. Many of your actions (or inaction) could give your manager the wrong idea and you might end up starting off on the wrong foot without knowing it. Here are some of the mistakes new employees make and how to avoid them.

5 mistakes new employees make

Something that will catch your manager’s eye right away is if you are not writing things down. When you get into a new job, there is an intense amount of information to absorb during those first couple of weeks. You might have a great mind for remembering details, however you should still write down notes as you are learning the ropes, particularly after the information has sunk in and you start to have questions. It is one thing to go back through your notes and have specific questions about the things you reviewed. It is a whole different story if you are asking your boss to repeat everything they already taught you. This will only give you a reputation for being a poor listener and that’s not how you want to start.

Don’t turn down that initial invitation to lunch. You don’t need to spend every waking moment with your new colleagues but in your early days at a new job, don’t turn down an invite to lunch or happy hour. Instead, accept these invites and view them as a way to get to know your colleagues better. Use it as an opportunity to listen, ask questions, and get to know the work culture. If you turn down every invitation, you could be perceived as not being a team player.

As you are learning your new role in the company, make sure you are also observing how the office runs and operates. This is one of the biggest mistakes new employees make. Not keeping up with the office norms can put you in a position on the outside, instead of in the inner circle. A good thing to keep in mind is not to fall into a routine you might be used to from your previous job. Study the new office culture and take queues from other employees. Make note if you are expected to be available outside the office or take projects home to work on them. How do your colleagues prefer to communicate? Is it by phone, email, or instant messaging? Acclimate yourself to the culture and you will find more success at your new job.

Another of the mistakes new employees make is thinking that they will only be doing exactly what the job description says, but more often than not, you will need to work outside your limited job description. Be prepared to multitask and step in wherever you are needed. By showing that you are flexible, you are telling your co-workers that you are a team player and are willing to contribute whatever is needed to make the workplace successful. This will help you be seen as not just another cog in the wheel and that you can be of more value to the company as a whole.

With all jobs, you need to be mindful of the personal time you use while you are working. This especially applies when you are starting a new job. Personal phone calls and friends or family stopping by during your first few weeks on the job is not looked upon favorably by your employer. Your office might allow for these things, but until you are accustomed to the culture and know what is accepted, try to avoid personal time during the work day. Save personal items for your lunch break or after you get home. Also avoid talking too much about your personal life. Unless you are asked about it, your manager doesn’t want to see you standing around talking about what you did last night when you could be spending that valuable time being productive.

By following these best practices, you can (hopefully) avoiding some of the more common mistakes new employees make and you’ll be well on your way to success.

What do you think? What are other mistakes new employees make? Share your comments with me below, or tweet us @trackvia

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