Starting a New Job: What NOT to Do

We recently offered a list of things to do when starting a new job. But there are also some no-nos to be aware of. Here is advice on what not to do during your first few weeks with a new employer:  

Dare to compare. 

Embrace your new company's philosophy. Don’t draw comparisons between your current and former job. Making well-intentioned but off-putting statements like, “Well, my previous firm did it this way…” won't endear you to your new accounting colleagues. Be diplomatic and tactful when you’re asked to share your thoughts or initial impressions.

Repeat the same mistakes. 

A professional baseball umpire once commented, “We're supposed to be perfect our first day on the job and then show constant improvement.” Fortunately, most employers don't expect immediate perfection. That being said, they do want to see consistent improvement.

Dress inappropriately. 

Fair or not, first impressions are partly based on appearances. If your company doesn’t have a formal dress code, take cues from your manager. When starting a new job, dress a step above what you think is expected of you. Also, be aware that different offices have different interpretations of “casual Friday.”

Bite off more than you can chew. 

You’re likely eager to make an immediate impact and prove that you’ll be a highly productive top performer. While commendable, pace yourself. Find your footing and get a firm grasp on your core responsibilities before signing up for every side project you hear about. You don't want to establish an unsustainable precedent or end up overpromising and underdelivering.

Maintain unrealistic expectations of yourself. 

Everyone experiences difficult moments when starting a new job. When you face one of those inevitable moments of frustration, discouragement or self-doubt, remember that it takes time to acclimate to a new role and environment. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Again, learn from any early mistakes you make, but don’t dwell on them.