Starting a new job includes a lot of uncertainty. Before you actually go in and start to experience the work environment, you don’t know what your coworkers will be like, or whether the company culture fits well with how you tend to work.
And on top of all that, you also have to adjust to your specific tasks and responsibilities, each of which may take weeks to really get used to.
To help clear up some of the mystery and anxiety, here’s a list of seven deadly sins when starting a new job.
If you can avoid these common mistakes, you’ll stand a much better chance of rising through the ranks over the coming months and becoming an important member of the team.
1. Making Too Many Enemies
Your professional relationships with your coworkers are a huge factor when it comes to adjusting to a new place of work.
Above all else, try to make sure that those relationships remain as such: professional.
Every one of your coworkers, from fellow team members to supervisors and upper-level managers, are human beings just like you. They have their own strengths, insecurities, and petty pet peeves.
Learning about these quirks and staying aware of them in your day-to-day will help you avoid unnecessary run-ins with your fellow employees.
However, certain arguments and disagreements are inevitable. Often times, there are just certain people who will decide that they don’t like you very much.
And when that happens, your options are fairly limited. You can try to sit down with that person and try to work through whatever problems they have with you, or you can go about your business and just let them be.
Either way, the trick is to not go out of your way to make enemies at your new place of work. Respect everyone, even if they don’t appear to respect you.
2. Fading Into the Background
And while confronting too many coworkers and making enemies would certainly be a mistake, you also don’t want to disappear into the scenery.
If you have any career aspirations at all (and we hope that you do), then you should try to make an effort to stand out in the workplace, in the most positive way possible.
The best way to do this is to perform all of your tasks to the best of your abilities. Let your impressive work speak for itself.
If you find yourself in a brainstorming meeting, give some serious thought to the topic at hand. If you genuinely have ideas to offer to the group, be sure to speak out.
Even if your ideas aren’t implemented, your boss and your coworkers will see that you’re making a real effort.
3. Missing Deadlines
This tip should speak for itself. You were hired to complete tasks on time, and it’s up to you to meet those expectations.
It’s especially important that you meet your deadlines early on in your stay with a specific company.
If you don’t feel that the provided deadlines are realistic for the amount of work you have to complete, then you should speak with your boss.
Explain that you’ve been working consistently on a project and that you simply need more time to maintain high standards for the work.
Any reasonable boss will take your notes into consideration.
4. Keeping a Messy Workspace
Your assigned workspace is largely under your control. While there tend to be office guidelines as to how your workspace should look, there’s also a significant amount of room to express yourself.
You can put up some family photos if you like, or the pennant of a favorite sports team. These small details are a great way to start conversations with your coworkers and get to know them a little better.
But there’s a limit to the customization of your workspace. Specifically, try to avoid treating your desk and work area like a part of your home.
Don’t let it get too messy. If you tend to leave food or snacks in your desk drawers, make sure to clean them out at least once a week.
You wouldn’t want the office to get the impression that you’re disorganized or uninterested in maintaining a clean workspace.
5. Not Maintaining Professionalism
This tip harkens back to #1 on the list. And while maintaining professionalism does include having respect for your coworkers, it has much larger implications.
A very common mistake when starting a new job is to see your office mates as potential romantic partners.
Many companies have strict rules forbidding these types of relationships within the workplace, especially between employees and their managers or supervisors.
But in general, it would be advisable to maintain strictly professional relationships with your office-mates.
Yes, get to know them better. And over time you may even become friends with many of them. But your personal relationships with your coworkers should not affect work performance.
6. Being Too Eager to Leave
After you’ve been at your new place of work for several weeks or months, you may start to realize that it’s not exactly what you expected. You may even want to start looking for a different job.
There’s nothing wrong with this reaction, of course. You’re allowed to dislike a particular job.
But no matter what, you shouldn’t let it become clear to company staff that you’re eager to leave the office.
Quietly look for another job in your spare time, preferably while at home.
Otherwise, your boss may catch on to your feelings and make your life more difficult before you’ve been able to find a new job.
7. Closing Off Your Mind
Human beings are creatures of routine. We like to stick to what we know, for the most part.
And a new office may not line up with your workplace preferences. But that doesn’t mean that you should close your mind to new ideas and methods.
If a company has been successful using specific methods and procedures, then chances are there’s some wisdom to those methods.
That’s why we’d like you to keep your mind open when starting a new job. Give it time and see what happens.
Closing yourself off too early won’t help anyone, making it yet another deadly sin when starting a new job.