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How to Make Your 90-day Trial a Triumph
Thursday, June 21, 2012

Most companies have a 90-day trial period to test out new hires. For new hires, these are the most nerve-wracking 90 days of their time at a company.

Even though you've just been hired, your security at that company doesn't yet feel solidifed--because it isn't. This period is essentially the learning curve for new employees to settle in and get acquainted to the new work environment. If things aren't working out, many companies won't wait the entire 90 days to find a replacement. No sweat, right?

No transition goes without bumps along the way, especially when there's a lot riding on its success. You don't have to constantly be looking over your shoulder, though, and you really shouldn't if you want to focus on doing a good job.

Here are some tips on how to make that 90-day transition go smoothly:

1) Be open to constructive criticism.

In order to show that you're abe to perfom to your highest potential, you have to be able to take in immediate feedback. Not everyone is responsive to hearing negative comments about their work but it's impossible to improve your mistakes if you don't know what they are. Let your boss know that you welcome it and they'll feel more comfortable having someone on board who is eager to learn and succeed.

2) Keep your eyes peeled.

Observing the company culture is crucial to assimilating into it. This company saw something in you that they liked and it's up to you not to disappoint. The easiest way to show them that you're a good match is to emulating how your co-workers interact with one another. While you were supposed to outshine in the application process, your job is to blend during the trial period.

3) Know your expectations in and out.

To do well in your new work place, you'll need to have a good grip on what is expected of you there. If your resume misled them to believe you were more capable than you are, this can get you into some hot water. If they give you assignments that you clearly don't know how to tackle, you can count on your days there being numbered. Make sure that you're not getting in over your head and that you're prepared for anything that may catch you off-guard.

4) Join your colleagues for lunch.

Declining any lunch invitations is a big no-no during your first few months there. This is a great opportunity to get to know your co-workers and for them to get to know you. Socializing with them is easy and shows that you'll be a good addition to the team.

5) Stay away from gossip.

Like your first days at a new school, you'll want to avoid mixing in with the wrong crowd. If you hear gossip or someone comes to you badmouthing others, take no part of this. There's a fine line between making friends and making enemies. As a new hire, you start off with a clean slate. The last thing you want to do is tarnish it.

6) Keep a positive attitude.

Any new hire can get understandly flustered when they make mistakes in their first few weeks. But it's bound to happen and all one can do is learn to accept it. What you shouldn't do is beat yourself up about it. Your new boss will want to see that you're resilient and can bounce back. If you give up after the first try it shows that you're not able to handle challenges well. Just remember, you got picked as the new hire for some reason. Prove to them that you deserve that spot.

7) Become your own go-to person.

Instead of being the epitome of the "new guy," try to catch-on as much as you can as fast as you can. Make a conscious effort to learn the ropes and teach yourself the office logistics without having to constantly ask a co-worker. Take initiative in being self-sufficient and people will respect you for it.
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