Make the right impression during your probation period

Posted in Blog on 13 Sep 2018

Dream job acquired? Notice period navigated? First day complete? If it’s a yes to all of these, then congratulations... the challenging part of the transition is done and dusted. However, with many employers having a compulsory probationary period in place for new starters, the work in terms of securing your position is not yet fully complete. 

Probationary periods differ massively from role to role, business to business, and can generally span from a few weeks up to 6 months. Intended to monitor your performance and measure your general suitability, it is imperative that you make the right first impression.

Be open and honest

A clear programme of training should be provided by your employer in the first few months of joining to support you as a new starter. If something isn't working out or if you feel unsupported it’s important that you flag this to the relevant person within the business as soon as possible. A probationary period works two ways – for the new employee not just the employer, and assessments should be made on both sides as to whether the worker is a right fit for the company in working practice.

Constructively contribute

Contribute ideas but don’t rock the boat too much - you can dare to be controversial if the merit outweighs any possible detrimental effects. Ambition and tenacity come hand in hand with the desire to impress but can also be perceived by some as overstepping the mark especially with regards to the higher ranks in terms of challenges to the balance of power and authority. Although, as with any new starter, it is expected that you will bring a fresh outlook on certain practices and procedures. It will be the responsibility of your new employer to process this information and implement changes where necessary, allowing you to avoid pursuing any unnecessary crusades!


Advice and guidance can come from a multitude of places. You should listen not just to the management team and your superiors but to the wider workforce around you. This way you’ll get a feeling for the company across all levels as well as developing a broader sense of how your position and role impacts the business. Listening can open you up to ideas and perspectives that may not have previously crossed your mind, helping you to think more creatively and bring stronger concepts to the table.

Go the extra mile

Your probationary period offers the perfect opportunity to showcase your skills and abilities at a time when the focus is on you. By consciously putting in effort to go above and beyond expectations as well as maintaining an enthusiastic attitude you have not only have the chance to impress but can create a precedent in terms of the perception of your character.

Many businesses receive those who actively involve themselves in business development opportunities and social occasions exceptionally well as it demonstrates not only the ability to network on an internal and external level but that you have a proactive approach and communication skills. Expressing a willingness to succeed and thrive in a new environment is an indicator of your new commitment and fosters the wider perception that you are a team player. 

Master the basics

More often than not incidents leading to dismissal following probation can be avoided. It may be simple to state but fundamental HR issues such as timekeeping, absences, and dressing appropriately may appear small and as a consequence are often overlooked in terms of their wider significance.

Whilst it’s important to demonstrate character and personality, act professionally; don’t get involved in office politics, express any provocative opinions and always maintain an open and positive attitude.

For more tips on how to navigate the recruitment and post-placement processes be sure to take a look at our advice centre. For more information on our live vacancies and opportunities contact us today or check out our online jobmatch.


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