New Hires: Here’s What Not To Say In Your First Month On The Job

You still have to prove yourself in those first 30 days.

New Hires: Here’s What Not To Say In Your First Month On The Job
[Photo: Flickr user me_vanou]

When you first start a job, not only is it important to make a positive first impression, it’s also important to prove a point. No, you’re not trying to stroll into the new job and act like the head honcho, but instead, you are trying to prove your worth and potential. All eyes are on you, the new hire, and it’s your time to shine.


To dazzle your boss, align with colleagues, and be primed for success, there are not only some quick wins to achieve in the first 30 days, but there are also some definite no-nos. Listen, learn, and lean in are the must-dos. Alienating, assuming, and acting aloof are behaviors that will tarnish your reputation before you’ve even had a chance to make it to your first performance review.

Put your positive foot forward and take note of these 10 things to never say in the first 30 days of work.

1. “I Just Assumed . . . “

Don’t be afraid to ask questions–that’s what your “new hire” time is for. Steer clear of this statement, and replace it with comments like “What are your thoughts about . . . ” and “How does your team approach . . . ” or “What do you think about when trying to tackle . . . ”


2. “Isn’t That Chris’s Job? Should We Loop Him In?”

While it may be correct to include an important stakeholder in a meeting, saying “Isn’t that Chris’s job?” is a bit off-putting. It can make you sound uncooperative and may be a red flag to colleagues that perhaps you’re not a team player. Remember, teamwork makes the dream work. Pitch in where you can and be a hand-raiser in the first 30 days especially.

Related: What I Wished Someone Told Me Before I Started My First Job 

3. “I Tried My Best”

Do, don’t try. Just do! In the first 30 days, you should aim to achieve, if not exceed, expectations. Your goal should be to add value to the team and contribute as much as you can. Instead of making excuses, try making strides. Trust us, your boss will appreciate your tenacity.


4. “Why Do Parents Get To Work From Home Some Days?”

Showing distaste for the company’s flexible work policies or how coworkers schedule their work will not win you any friends at the office. Sure, there have been recent discussions about the perception of unfair workloads between single, childless workers and married colleagues or those with families. However, this is not a debate that new employees need to engage in–at least not publicly. If you want a flexible work schedule, discuss that with your boss, and leave the parents on the team out of it.

Related: Want More Flexible Hours? Here’s How To Get Them Without Asking Your Boss

5. “At My Last Job, We Did It Like This . . . “

As tempting as this one might be, watch out for how many times this slips out. Once or twice is fine, but you don’t want your new colleagues to think that you’re unable to leave the processes of your past roles in the, well, in the past. Embrace new tools, tactics, and procedures. Once you’ve learned the protocol, feel free to suggest tweaks or efficiencies.


Related: How To Negotiate Your First Salary

6. “I Should’ve Asked For More Money”

While you may have regrets about your salary negotiation or compensation, focus on the future. Set aside the “shoulda, coulda, wouldas” and focus on the work at hand. Once performance review time comes, you can use Know Your Worth to make your case for a raise.

7. “That Makes No Sense”

It’s easy to get confused when you’re new to the job. However, instead of sounding negative, simply ask probative questions to understand what your colleague is saying. Try: “I want to understand more, can you give me the background?”


8. “I’m Sorry, But . . . “

If you’ve made a misstep, own it. No need for excuses. Your boss and colleagues understand that onboarding can be bumpy. Simply apologize and move on. Next time, you’ll do better.

9. “Because I’m In Charge”

While you may be the senior team member, there’s no need to throw your weight around in such an obvious, heavy-handed way. Lead by example.

10. “I Quit”

No matter what, keep your cool. Even if you’re contemplating jumping ship, do it gracefully.


This article originally appeared on Glassdoor and is reprinted with permission.


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