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Oct. 24, 2017

5 Mistakes People Make on Their First Week on the Job

Starting a new job is daunting— working in an unfamiliar place with people you don’t know, on top of trying to impress your new employer.

While it may feel like you’re under a microscope, rest assured that probably isn’t the case. As a new employee you have some room to learn as you jump into your new role, however, there are some pitfalls you want to avoid.

When starting a new job, avoid making these 5 mistakes.

  1. Speaking negatively about your old job

Putting down your past employer is never beneficial. Even if things didn’t work out well with your old job, it’s best to keep any negative comments to a minimum, especially around people you just met.

If your new coworkers ask where you were working before and why you made the switch, keep your response positive and general; “Previously I was a Marketing Consultant at Aloha Electric Company. I learned a lot and I’m grateful for the time I got to work there, but I felt I learned as much as I could and it was time to move on.”

  1. Adding your new coworkers and boss on social media

As innocent as a LinkedIn or Facebook request seems, it can be overwhelming to people who just met you.  Keep social media requests to coworkers with whom you have established a relationship.

After a few months or weeks, you’ll naturally develop a bond with the team and can add individuals accordingly. If you’re not sure whether to friend request your boss or not, the safest bet is to not. If your boss sends you a request, you can accept it you feel comfortable.

  1. Trying to show how much you know

A lot of new employees go overboard trying to prove themselves when the truth is, it’s not necessary. You wouldn’t have been hired if they didn’t think you could do the job.

Use the first week on the job to get oriented on your daily responsibilities, the company culture, and anything you need to know to succeed in your new role. Don’t go overboard trying to show off your knowledge—if you’re the right fit for the job, it’ll be shown in your work as you continue over the next few weeks.

  1. Not asking for clarification

Whether you have a question on the role, a particular assignment, or how something works, don’t be afraid to ask. Your first week on the job is all about learning, so ask any question that you need clarification on and write down the answers.

You’re never going to be able to remember every single thing you’re taught during the first week so always keep a notebook with you and review it at the end of each day so it sticks.

  1. Not introducing yourself

Being friendly and outgoing can take you a long way in your career. Even if going up to someone new doesn’t come naturally to you, it’s important that you are a good match with the company culture.

When you see someone new you haven’t met, smile and introduce yourself; “Hi, I’m Anita Job. I just started with the accounting department as an Account Specialist.” One of the biggest reasons employees don’t work out in a new job is because they weren’t a good fit with the team, so always put your best foot forward.


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