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Triumph over trial

Published on Friday, 28 Jun 2013
Walter Ellicott

Most permanent jobs will involve an official probationary period. The length of the probationary period will differ depending on position and industry. In some places, it can be as short as a few weeks; in others, it can be several months.

A typical probation period lasts between three and six months. During your probation, you may perhaps feel that you and your performance are being monitored very closely, but this is not usually the case. Do not feel that you constantly have to watch what you are doing.

However, there are important aspects of your performance that your new employer will be monitoring. When you start, you should be given the details of a direct supervisor or mentor who will be responsible for getting you settled and ensuring you understand what is expected. Take advantage of their knowledge and ensure you take on board the advice and guidance they give you.

Professionally, ensure you do the basic things right. Be punctual, attend all meetings required of you and get involved in team activities, both work-related and social. Don't be afraid to contribute new ideas, but also make sure you adapt to the different style of working at your new employer.

As the end of your probation nears, your manager should set a date for a review meeting. Again, don't be afraid to follow up on this yourself to get it arranged. This review will assess how you have done in your first few months - and hopefully give you the good news that you have passed your probation.

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