Common Workplace Mistakes Made by Newbies

If you are stepping into your first "real" job after college you probably have a mixed bag of feelings about it. It's exciting to meet new people, have new responsibilities and contribute to your new company's goals. And it's also little scary. That's just how it goes when you're a newbie, but that’s a bad thing. Some mistakes are expected and they are easy to avoid or correct as long as you are aware of them. Here are a few:
  1. Flying Solo
“Although you’re new to the company, you’ll need the support of others to succeed in your career,” said Ericka Spradley, career coach and author. “Oftentimes, new employees fail because they don’t have a success team. As you partner with your leader, discuss mentoring options; as you progress in your role, identify those who have succeeded where you see yourself,” she added. And remember, employers hire a diverse workforce on purpose. Interact with people who have diverse thoughts, ideas and perspectives, not only with other recent grads.
  1. Staying in the dark
New employees often have to do a lot of reading and that can get quite boring and confusing. Mix things up a little to show interest in learning all you can. Jot down questions that come up while reading and use them as conversation starters that help enlighten you about things that are unwritten or not so obvious. "The beginning of your job is the time to ask questions. Your new co-workers expect you to be curious and are willing to help if you ask them. Plus, this will help you build professional relationships,” said Deborah Brown-Volkman, career coach and president of Surpass Your Dreams (www.surpassyourdreams.com).
  1. Not understanding your value
You don’t have to be a know-it-all or expert when you walk in the door, but know that you were hired for a reason: your employer is making an investment to fill a need. That investment in you is evidence that you bring something of value to the table. It may be hard skills, like computer programming or dental hygiene techniques, or equally valuable soft skills that newbies often bring:  energy, enthusiasm, passion and new ideas.
  1. Mismanaging time
“Because you’re new and may not be able to function independently for the first 90 days or so, you may have “breaks” in your day. These breaks occur because tasks are completed sooner than anticipated but employers still expect productivity,” said Spradley. “New grads may use these breaks to surf the internet or share social media updates, but a better use of this time may be: navigating the company’s intranet to understand policy, relevant news, employer updates; asking for more tasks or staying abreast of training,” she added. Brown-Volkman believes being a newbie is a state of mind. “If you feel bad about it, then it will be harder for you to adjust. Hold you head up high, put your shoulders back and watch how you carry yourself," she said.