Cologne / Munich The main thing is not to make a mistake, not to embarrass yourself professionally – many people approach the trial period with this approach. If you want to convince the employer of yourself, you should bet on other cards as well.
Integrate well into the team, network, don’t ask too many questions, but not too few – and at the same time demonstrate your skills: very few employees approach the probation period in a deeply relaxed way.
After all, there is usually no protection against dismissal in the first six months of the employment relationship. Do everything perfectly at the same time – hardly anyone will be able to do it. So what really matters in the first few months of work?
The trial period as a “live assessment center”
During the trial period, the recruiting phase is extended, says Christine Kentzler of Kienbaum’s personnel and management consulting firm. Instead of feeling like you’ve achieved your goal, you should realize that you are being watched as a newcomer.
“It’s a live assessment center, so to speak,” says the new placement consultant. Now it’s about showing and implementing what you promised as a candidate in the recruiting process in the day to day business.
Not everything is always served on a silver platter
“I shouldn’t have to rely on the employer who hands me everything on a silver platter, takes me by the hand in exemplary fashion, and gets me started,” says Kentzler. New employees are often thrown into the deep end. It shows who can handle it well, is proactive and takes responsibility.
And it is precisely this that is sometimes even more important than technical competence. It is therefore advisable to first clarify to oneself: “What is the purpose of this position for which I am now here?”
This raises the question: what are the expectations? Expectations expressed and implied, for example by the manager, the team, the customers, the team leader, “says Kentzler.
Correct analysis of the corporate culture
If you want to test yourself, you should carefully read the corporate culture. “These are unwritten laws,” says Julia Siems, Head of People Development at Rundstedt’s professional consultancy. Anyone who simply ignores the rules, which at first glance are not visible, can quickly offend.
“Quick wins”: Quick wins guarantee visibility
Anyone who has a good image of the objectives and expectations in the company can dedicate themselves to the next step. According to Christine Kentzler, the task now is to develop a “roadmap” for the next six months: what could an action plan look like? What are the important milestones?
It’s smart to start looking for projects where you can get something visible in a short time with relatively little effort. The “quick wins” are important, especially in the beginning, to show that you have landed in your role.
Julia Siems also advises not to focus too long on “absorbing information” alone. In the first 30 days of a new job you naturally get a lot of input. After that, however, a phase begins in which “we should go into operational action”. And from about day 60 of the trial period, it’s time for first results, as far as the task or role profile allows.
Get to know the opinion makers – build a network
One of the more informal tasks during the trial period is to build a network in the company. Newcomers are advised to get an overview of who has what role in the company, who they really need to know and who, for example, are the opinion leaders in the team or department.
Kentzler recommends asking the manager or team members specifically how often feedback meetings are desired: “So make a clear agreement: in which cycle should we exchange ideas?”
But that’s not all: “I have to think about the feedback I get,” says Siems. It is therefore useful to provide concrete examples. And sometimes – if, for example, there’s pretty little feedback – sometimes you have to be able to handle the uncertainty.
As it is much more difficult to make friends in the home office, Kentzler recommends working onsite whenever possible during the trial period. It is important to take advantage of every opportunity to “get into a nitpick somehow” and generally increase the frequency of communication.
The trial period also serves employees
Last but not least, the probationary period is also an opportunity for employees to check again if they agree with the company values and if their work style suits the employer.
At best, this is already clear during the application process. “But to say to yourself: Hey, the probationary period is also there for me to see if I’ve really adapted – this can be good for your inner attitude and self-confidence.”
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220429-99-96127 / 3