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Tips For Adapting To A New WorkPlace

29 Aug 2014 / / Tips & Tutorial

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There was a time when people might land a job, at a factory or office for example, and work for the same company for many years. Some people found their ideal job within a particular company and stayed until retirement. Those days are virtually gone, particularly in Indonesia. Today, it's common for people to take on a new job or career every few years. Even seniors are rotating through various jobs, often one's that require different skills and knowledge. So it's critical for people in the job market to know how to adapt to a new workplace.


The Probationary Period


The probationary period is designed to give the employer a sense of whether a newly hired person is a good match for the job. During this time, they watch the display of soft skills (on-time arrivals, etc) and hard skills; which deal with how they perform the tasks of the job, how they meet the requirements, how well they accept direction.


TheHRDirector conducted a study involving new hires on their job. This study revealed that almost 20% were performing at a sub-par level to such an extent that they were under disciplinary action (write-ups, warnings) or were faced with being fired or receiving an unsatisfactory performance evaluation. (source:


New hires often fail because the expectations for the job are not very clear. Sometimes their very job definition is hazy and subject to misinterpretation. Even when armed with a written job description, it's important to remember that most jobs have fail-safe language that allows them to expand the horizons of the job at will. Wording such as, “And any other work requested by superiors, etc.” is common. This means that, other than the things they specifically outline in the description, they can also ask an employee to do just about any thing else that they want them to do. Flexibility can help an employee keep a job, retain a good rating and avoid being written up.


Adjusting to a new job necessitates due diligence; which includes learning as much as possible about the job, the company, the supervisors, etc. Knowing the upper echelon, the various departments, the structure or heirarchy and how the sectors mesh will help. To take things a step further, it's good to know the company's peers and competion, as well as industry trends.


Reserch also revealed that the study uncovered a dilemma with acknowledging and acting upon feedback. For example, if a company advised an employee that they need to make their greetings on the phone more pleasant by smiling, they may dismiss this notion. They fail to smile and enhance the way they answer the phone, so customers get a negative perception of the company. When this happens, the company will lose business; so they'll take measures to protect their bottom line. A smart employee that receives this feedback might do a little research, where they have the chance to discover for themselves that studies support the idea that when one smiles while on the phone, their voice is more pleasant and the person on the other line can “hear” the smile.


Tips for a job transition success follow below:


  1. Opening up your mind to experience changes in the new workplace.  You’ll encounter different social interaction and cultures.
  2. Ask for guidance or further instructions if you are not sure about something. Take copious notes during meetings, orientation, training, etc.
  3. Listen. Learn to accept and implementing feedback. Constructive criticsm should be heeded.
  4. Keep your boss in the loop so there are no unexpected situations.
  5. Be truthful and forthcoming about your mistakes. Don’t try to cover it up. Be truthful and sought for solution
  6. Avoid saying how you usually do things in your previous company and stop comparing.
  7. Read the employee handbook.


It's possible to survive and sustain a job in today's market. It takes savvy, responsibility, and a pro-active approach. Armed with these, and other tools, in your arsenal will give you the advantage you need.



Debby Lim