March 08, 2008

Tips On How To Pass a Probationary Period

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Probation period is the only single ticket to get the place, the place you’re trying to be. No matter if that is your first job or a higher position you are trying to reach, you have no choice but to get the probation period well passed. For you who having probation period for very first job, your concern is more than understandable for you may even never know about this before. For you who are having the period for higher level career or just moved from another company, you might learn lots from your experience, but it does not meant that you may take this period un-seriously. Here I am going to share comprehensive tips (I would rather say strategy) on how to pass probationary period.

Before going to the tips, you may want to know about probationary period in more detail, I made posts about this which is broken to 3 parts:

Probationary Period (I) [read]
Probationary Period (II) [read]
Probationary Period (III) [read]

And here are the tips (strategies):

1. Know the “Requirements”

Make sure yourself that you understand what requirements of “the post—you are going to fill—are. You will be able to find the requirements on the “Job Description” sheet given by the line manager or supervisor or whoever assigned for that.

Duplicate it to become at least 3 copies, you may clip one on your board (in the office), the other copy you may stick it on your desk in your private room in the house, and you should bring the last copy wherever you go, in case if you want to review it while you’re on the way to the office or to home. Read, read, read and read! That is the way how to make you’re well understand about the requirements.

Never assume that you’ve well understand all the requirements, this is a list of roles, you may not miss any of them. If you don’t understand any of those requirements, ask the line manager or the supervisor who overseas on your probationary right away.

2. Know and follow the “Procedure and Conduct”

Follow the introduction session carefully, procedure and conduct are explained during the session. Although I posted standard of procedure and conduct on my article Probationary Period (II), however it could be vary one company to another. You should know: the meeting schedule, how to ask, how to get assistances, how to consult, what tools or equipments you should use and how to get them, when induction will be held, etc.

If the company doesn’t give a printable procedure and conduct, then you need to write it as a note, make a clear and clean note where you should refer every time you need to do something.

3. Know and achieve the “Objective/goal”

Objective or goal is a set of assignments with its completion date which is the most crucial among all. This is the only single tool company use to measure your work performance. The rule is straight forward;

(-) Completing assignments incorrectly will lead to a termination.
(-) Incomplete on the completion time schedule means termination too

Your mission is to complete the assignments correctly on the completion time schedule. Excellent and faster completion is a plus point that may compensate lack ness on other part of yours.

If you find any issue or problem to do your assignment or if you find any destruction during the process, request a consultation right away, don’t wait, the stopwatch is running. Be proactive is a positive credit for both your attitude and performance.

4. Establish a strategy

Study your goal (assignment and its completion date) and establish strategy for each assignment, different assignment may need different strategy. A Goal or objective is a destination and a strategy is the transportation that will take you to the destination. You know already the destination (objective), now you need to get a transportation (establish strategies).

It depends on what the objective is, but it should fall on to: what, how, when, where and who you need to enable you to achieve the goal excellently and quickly.

If you realize that you don’t have enough knowledge on any of the assignment, you may need to do quick researches after the office hour to gather comprehensive information and probably “how to’s” or even getting a professional tutorial or advice on that specific issue. If you know any of your friends or relatives or ex-professors well known about that issue, try to contact and ask for help, they may give you a free advice or even short tutorial.

5. Monitor your progress by check lists.

Check list is a just a navigator or compass that will tell you:

(-). Where you have been
(-). Where you are now
(-). What the next direction is.

In simple words, check list will keep you aware of what you have been done, what are you doing and what next step you should do to make sure you are still on your track to the goal.

If your goal is set for a daily completion, then you need to make an hourly check list, but if it is set for a weekly or monthly completion, then you may only need a daily check list at least. Of course it’s better if you make hourly check list for any completion setting. The shorter evaluation period you set, the more accurate navigation you do.

Monitoring your progress also means; discovering any potential issue arisen that may against your way to the objective, and revealing what gives positive contribution to the progress. The simple word is; “Identifying what works and what doesn’t work” so that you will be able to fix any issues that most probably hold you back to a progress.

6. Get regular discussion, consultation and advice.

Make use of the consultation and advice opportunity provided by the company to discuss your progress to make sure you are on the right track. If you find any obstacles or issue that potentially against your way, let the line manager know and follow his/her advice if he/she gives any. Once again, proactive is a valuable credit points to your performance and attitude.

7. Use good approach to get maximum support from the existed staff (employee).

Beware to the existed staff where you are doing your probation. Existed one naturally resists a new comer. So, use a good approach to get their maximum support or at least to not against your way.

8. Spend more time.

If it is allowed to come earlier to the office, take the opportunity to spend more time to the assignment, the more time you have, the more chance for you to make the completion date faster in better quality as well. If it’s not allowed to come earlier, then stay longer and home later. This is a good strategy not for the completion date fulfillment only, but this will send a message to the company how serious you are to the jobs.

9. Know culture, etiquette.

Performance, absence, attitude result will be much measured significantly by the company’s culture as well. Get know and familiar with those to make you well adapt to those.

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