Rudeness, tardiness and arrogance are all surefire ways to ensure a new job starts badly, but according to a major recruiter, there’s a significantly bigger mistake new starters frequently make.
Failure to properly read and negotiate a contract will plant the seeds for problems that will exist well into the job and the future, the CEO of recruitment firm Kris Grant ASPL Group told Yahoo Finance.
This is especially true for younger workers and those landing their first job.
“The biggest mistake is expectation management. If you don’t understand your contract way before you sign it, it’s going to set the tone of the relationship,” she said.
“It’s really important for people to appreciate that people are allowed to put in, and ask for whatever they need to be at their best before they’re signing their contracts - especially young graduates.”
New starters should carefully consider the place of work, especially with new expectations around remote work and flexible hours, and also check the position description closely.
While it’s normal to do the odd job outside of the position description, if the job sold to you during the interview process looks significantly different to what’s on paper, then that’s something to query.
“If something doesn’t match up, you can ask the question before you’ve started,” she said.
The other thing to consider is the support needed to be successful. That could be a mentor, ongoing learning and development or collaboration.
Take your time and be honest
Workers that feel pressured to sign a contract quickly should be mindful of how that sets the tone for the relationship, Grant added.
“There is pressure - especially if you’re a graduate [to sign quickly]. However, take the time to get as much advice as possible,” she said.
One of the good things about the COVID-19 pandemic is that a lot of employment advice has become freely available online. This is the time to take advantage of it.
“You can go online and research it or even check in with an employment lawyer.”
If a worker needs flexibility or certain supports, they should remember that most workplaces now will have policies built in to help include workers. They only need to ask, Grant said.
“Don’t be nervous about it. The more up-front you can be, the better the negotiation and the better you’ll be placed when you start,” she said.
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