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12 Things Not to Do When You Start a New Job

With new jobs come new excitement and new opportunity. Opportunity to reinvent yourself, start over, make new friends and forge new roads for yourself.

With starting new jobs, you must also take caution. Transitioning between new rules, roles, and coworkers can be tricky at first and you only have one chance to make a first impression.

To make sure that you are starting off your new job on the right foot, try to follow some of the tips that resonate with you below. While these may not suit all job types, they can generally give you some sort of guideline to follow when you start a new position. Keep in mind that you should always do what feels right and comfortable within yourself so if some of these tips go against your own natural behavior then don’t do them.

Before starting past jobs, I didn’t game-plan what I wanted to do. I showed up and did what I “thought” was the right thing. It didn’t occur to me that I could be doing something wrong or hurting my chances at having more success. Learning how to talk to people and how to navigate a new space was something that took time for me to understand and grasp.

I came up with this list because it would have greatly helped me when I first started a new job. I could’ve used some of this advice to help me plant a better foundation for myself.

Hopefully some of these tips can help you too:

  1. Don’t overshare personal information. This applies at any point in your career but especially when you first start a new position. It’s okay to talk about your kids or your pets but don’t divulge your deepest secrets to a coworker you just met. You also never know who you coworkers really are and they can use some of your personal information against you. Staying safe by not sharing too much.
  2. Don’t bring old job habits with you. Every job has their own specific rules and ways of doing things. Your old job habits should be slowly incorporated over time once you get good at your new rules and procedures. There is more than one way to peel an orange so stay open to new ways of doing things when you start your new job.
  3. Don’t get caught up in office drama. Starting a new job means that you will encounter new office drama. New coworkers will likely see you as an easy target and will try to get you to partake in office drama and secrets. As tempting as it can be to want to make new friends, avoid getting involved in office drama.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. While you shouldn’t ask your coworkers to take care of all of your work for you, you shouldn’t be reluctant to ask for help. Asking for help is better than telling your new boss you made a mistake because you didn’t know how to do something. Its expected for you to not know everything so don’t be afraid to ask how to do something.
  5. Don’t stress. While it is important for you to make a good first impression, don’t pull your hair out trying to be perfect. It’s okay to relax and be yourself. Anxiety and worry are things you don’t want to fill the air with around your new coworkers and managers. Take a deep breath and let embrace your new job.
  6. Don’t snooze on orientation. Learning about new rules and office procedures can be as boring as it comes, but don’t snooze on orientation. You can easily pick up on vacation and sick time procedures(which you need to know), you can figure out who other managers are, and you can sometimes even find out how to get promoted. Drink a cup of coffee and take notes.
  7. Don’t take a lot of personal time. You are at your job to work and taking unnecessary or excessive personal time can make your managers question whether you will be a problematic employee. If there is an actual situation that you simply can’t avoid taking personal time for, then talk to your manager/s.
  8. Don’t lie about what you know. It will come back to haunt you. While impressing your managers and coworkers about what you can do is important, lying about your skills and qualifications can and will hurt you. If you can’t do something then don’t tell people you can.
  9. Don’t bad mouth your old job/boss/coworkers. There is a reason you left your old job, but your new coworkers don’t need the scoop as to why. Bad mouthing an old job will only lead your coworkers to question what you will say about them next.
  10. Don’t call in or use vacation time right away. With all the stress that comes with having a new job, its easy to want to use some of your vacation or sick time to have an extra day or two off. Taking vacation or sick time can signal to your managers that you could be a repeat offender and this could be a red flag. Emergencies do happen and things do come up, but unless it is an absolute necessity and death will ensue afterwards…don’t do it.
  11. Don’t be the first to leave. When you first start a job, an easy way to make a good impression is by staying a few minutes late. Ask your boss or coworkers questions or even get a head-start on the work for tomorrow. Show everyone that you are willing to go the extra mile and do what is necessary to get the job done.
  12. Don’t complain about your new job. This should be pretty self explanatory, but complaining about your new job is a sure way to tarnish your first impression and possibly career. No matter what job you have, there is going to be something that you don’t like about it, your job is to overlook those things and set personal feelings aside.


I hope some of these tips are helpful to you when starting your new job. One of the biggest things that you CAN do when starting a new job is simply showing up and being interested. Smile, shake hands, take initiative and for the love of everything cheesy and good, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Check out some of these other career related post for more tips:

81 Verbs to Instantly Boost Your Resume

6 Ways to Respect Yourself So Others Know How to Treat You 

8 Thoughts to Keep You at Peace All Day

If you have any other tips that you would like to share please leave them down below. Thanks! 

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