There are lots of events recruitment companies within London trying to provide events management and event production businesses with a steady stream of high-quality employees - like you. But businesses can be fickle. They like to “try before they buy” so to speak so it’s pretty common to have a probation period at the start of a new job.
You might have thought that the interview was pretty stressful but having, what is essentially a long-term interview, before you know for certain if you’re in, can seem like a pretty big deal. It needn’t be. Instead, think of it as a chance to showcase your talents and to impress your new boss. Think of it as a settling in, period rather than a test you need to pass, and you’ll be sure to succeed.
1. Chat with colleagues, smile, be friendly and approachable
In a new job, it can be a bit daunting having to make new connections but remember that you’re working in the events industry. If you can’t talk to your colleagues how can your boss be confident in your communication skills with paying clients or when instructing sub-contractors? So, get chatting!
2. Absorb information
You will probably have a lot of information thrown at you in the first few weeks in a new job. Try to remember as much as you can and don’t be afraid to get out that old-fashioned friend – the notepad – to jot down reminders.
3. Ask questions, don’t be afraid to double-check
The flip-side of absorbing all that information is that you want to ensure you’ve got all the information. So, make sure you ask questions about anything you don’t immediately understand.
Similarly, remember that different businesses can have different ways of working, so if you’re not sure if you’re doing something right then it’s fine to ask. You can get away with asking a lot of “silly” questions in those first few weeks.
4. Be punctual and don’t be a clock watcher
Make an extra effort to be on time during your probation – even if that means getting an earlier train and having breakfast in the Pret opposite the office. Check where you’re supposed to be – there’s no point turning up at the office at 9 if you were supposed to be at a client’s venue at 9!
Equally, don’t jump up at the end of the day and head off unless you absolutely have to. Take a relaxed walk to get the next train. You want to look like you want to work after all!
5. Have a positive, can-do attitude
You need your boss to know that you’re someone who’ll get things done. So, accept tasks with a “When do you need this by?” and a smile. And if you need to ask for help do so.
Asking for help because you want to get a job done as good as possible comes across much more positively than letting it linger until someone asks you for an update.
6. Engage, make suggestions, avoid criticism
You need to catch your bosses’ eye so speak up in meetings and make suggestions.
Sometimes though it can be hard to avoid coming across as overly critical. There may be times when you wouldn’t approach a problem in a particular way or you don’t agree with a colleague, but instead of simply criticising members of staff who may have been with the company for several years trying to turn your feelings into suggestions of another, possibly better, way of doing things.
Even if you’ve been told that the office has a casual dress code it’s best to keep your clothes at the smart end of the scale until you’re sure you know how casual is acceptable. If there is a dress code, then make sure you adhere to it – especially if you’re visiting or receiving clients.
8. Be Proactive
Sometimes your probationary period can actually be a bit underwhelming. You may not be given a full workload until your team leader or manager have had time to assess what your strengths and weaknesses are.
So, to make sure they have plenty of opportunities to assess you, make sure you seek out ways to keep yourself busy that don’t involve twiddling your thumbs. Go and ask if there is anything else you can do, or failing that see if a colleague could do with a hand.
9. Participate socially
You don’t have to go to everything you’re invited to but it’s a good idea to tag along to enough events that you’re not coming across as stand-offish or isolated. Grab coffee and lunch with your team. It can be a good way to hear the inside gossip about the rest of the business – but don’t be tempted to join in with the bitching.
10. Ask for feedback
You will probably have several reviews throughout your probationary period so be sure to ask for feedback on how you are shaping up at every opportunity. Make sure you act on the feedback.
Showing that you understand your shortcomings and are looking to improve is a good indicator that you will be a worthwhile member of staff.
Employers would rather train someone who is willing to change than be stuck with someone who’s got the skills but hasn’t got the right attitude to use them effectively.
Don’t forget you’re trying them out too
A probationary period should be seen as a two-way street. Whilst your new bosses are undoubtedly sizing you up and deciding if you are a good fit or not you should be doing the same to them.
Don’t be afraid to move on if you aren’t happy in your new role – treat it as a learning experience so you can focus on finding somewhere that you’ll fit into better.