7 Things You Should Never Do When Beginning a New Job

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New beginnings present challenges and opportunities. VII-photo / E+ / Getty Images

Beginning a new job is exciting and terrifying at the same time. It gives you the opportunity to start over, learn new things, refresh your skills, take on new challenges, and even make some new work friends. While that all sounds great, you may be worried about whether your new coworkers will be welcoming and if you will impress your boss. These seven tips will help you get off to a good start as you make this transition:

1. Don't Assume Anything About Details Like Your Hours

Your manager or the human resources department should let you know when to arrive at work and where to go when you get there.  If it's a couple of days before you are set to start your job and no one has given you those details, call or email your contact person. Don't assume you know when to get there and risk arriving late. 

Also, find out where you have to go when you get to your workplace. Don't waste time wandering around while you try to figure it out. You won't be on time, and you will feel stressed out before you even begin your first day of work.

2. Don't Ignore Coworkers' Offers of Help

Graciously accept assistance from your coworkers. Don't worry that it will make you look helpless. Many people welcome the opportunity to help newcomers. It makes them feel good to do it, and it can form the foundation of a good workplace relationship.

3. Don't Turn Down a Lunch Invitation

Another way to get relationships with your coworkers off to a good start is to take them up on any lunch invitations. If someone invites you to share a meal, he or she is probably just trying to get to know you better and help you feel less out of place. Everyone knows what it's like to begin a new job.

Resist the temptation to meet up with your former coworkers instead of going out with your new ones no matter how much you miss them.

4. Don't Get Caught Up in Office Gossip

Whether it's over lunch or around the proverbial water cooler, gossip happens in every workplace. Neither ignore or share it. Keep your ears open but your mouth closed. You may learn valuable information, for example, your boss's foul mood is due to his having a difficult time at home, and he isn't always like this. Don't contribute anything to the conversation. Also, keep in mind that not everything you hear is true.

5. Don't Be Unwilling to Learn How to Do Something a New Way

Even if your job duties are essentially the same at your new job as they were at your prior one, this transition will give you the opportunity to change things up. Be open to learning new techniques for performing the same or similar tasks. These new methods may be better, but even if they aren't a significant improvement, learning new ways to perform your work will keep things interesting. It can save you from boredom and make you better at your job.

6. Don't Complain About Your Former Boss or Coworkers

When you complain about your old boss and coworkers, even if they were extremely annoying, it allows your current colleagues to create a story about what they think happened.

You may assume they will cast you as the hero of your tale, but since they don't know you yet, they may instead see you as the villain. And your new coworkers may wonder if you will speak poorly of them when you are at your next job. Share your gripes with your friends and family or, better yet, just drop the whole thing. You're in a new and hopefully better place now.

7. Don't Share Personal Information

It is usually unwise to share personal information with your coworkers, but it is a particularly bad idea when you first begin working with them. You need time to determine who will keep that information confidential, who will spread gossip about you, and who will seize the opportunity to use that information to undermine your authority.