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How to Keep Your New Job

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In this economy, a job is like a bar of gold. A bar of gold encrusted with diamonds and pearls, with the cure for cancer etched into it.

handshakeForbes magazine says 25% of new employees don’t last a year, and 50% are gone by 18 months. So if you land a new job, it’s quite important to keep that job. There are plenty of other people who want it.

Some advice for the newly employed:

Make sure you and your boss have the same understanding of your job description. Maybe you applied for Assistant Regional Manager, but your boss hired you for Assistant to the Regional Manager. Or perhaps you and your supervisor agree on the title, but not on what the job responsibilities are. Employers have a tendency to make positions more attractive than they are, just as job applicants exaggerate their own qualifications.

If there seem to be any differences between what you and your boss expected, bring the issue up at once. You might be doing a great job at what you thought your position was, while your boss might think you’re screwing up. Clear the air, make sure you’re on the same page, and don’t overuse tired cliches like “clear the air” and “on the same page.”

Don’t march in on day one and try to change everything. Some particularly egotistical people (especially in management) think they need to establish themselves on the first day as the new gun in town. As soon as they hit the ground, they are running –right into other employees, who may not appreciate the new person marking his or her territory.

Don’t try to remake your office, department or company as soon as you arrive. First, there may be perfectly valid reasons why your new company does things the way they do them. And second, your bosses and co-workers don’t know you or trust you yet. No one wants a stranger to show up and tell them everything they’re doing is wrong.

Spend at least a few weeks meeting your co-workers and discussing why they do what they do the way they do it. Then, once you’ve established yourself, start making suggestions to co-workers, and instituting your way of doing things with subordinates.

Promote yourself. You may be doing great work, but when the layoffs come six months from now, the newest hires will be the first to go. And if none of the managers can remember who you are or what you do, they will have no compunctions about letting you go.

Meet as many people as you can at your new job. Stay in communication with your supervisor, and keep him or her apprised of what you’re working on. Go to work parties and after-work drinks. Get noticed — it’s much harder to lay off a friend or acquaintance than a total stranger. And networking will promote your career in other ways as well.

Be honest if you don’t know what you’re doing. New hires are often terrified to admit they’re not sure how to complete a task, or are unclear on their job requirements. If you don’t know how to deal with something, there are two choices — face the embarrassment of admitting this to your boss, or never get the task done and turn what may be a small problem into a big disaster.

I’ve had to go to a new supervisor and say “I don’t know how to do this,” and face the boss’ confusion and anger. But your resume said you could [job skill]! What kind of a [insert job title here] doesn’t know how to do this? The problem may stem from you and your boss have differing ideas about your job description; or maybe the person you replaced had a different skill set than you do.

But keeping your problem a secret will only make it worse. Learn what you need to learn, and the problem is solved.

Don’t be tardy; dress appropriately; stay late; work hard. I shouldn’t have to add these, but apparently not everyone knows that the first 90 days of your job are like a trial period. Do your absolute best.

Got any further advice for new employees? Let us know in the comments.


Image credit: “Handshake (Workshop Cologne ’06)” by Tobias Wolter. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

How to Keep Your New Job by
Authored by: Erik Even

  • clarabelle

    I have had this very discussion with my husband. He does not understand the importance of having good communication with your boss. Your boss must know if you are fuzzy about your job requirments. You must also know how to sell yourself, make yourself seem important. Also things cant be changed overnight. You may know a better way of reaching a goal, but just barging in and changing everything is not the answer.

  • otherworldlies

    Thank you so much for the info. I’ve been struggling to get a job for a while now and I need some tips so that I can get the extra “heads up” on the competition.

  • jspeetzen

    Joshua Speetzen
    This article touches on many topics that every American is facing in there job outlook right now and being in the job market myself, the advice in this article is very important too me.

  • marsmasao

    Thanks for this article. It was really informative and helped me keep my job. Thanks!

  • halpina1

    Great article I think that there are too many people getting laid off, including me, and these tips may just help many people. Great job!

  • Laceykay

    Meeting as many people as possible is a very helpful part of getting a new job. You never know when you are going to be replaced by a new worker, and if you get to know new people( other managers in other fields), you can always put these valuable references in your next resume. Also the more people you know, the sooner you will hear about job openings before the public do. Now a days, the more people you know the better off you’ll be throughout your working life!

  • cxtwist

    I can’t agree enough with the part of coming to an understanding of your job title. I have been burned on 2 jobs where the title was very misleading. One for example was the title of General manager. Little did I know general meant cleaning restrooms and other jobs not normally associated with a manager title. Great advice in this article for any new employees.


  • the_dead_man

    Name- Deadman

    Comment: very useful article. I have been working in my workplace about 8 months now. This article will help me better understand what I is expected from me and what i am to expect from the company. Better relationship should strengthen my job career. In the end, the keywords(the bold titles) should represent everything u need to do to stick to your job.

  • elderath88

    Be Friendly, Calm, and courteous at all times. Some times mellow is the way to go, It makes you look focused, and ready at all times. Also more people are likely to befriend you. -Jami-

  • msgkila

    This article was helpful in letting me know how to keep my job. It was a kind of, hey use common sense that not everybody realizes comes into play in the office.

    Matt, Email

  • rangell

    I completely agree with your advice. Some of it seems like common sense but I think a big reason why people don’t seem to last very long is because they forget to do the right things at work.

  • gramatic

    you should be happy to have a job, you should take a pay cut gracefully, you should not complain, do not do poorly always try hard but dont over excell so that you make coworkers look bad and they want to gang up on you.

  • alienrubbert

    This is a very truthful article. Just remember, be confident, professional, and listen well and things will turn out more for the better.

  • jonl1319

    I have been at my job for a while but these are great tips that I will try to start using. Well written article and very helpful.

  • madmike2020

    Great article.I hope this helps me in the near future of finding a job,and sustaining it to better my career. Michael

  • dooper

    yes! one has to be patient and hard working during the probabtion period of job. so that you may stay there for long time and keep your job for long period.

  • bowl_o_ramen

    Thanks for the helpful tips!
    In my opinion, I also think it is best not to ask for too many days off for irrelevant things that are not actually emergencies. This will definitely keep you on the job!

    – Evan S.

  • tojokid93

    TJ Wilson,

    I believe the author has touched up on many good points that will indeed help to keep your job, but the most important one is probably the first. You should tell them what they want to hear

  • DBExpert

    I can definitely relate to the majority of these topics. When I first got out of college, I was able to get a good start in a large company. I started out trying to let everyone know who I was, and figured the more I pushed, the further I would get. Unfortunately, I was so over-confident in my work, my boss pointed out many mistakes I was making. Sooner or later I was laid off, but since then, found another job in which I already somewhat knew the boss. We already had a great relationship and it grew from there. I’ve been at this job for over four years now.

  • jimilloyd

    I found the idea that you and your boss should be on the same page regarding job requirements to be extremely, and simply, enlightening. It seems obvious once someone puts it into words, but I think a lot of the time an employer is less than clear about what a job is going to require at first (especially if the employee doesn’t ask questions.) Great Article!

  • md128

    I have to mention that some of these tips should be common sense but nontheless all the points made in this article should be taken seriously by any potential job hire.


  • nmsindia

    reallly good tips on How to Keep Your New Job. can you explain how to behave on first day at new office

  • Lilheat313

    Hey my name is Corey and my email is Anyways thanks for the advice! Ill remember some of these tips while searching for a job during these rough econmic times! As for further advice, based on my current experience, the best way to keep a job is just be real. Not in the same sence as “sitting on the couch with friends”. But just making sure you stay true to yourself and the people your working with. Nobody likes a phoney! 😛

  • demon160

    I competely agree with this article you definately have make sure you and your boss have an understanding of what your job is ive lost a few jobs not understanding what my job is and it is so true to promote yourself it will deffinatelly lead to better options and possibly better jobs.
    working hard is the only thing your boss’s can really ask of you and you have to give them just that

  • anotheraznguy

    I have to agree 100% with your comments. i especially like the one in regards to trying not to change things in the first few days of employment. I’ve known many new hires that would run their mouth and attempt to change things only to piss off important players and get laid off.

  • anotheraznguy

    I have to agree 100% with your comments. i especially like the one in regards to trying not to change things in the first few days of employment. I’ve known many new hires that would run their mouth and attempt to change things only to piss off important players and get laid off.

  • grmitchell

    Thanks for the tip. I really was not aware there were so many wrong things to do to help you keep your job besides be a hard worker. Good stuff


  • lcabic12

    This is pretty useful– the little trivia section is pretty interesting, I didn’t know any of that stuff before I came on this site. In a nutshell, pretty good advice for someone looking for a job,lol! I’ll keep this in mind next time I apply for a job.

  • alextassoul

    This article is very useful. Honesty in my opinion is the thing an employer looks for. if your not being honest they will try to test you. It has happend to me and i learned really quick. If you want to keep a steady job, and you have had trouble in the past. this article is the one for you.

  • Wayne

    I think that this article is very well structured and offers a lot of great advice for a person to become efficient and productive in their job. It’s almost shocking at the numbers of people who don’t last more than a year.


  • madhukalash

    The article is pretty admirable and understandable. The job seekers should take care of these things during their proposals and should treat them honest all the time.


  • floresdelmar

    After learning my lesson the hard way, now is not the time to jump to another job just because it looks like a better opportunity. I totally agree with the author that jobs at present are like diamond, encrusted gold. Most importantly, document your actions and save any memos that a superior sent out as a commendation for a job well done.

  • Harris34

    These tips really hit home with me. I lost my job within the first 7 months, and if I had these essential tips, I might not have been stuck in the minimum wage job I have now! I’ll be sure to follow these tips in the future. Thanks!


  • Andruith

    I think that the Article is one of the best. It give you a good understanding of the job market and what you have to keep in mind while you are a part of it.

  • Harris34

    Oh, sorry for the double post. I wanted to leave my email in case anyone had any additional advice for me 🙂


  • blaise25

    very informative article…

    it is what our economy right now, although the recession still up there, people must not be choosy for their jobs. it may not be your dream job, but it could bring you to your dream one…just be patient and keep working hard, you’ll definitely reach what you aim for.


  • askilyas

    The article is very good and contains important information for employers as well as job seekers. When ever a job seeker is preparing for interviews he should keep in mind the things mention in this article. Thanks a lot for posting such a nice article.


    Mohd Ilyas

  • frankay

    Good article i learned new points. All these, general common sense and many more tips are needed for the modern job candidate in an immensely competitive workplace.


  • BenniBoy

    I totally agree about not changing everything as soon as you turn up…if you tell people their work is crap straight away you just undermine yourself…wait until you really see how the place functions and how people perform before judging them.

  • BenniBoy

    And remember that while there are no stupid questions, if you keep asking the same question, people will think you are stupid.

  • Angela

    This is truly one of the best articles I have read in a long time. Very informative and straight to the point. I have personally used some of the methods mentioned at my new employment and it has been a true blessing. Thank you for this article.


  • Chaives

    This is a nice article! An extra tip I would have would be that I’d like to think a great tip for new employees is to stay a positive person in your workplace. It helps you to be noticed a little bit more and it seems to make your job a little less menial if it was originally thought.

  • melissa1983

    I agree with what madhukalash said. Very well written article. Lots of people need help with this nowadays. Thank you for this informative article.

  • isevenx

    Great article. Very good tips that are needed during this time of recession. People who are able to land a job nowadays should refer to this article.


  • robin0999

    I like this article very much, it is exceptionally helpful. People looking for jobs should definitely be looking using this site. My brother id currently looking for a job, and I’m sure he’s like to know the link to this site. Thanks!


  • joejack12

    I completely agree with all the points made in this article. While a lot of us would consider these kinds of things common sense other people seem completely obvlivious to “the game”. What game?…The social game. Whenver starting a new job you first priorities should be impressing your boss while making friends with your coworkers. This is not easy, because impressing your boss usually has the reverse effect on your coworkers, regardless, you must find a way.

    One more thing i think should be added to the list is to stay away from office (workplace) gossip. It seems to me whenever I meet new coworkers they always want to talk about everyone we work with, regardless of your feelings you should not engage in bashing or talking down about any of your colleagues. The person in which you engage in these discussions is usually the first to tell your coworkers your opinion of them…its just not smart. Laugh, smile, dont criticize the culprit, but just done engage in that kind of discussion, its a quick way to make many unseen enemies.

  • Tonysm

    The article is fairly logical, I mean having a great relationship with your superiors will definitely help someone in the long run when layoffs are coming. Although, sucking up can also affect your ability to move up in the ranks of the office because you do need to have your own self confidence also and have a hard working ethic. But like you said, a balance of both will help to get someone higher up in the workplace eventually or just help them keep their job.

    Anthony Mollengarden

  • cwhitt4

    This is all really useful information. I can particularly testify to the honesty point. Acting like you know what you’re doing may look good in the short run but it always catches up to you. In such a shaky job market it is best to ask for the help when you need it.

  • Shamanna

    This article brought up some awesome points! Being new at any job is always nerve racking! Having great points like this help you quite a bit with not being such a nervous wreck! I especially like the “Don’t march in and try and change everything in one day” rule! I have been in situations where a person tried to do that and ended up putting a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. Great article!

  • Lawrence Spunk

    “In this economy, a job is like a bar of gold.” I couldn’t agree more! It’s one thing to find that gold bar, it’s another to keep it.

    Lawrence Spunk

  • vman456

    Very good advice! It’s important to keep a positive and bright attitude while maintaining your modesty in the workspace. Know your place and what your job entails!


  • rp323

    This article is great for people to brush up their habits at work. I have experienced some of these things myself.


  • edwin

    This article gave me very important info i never thought of when it came to keeping a job. The job seekers should take care of these things during their proposals and should treat them honest all the time.

  • lito214

    This article was pretty usefull. It is straight to the point and has great ideas. I also like the facts they used in the beginning to start off. I will most definately use these ideas.


  • shc3po

    THis article really does have a lot of useful info in it. It was good point to make when it was discussing presenting yourself. You really have to sell yourself in order to get yourself hired. If you believe you deserve this job then they will too.

  • shc3po

    THis article really does have a lot of useful info in it. It was good point to make when it was discussing presenting yourself. You really have to sell yourself in order to get yourself hired. If you believe you deserve this job then they will too.


  • dangriffen

    Interesting article. It would have been nice to have read it when I started my last job. Lots of helpful info.

  • MMBB241

    Fantastic article. I really like the paragraph on “Don’t march in one day and try to change everything.” So many people jump into a job and get impatient and antsy.
    The paragraph on “Promote yourself” is also key because a lot of people lack confidence when they first start off at a job. Without confidence, you’ll never get anywhere.
    – Mitch B.

  • Willywill80

    I agree with this article 100% it was very informative ad I plan to use the information provided in my everyday life. i especially enjoyed the section entitled promote yourself. it is very useful to allow yourself to become noticed, that way you will not just be like any other employee you will stand out. Attending social work events and networking will help when promotion time comes around.

    William jeffcoat

  • rmaravilla

    This is great advice for anyone looking for a job! It’s more competitive than ever right now. As a Human Resources Manager I wish every new employee would read and follow the advice given on this post! So many new hires (both experienced and inexperienced) make the mistake of not communicating their expectations of the position with their manager and it usually results in the employee pre-maturely leaving their position. It is very important to develop relationships at work. Your Co-workers can provide helpful insight when you are new to a position.


    Tim Woods Reply:

    Yeah sure – I am sure that an “HR” manager would have an email address “” – FAIL!

  • translucenteyecandy

    Very good advice, and I know on my first job I was definitely not aware of much of it! Hope that many readers looking for their jump into the real world take some of it to heart – will definitely soften the experience!

    Dave Young

  • bakadom

    I think this article gave me a lot of helpful information. I am currently in the search for a job and this will help me keep my next job

  • Meesheen

    I would just be happy to have a job at any level. And I think most of the american public would too.

  • iluvkitties15

    This article is great! All the information is so helpful. I always have a hard time confronting people about a problem, but this article makes me feel less stressed about just asking someone for help or to get someone’s input.


  • bigepimp415

    this was a insightful article, i wish i had read something like this before i had my last job, if i had followed this insights i might have kept my job instead of being seen as the guy who leaves work right when the clock hits 5 p.m.

  • TT

    There is lots of information here to help those looking for a great job. The tips here great for those entering the job market or getting ready for an interview.


  • Dookieman

    Pretty informative, though it lost me at some points, overall though something worth looking through. I’ll bear this in mind.

  • hollybreakfast

    My name is Holly West,, and I really enjoyed this article. Each of these points should be taken to heart and remembered throughout not only the first ninety days, but perhaps even through the first year of employment.

  • billychicken

    This is a good set of advice for anyone who is looking for employment. As a person to which this is very relevant I have found the information very useful. Many of the points can be used not only in the job search, but in everyday life as well.

  • smannan

    My name is Jim Downs,, and thank for the advice. Recently I’ve had trouble holding down a job. With these tips I hope to hold on to my new job for a while.

  • You’ve provided very nice tips here for any newbie in a company. If anybody is getting a new job,he/she should definitely follow these ideas. Best of luck!!

  • Tim Woods

    I would only do these things if I were fresh out of school and didn’t know anything. If you have a job at anything else – all of this immediately goes away — at some companies they expect you to make decisions and get work done the first day and if not, they’ll fire you in less than a week.

  • Tim Woods

    Here is some advice from a real hiring manager – not a blogger looking to score points:
    1. Get alignment from your boss regarding expectations before you start working – preferably the week before via phone or email. In some companies, try to get your I-9 and W-4s out of the way early on as well. That way when you come to work the first day, you’re ready to work.
    2. Get to work early the first day and stay late – the biggest mistakes I saw from new hires is that they think that they can take it easy the first couple of weeks since it’s still the “honeymoon period” – I pay close attention to the slackers at this time and let them go at the end of the first month if they don’t get work done.
    3. Make sure that you are able to do the basics (e.g. email, printing, find office supplies, etc. within the first day) — find someone to help you if necessary. Your boss should be there to support you that entire first day at least.
    4. It’s important to start strong and maintain that momentum – show your coworkers that you are ready to get going asap by scheduling meetings with them. Be assertive – as your boss, I will give you the basics, but your teammates should be able to fill in the cracks.
    5. If you don’t know what you are doing, if it’s not proprietary (e.g. IT systems, etc.) – find a way to figure it out; don’t bug me. I hired you to figure it out and I hate stupid questions more than anything and don’t have the patience for them.
    6. Here’s a secret — yes, I want you to take classes… not Word, Excel, etc – if you need to know the product, definitely sign up for those — at the very least, get copies of the company’s product manuals and study study study. By the end of the first month, I am going to make you do a presentation for me. Wow me and you’re on your way to keeping your job; if you fail miserably, you’re fired. If you an average job, I’ll give you another month to improve.
    7. Here’s another secret – yes, I admit that I have favorites and yes I will treat them extremely well and will hang out with them. It’s your responsibility as the newbie to come in and wow me enough to convince me to let you in my inner circle. If you do that, fantastic, if you can’t – find another job.
    8. Here’s another secret – yes I know the first month on the job is tough — but I do expect you to get through it. It’s not just high IQs I hire, I hire high EQs too. Don’t play political games though – you will get caught.