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Is Your Boss Second-Guessing Why He Hired You?

December 3, 2014

By: Terri Williams

The first few weeks on a new job can be exhilarating. It’s a new environment, with new people, new duties and new responsibilities. Also, the desire to make a good impression is probably causing more than a little nervousness. However, your new boss may be experiencing a totally different range of emotions – such as anxiety, worry, and apprehension. It other words, a case of “new employee buyer’s remorse”!

Here are 3 reasons why a boss would second-guess a new hire, and ways to relieve those concerns.

1. Does the new employee fit the culture?

If you walk out the door at exactly 5pm every day while everyone else is still working, that’s the first sign this company may not be a culture fit for you. Yes, the workday is officially over, but if no one else is leaving, the one person who exits the building is going to stand out like a sore thumb. If the rest of the team members get together for lunch every now and then, attend the occasional happy hour on Fridays, or if they all answer text and email after hours – yet the newbie doesn’t participate in any of these activities, the boss may start to become concerned.

That’s why it’s important to research a company’s culture before accepting the position. Once an individual starts working for an organization, choosing to stand their ground and maintain strict rules can severely hinder the ability to bond with the team, and it may also appear that the newbie is not pulling their weight.

Family obligations or other types of commitments prevent employees from staying at work longer, going to happy hour, or responding to messages after hours. Frugality could be the root cause for not joining the team for lunch and choosing to “brown-bag it.” If so, these circumstances should be explained to the boss. However, if this is not the case, perhaps some adjustments should be made – at least until the newbie begins to gel with the team.

2. Did the new employee oversell their skills and talents?

Do you claim be a computer whiz with “attention to detail”?  If careless mistakes are being made and opening email attachments without assistance is difficult, your new boss will start to wonder if certain skills were exaggerated on the resume and during the interview. This is a definite problem because the other glowing parts of your resume and interview may not line up with reality and now start to be questioned.

If you sold the company a bill of goods that you can’t deliver on, you will not be there for long. It’s crucial for new employees to put their best foot forward during those initial weeks. In addition to checking and double-checking work for errors, going the extra mile to complete projects will give your new manager the warm fuzzies! It’s the company’s job to train new employees in areas specific to the job, but individuals who are lacking in basic areas (computers, time-management, organizational skills), need to invest in resources that can help bring them up to speed as quickly as possible.

3. Does the new employee click with the boss?

Are you developing a good working relationship with the boss or is there still awkwardness? Taking the time to understand the preferred means of communication that the boss uses can go a long way? If the newbie communicates by phone while the boss prefers email, or if the boss likes written reports and the newbie likes face-to-face updates, this relationship may get off to a bad start.

New employees can learn a lot about a boss by simply being observant and asking questions. Knowing and adapting to a new leadership style is vitally important to the new employee’s success.

A newbie’s performance during the first few weeks usually will determine if they’ll still be there when the probationary period is over. Making a concerted effort to fit in with the boss and teammates, and ensuring that your work performance is up to par, will give your new manager reason to never second-guess his hiring decision!



Terri Williams

Terri Williams began writing professionally in 1997, working with a large nonprofit organization. Her business, education, and lifestyle articles have appeared in various online publications including Yahoo, USA Today, The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News & World Report University Directory, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago. Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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