Occupational Research Section
HOW TO KEEP THE JOB NOW THAT YOU ARE HIRED
A company's decision to hire you is an indication that you have the
ability to become a productive and valued employee. As a new employee,
your goal is to prove by performing well in the job that the company made
a good hiring decision. Job retention will depend on good job
performance. Moreover, future salary increases, promotion, and
job/professional development are linked to how well you perform in the
job and fit in with the company. In this guide, we offer some
suggestions on how you can keep your job after you have been hired.
Use good work habits
Maintain a good attendance record. Notify your boss of any absence.
Inform him or her beforehand if you have to leave early, come late, or
take a longer lunch hour.
Arriving promptly each day is important. Staying late does not compensate
for tardiness. Your not being there at the start of the day may
interfere with others being able to do their jobs. Be willing to work
overtime to meet deadlines. You want to convince your supervisor and co-
workers that you are a hard and willing worker.
Keep your immediate work station or area clean and organized. Follow your
company's safety rules and practices in the workplace in order to avoid
accidents and injuries.
Dress in a way that suits your job. Look around during your initial
interview and notice how people in the company dress. When in doubt, be
conservative and wear simple clothes until you get to know what is
Learn your new company's values, norms, and culture
Companies tend to always hire in their own image. If you were chosen,
someone must have thought you would fit in with the values, norms, and
culture of the company. The burden is on you, then, to learn the jargon,
the way of thinking, and the operating style of the company.
Values - general ideas about what is good and bad.
Norms - specific expectations about how people should behave in
Culture - the prevailing system of values and norms.
Know job performance expectations
Job performance expectations should cover the range of job duties and
responsibilities assigned to you. Performance expectations focus on the
goals or objectives you are to achieve in the job and describe the
conditions that constitute satisfactory job performance. Both your
supervisor and you (employee) "must" have the same perception of what job
performance is expected. In your orientation session with the supervisor,
job performance expectations should be discussed and clearly understood.
Plan and prioritize your work
Teaching yourself to work intelligently, rather than long and hard,
requires planning. More time spent in planning up front saves time at the
other end. A good plan involves an honest analysis of your situation,
written objectives, specific steps or ways of obtaining these objectives,
and a follow-up evaluation. No plan will work unless you learn to
prioritize. Order your daily objectives or work and keep that focus.
When you don't know, ask
There is no such thing as a "stupid question." Your supervisor wants you
to become productive as soon as possible. A productive person is regarded
as a good employee. One of the most common causes of poor job performance
is employee fear of asking questions.
Follow your company's telephone guidelines
Be sure to follow your new company's policies or special format when
answering incoming or making outgoing calls. Avoid making and receiving
personal calls, unless absolutely necessary. If they are required, keep
Learn about your company's activities
Read your company's memorandums and news releases, as well as its annual
and quarterly reports. The more you understand about your company's total
business, the better you can understand how your job fits into others'
jobs and the more successful you are apt to be in developing or generating
cost-saving procedures/policies for the company.
Energetically support company goals and objectives. If you were a
supervisor, would you like someone who seemed interested in what he or she
did for a living?
Evaluate your job performance
Generally, the results of your job performance can be measured using four
factors: Quantity, Quality, Cost and Timeliness.
Quantity - How much did I accomplish or produce? How does that
compare to what was expected? Did any circumstances
beyond my control affect the amount of results achieved -
either positively or negatively?
Quality - How good were the results? How does actual work done
compare to the quality expected?
Cost - What costs were incurred in the process of achieving the
results? Consider such things as materials, tools, and
Timeliness - Is work completed on time? If not, why not? Are delays
due to circumstances beyond my control or are the delays
because of poor planning and organization?
This type of self-appraisal (which may be done daily, weekly, or monthly)
will help you evaluate your job performance. Most supervisors will
measure or evaluate job performance using a similar approach and give
specific feedback on how your performance is viewed by the company.
Expect job performance to be monitored
With job performance expectations established, the next step is progress
monitoring by your supervisor. Monitoring your performance may include:
. personal inspection - going to the work area to inspect products
being produced or personally reviewing letters, reports, studies,
etc., generated in an office setting;
. progress reviews - private oral review, group oral review, or
written review is often used to monitor employees on special
assignments or projects;
. client contact by the supervisor - when services to another part
of the organization or to outside companies are provided; and
. record keeping as well as monitoring your PC, e-mail, and phone use
Enhance your value to the organization by improving or learning new job
Take and complete company-sponsored training programs and postsecondary
courses, as well as attend skill workshops and seminars. Membership in
professional associations may provide firsthand information through
publications, newsletters, and meetings on emerging trends or technology
in your field of work or industry and may help in developing business
Other tips for helping you keep your job:
. Listen, watch, and learn your supervisor's priorities and make
. Make it your business to get along with your co-workers and be a
good team player.
. Look for opportunities to take on new responsibilities.
. Be aware that incompetency, stealing, or alcohol/drug abuse will
usually result in a company terminating your employment.
. Avoid office romances.