90 day trial period: Don't freak out!

90 day trial period: Don't freak out!

In early 2009 the National government of New Zealand added an amendment to the law that enables employers to add a trial period into employment agreements of up to 90 days. In effect, the amendment means that an employee can be dismissed by the employer for more or less any reason, as long as this is done inside the 90 days. So what has been the impact of this on people in their first few months of their new job?

Well, in short, people have had a mixed response. For some it is a great opportunity to "hit the ground running" and to prove to the employer that they have made the right choice in selecting them. Others experience the 90 day trial period as an added stress to a new job, by focusing on whether or not they will still be there in 90 days.

It can be daunting settling into a new job, but it is a crucial element of the employment cycle. In this blog, we discuss why you don’t need to freak out about the 90 day trial period and provide tactics to make it a positive experience, including taking time to reflect on your achievements, celebrate the things that have gone well and identify any areas for improvement.

 

Potentia Cycle of Employment

Reflect

A great method for managing stress and turning the 90 day trial period into a positive experience is to reflect on your current state.

Ask yourself:

  • What is going well?
  • What wins have you had to date, no matter how small?
  • What could be better?
  • What was important to you when you started in this new role?
  • Who are your key support people both personally and professionally?
  • If you were to feel stressed, what would be the indicators in your body? What would you do to reduce this?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Information equips you to be more confident.

Remember, how you see yourself will be how others will treat you, so aim for confidence, positivity and a willingness to be open to new knowledge and change in your new environment.  

Verify - am I on the right track?

A key activity at this time is to gain perspective on your impact, performance and behaviour change from people you trust both personally and professionally. What has your partner noticed about you over the past couple of months? Have you been generally happy? Engaged? Talked positively about work? A close friend could also have valuable insights. What you’re looking for here is to verify what you already know and perhaps add some new insight in order to calibrate your self-assessment. It is essential you also seek regular feedback from is your manager. Hopefully you’ve been fostering a good relationship with them to date and that your discussions have provided useful affirmations and guidance.

My challenge to you is the following: how can this time be about what you want, not what you want to avoid? Success driven, not failure avoidance.

The 90 day period should be very positive as each party takes this time seriously. Don't freak out!

Embrace it, take your power back and believe in yourself and your ability to be the best you can be.

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