When we apply for and actually get a job, it seems that everything will be smooth going. We have a job, a weekly paycheck, some peace of mind and security at last! However, there may be pitfalls coming that can be avoided if you know what to ask your employer ahead of time. There are two topics you should raise before you risk getting fired!
1. Upon starting your job, ask your supervisor about evaluations of performance and when these should occur. Hopefully, an evaluation will take place early enough during the probationary period that has been designated (most companies have these probationary periods, whether they say so or not).
2. When the evaluation takes place, ask about areas of self-improvement and where changes should be made. Ask very straightforwardly about any areas that your employer thinks are weak in your performance, and inquire as to how much time you have to rectify these. Be positive that you and your employer are on the same wavelength as to what these areas are and the changes that should be made.
I had a friend who found a job after months of unemployment. She was ecstatic – it was a stable company that paid good wages and furnished very nice fringe benefits. She was especially happy about this as she was in the middle of a divorce, and desperately needed the work.
Exactly eighty-nine days after being hired, she was terminated. (This was also three days after she returned from the out-of-state funeral of her youngest brother, who had died horribly of cancer at the age of 26.) They fired her on a Friday and handed her her last paycheck, saying that they noticed that she had been “distracted” for the last few weeks and needed someone more “focused!”
Of course, they were aware that her brother had died – but as the person dealing out the bad news said, “Business is business!”
My friend said she had no idea anything was wrong with her performance up to that time. She had enjoyed the work, liked the people, was always on time, and so forth. (Of course, she had taken off three days for her brother’s funeral!) Admittedly, I’m sure she was “distracted” over his cancer and death, so her performance was probably not the best. However, perhaps her termination could have been avoided if she had asked questions prior to that time.
What do you think – what should new employees ask their managers?