Being accepted by your dream company is definitely a huge achievement. You are bound to be excited about finally making it after going through rounds of interviews. However, although you start drawing a salary from the first month itself, you only become a part of the company if you complete the probation period.
If you are a diligent employee and handle all your responsibilities well. Your employers cannot just tell you to leave because you are on probation. But you should be mindful and try to do your best during this period so that you do not face any obstacles to becoming a permanent company employee after the probationary period.
Instead of being scared and wound up that you are on probation, treat this period as a learning experience. It’s when you get to know the company and your coworkers and learn more about your job.
Once your employers realize that they were right to hire you in the first place, they will not hesitate to make you a permanent employee.
Why Do Companies Put Their Hires on Probation?
Companies put their recruits on probation to determine whether they will be the right fit for the company in the long run. Yes, the employees are selected after rigorous rounds of interviews, and they are selected based on their qualifications and skills.
And yet, it is one thing to select an employee based on their resume and what they have said during the interview, and a different thing to ascertain how well they deliver when they start working.
When an employee is on probation, they are expected to learn the ropes of the organization. Whether you join as an intern or in a mid-level position, you are still expected to learn how things are done at your new company.
Your managers will monitor you closely; if you cannot deliver, they might not give you the extra time you need to learn the job. Although this sounds harsh, you have to understand that the reason for putting you on probation is to check whether you can deliver on all that you said during the interview.
The company has to bear the costs of hiring a new employee, and they might not be willing to put extra resources into teaching new employees. It’s especially true for experienced employees who said they were knowledgeable about certain aspects of their jobs but failed to deliver after joining.
In addition, employers mostly try to determine whether the employee has effective soft skills, is responsible, follows the rule, and is a good team player. Hence, even if you are excellent at work, you may only be granted permanent employee status if you are friendly to your coworkers or keep to your deadlines.
How Long Does a Probation Period Last?
The duration of the probation period depends on the nature of the job and varies from company to company. While some companies may only have a three-month probation period, others may extend it for six months.
Other companies may keep you on probation for an entire year before they make you a permanent employee. During this period, you will get performance reviews at regular intervals, and your boss may often tell you which areas need improvement. Instead of being scared or offended by it, keep an open mind and learn all you can.
- The probation period is usually three months for entry-level positions like clerks and interns.
- The probation period is usually six months for mid-level positions like assistant managers, project managers, and team leaders.
- The probation period can be up to a year for high-level positions like CEO, COO, and CTO.
Almost every company has a probation period, although this is not compulsory. Sometimes, employers may hire recruits on contracts with special clauses and omit the probationary period. However, most all companies keep their new employees on probation for some time before making them permanent.
How can Employees Benefit from the Probation Period?
Although it may seem like a probation period works against the employee, it’s untrue. They also have much to learn from their period and can use it to their best advantage. Here are some reasons why being on probation might be a good thing.
1. Being the Right Fit
Just like the company tries to ascertain whether they would want to keep you permanently or not, as an employee, you can also use this time to think about whether you want to be a part of the company in the long run. Are you the right fit for the company?
As days go by, you get to know your colleagues, your managers, and the company’s work environment. Do their sensibilities match yours? Do you feel safe in the work environment? Do you feel like you are a part of the team, or are you discriminated against? You can think about all these aspects before becoming a permanent employee.
2. Gaining Experience
Probation periods are great for gaining experience, especially for those who have just started their careers. While you may not be aware of the outcome of the probation period, you will still gain a lot of hands-on experience.
You can improve your work based on the feedback your employers give you. Whether you want to be a part of the company at the end of the period is for you to decide. Still, even if you want to leave, you will do so with lots of experience, which you can use later in your career.
3. Being Paid
While you will not get many perks during probation, you will still draw a salary. And when you are made permanent at the end of the period, you may even get a raise.
Hence, you do not have to worry about getting underpaid unless your boss tries to be deliberately unfair.
Can Someone Get Fired During the Probation Period?
Yes, an employee may be fired when they are on probation. However, this would not be considered being fired and will be looked upon as failing the probation period. It may happen if your employers find flaws in your work or if you break company rules.
While the employer will probably give you a few warnings at first because you are new to the company, you may eventually get fired if you do not work on those issues and keep repeating the mistakes.
However, failing the probation is not the same as getting fired. It just means you did not have some of the skills required to reach the next level. Your managers may put it on your employee report, but you can always work on improving yourself.
Points to Remember while You are on Probation
Being on probation need not be difficult. By keeping a few points in mind, you can easily navigate this period so that your employer becomes eager to keep you on at the end of the probation period. Here are some things to remember.
- Always abide by the rules and regulations of the company. You are new to the organization, so you should explore and learn as much as possible rather than being a rebel.
- Be a team player. Even if you do not approve of some of your coworkers, focus on your growth rather than being judgmental of others.
- Do not engage in gossip with your coworkers about your new boss. You don’t know them well yet.
- Don’t complain about extra workload or strict deadlines. It’s the time when you learn and gather experience; you should be thankful for the opportunity.
- Ask questions and be confident. Being on probation does not mean you have to be scared and meek. Confidently ask questions and voice your doubts with the utmost professionalism and politeness. Your manager will appreciate your openness and see you as a future leader.
Should You Look for Another Job During the Probation Period?
Yes, if you are not confident about what may happen during the end of the probation period, you should keep looking for another job. You may see signs about whether your employer will wish to keep you on or let you go at the end of the probation period.
For example, suppose you find your employer supportive and encouraging. In that case, they will make you a permanent employee at the end of the probation. However, if they keep reprimanding you and find flaws in your work, you may be asked to leave. Although none of these are guaranteed, you may feel lost if you do not have a Plan B.
If you keep looking for other jobs while on probation, you will not feel lost and desperate if told to leave. Having another offer will make you feel more confident, and you can take the experience in your stride and learn from it.
Probation can be stressful as new employees are expected to handle a lot of pressure. It’s like a test they must pass to stay on. Hence, new recruits often complain of late hours, extra workload, and strict deadlines. But if you can sail through this period, you will develop the skills to work under stressful situations.
You will be able to face bigger challenges that your work life will throw at you throughout your career.
These initial days of starting out may be tough, but you can always make it a positive experience for yourself.