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Companies do not always offer a probationary period to new employees. Some consider new-hires regular employees from the start. The term “probationary” period does not mean that an employer is offering an employment contract that guarantees employment. Instead, it means that new-hires have completed an introductory period to see if the employment relationship is a good fit for both parties. It also indicates that the new-hires have finished initial trainings and may be eligible for a raise after a performance review.
Many companies offer a performance review at the end of a probationary period. The performance review helps the employer and employee discuss whether both sides are happy with the current arrangement. It helps employers know if employees understand the job and can perform the job duties well, and it helps employees know if they have been doing the job as the employer expects.
Many employers offer the possibility of a pay raise at the end of the probationary period. A raise is a testament to the satisfactory work a new-hire performed during the probationary period, which may last from a month to several months, depending on the employer. However, not all employers offer pay raises at the end of the probationary period. Instead, the new-hire may be eligible for benefits at the end of the probationary period, or it may result in a change of job classification from probationary to regular staff.
Getting the Raise
During your probationary period, demonstrate your skills and talents by staying late or coming in early if necessary to get a job done. Be respectful of all coworkers and supervisors. Heed mentors’ and trainers’ admonitions and suggestions. Take charge of your position and be confident as you do it, but be willing to learn from others. Take the initiative to go beyond what is expected to demonstrate your commitment to doing a good job.
In the Performance Review
If the employer does not feel that you have done as well as you should have in a particular area at the end of your probationary period and discusses it with you in a performance review, remain calm. Your professional reputation can be quickly ruined if you react defensively and with anger. Instead, take time to objectively review your work in your mind. Make a list of your accomplishments to counter the negative review, and clarify any expectations about which you may have been unclear with your boss after the review. Make an action plan to improve, and plan to meet with your boss periodically to review your performance.
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Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.