When starting a first job, there are some common missteps that many new employees make in the office. One or two big blunders can damage your reputation within your company and make it much more difficult to create relationships and move up the ladder. Because of this, it's important to be aware of the worst kinds of mistakes you can make and how to avoid them.

Showing up late is one of the most common wrong moves. Once in a while, you will have to come in late. When this happens, be responsible about it. Contact your superior to let her know what's going on and tell any clients who may be affected. If it begins to happen frequently, however, you are running a huge risk. Lateness is unprofessional and disrespectful, and, even if it seems as though your co-workers don't notice, they do. Your colleagues may begin to see you as someone who disregards others, Psychology Today says, and that's not an impression you want to give. You should also be just as careful about leaving early or in a rush. Don't give your co-workers the sense that you can't wait to get out the door. It makes it seem as though you're not happy to be there.

Another mistake that new employees often make is slacking off once they begin to feel comfortable. There is nothing worse than an employee who is giving 100 percent the first two weeks and then starts to put in less and less effort as time goes on. The same can be said for your personal appearance. Don't make the mistake of becoming sloppy in your attire or hygiene. If you don't look like a professional, why should anyone treat you as one?

An even more fatal blunder is participating in office gossip. As tempting as it may be, always refrain from joining in when co-workers say negative things about someone else in the office, no matter to whom they refer. An office is like a family. As much as your co-workers may detest someone they work with, they probably won't react very well to a new person talking negatively about others. If you start speaking poorly about people, your colleagues may worry that you'll be gossiping about them soon.

The worst mistake you can possibly make as a new employee is not knowing what you're there to do. This may seem strange, but it's more common that you would think. Sometimes in the rush of the hiring process, wires get crossed and new employees start work without a clear picture as to their role. If you are confused about your job description or exactly how you fit in to the company, ask someone. Make sure you feel very clear about what your job is and what goals you should have to thrive. Things may seem a little hazy the first few weeks, and that's normal. But if you are more than a month in and you're still confused as to what exactly you do, schedule a meeting with your superior to find out.


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