FAQs: Should You Agree To an Employment Trial Period?
Some companies use employment trial periods to help them hire the best candidates for permanent positions. Employment trial periods can vary by company, and they can have both pros and cons. If a prospective employer offers you a trial period, it's important to understand the arrangement before you agree to make sure it benefits your career path. In this article, we explain the answers to several frequently asked questions about employment trial periods, including whether you should agree to one, how you can maximize the benefits and the pros and cons of a trial period for a new job.
What is an employment trial period?
An employment trial period is a short-term arrangement in which you work for a company on a trial basis before being permanently hired. Usually, these arrangements last for up to 90 days. Often, companies use employment trial periods to help them hire the best possible job candidates, as managers can evaluate potential employees' performance during this time. Employment trial periods have both pros and cons, and it's important to understand them before agreeing to one.
Related: How To Choose a Job Offer
Should you agree to an employment trial period?
If a prospective employer has offered you an employment trial period, there are a few things to consider before you agree to it. First, it's important to weigh the value of the opportunity and how it could contribute to your long-term career goals. If the position can provide you with the experience and training necessary to achieve your long-term career objectives, accepting a trial period may be a good option.
It's also important to know the terms of your trial period before you agree to accept the offer. Make sure you know exactly how long the trial period will last as well as the details of your permanent position, including your salary and benefits. Then, if you decide to agree to an employment trial period, it's important to sign a written agreement outlining the terms of it.
What are the pros and cons of an employment trial period?
Employment trial periods can have both pros and cons. Some of the pros include:
Gaining professional experience: One benefit of an employment trial period is the opportunity to gain professional experience. If you're a recent college graduate or you need more professional experience, completing an employment trial period can be a smart career move.
Getting to know the company: Completing an employment trial period can also help you get to know the company better. This can help you decide whether you want to accept a permanent job offer.
Receiving feedback: You can also use your trial period as an opportunity to get feedback on your performance. Typically, during this time, managers offer frequent feedback to employees to help them learn.
Earning an income: Even though an employment trial period isn't permanent, you can still earn an income while you complete it. This can be more beneficial than job searching without a reliable income.
Some potential cons of an employment trial period include:
No employee benefits: One drawback of completing an employment trial period is the lack of employee benefits, as employees typically can't get company benefits until they're permanently hired. Often, employees depend on benefits like health insurance so it's important to consider your insurance situation before agreeing to a trial period.
Possibility of employment gap: Employment trial periods are also not secure. If you don't end up getting a permanent position with the company, your employment trial period could also turn into an employment gap on your resume.
Less pay: Another drawback of an employment trial period is the possibility of lower pay until you're permanently hired, but this can vary by company. You can combat this by making sure you understand the terms of your trial period before you agree to it.
Stress: Some people also find employment trial periods stressful, as they feel pressure to perform at a high level while being evaluated. You can decrease stress by thinking of your trial period as an opportunity to learn and prepare for a permanent position.
How can you maximize the benefits of an employment trial period?
If you choose to agree to an employment trial period, there are steps you can take to maximize the benefits. Some tips for your trial period are:
One important tip for maximizing the benefits of your employment trial period is to ask plenty of questions. This can help you show the employer that you're willing to learn and improve and it can also help you learn more about the company and how to do your job. Therefore, asking questions can prepare you for success once you start a permanent position with the company.
Respond well to feedback
It's also important to respond well to feedback and implement it into your work during your trial period. Whenever you receive feedback, be sure to thank your supervisor and then apply the feedback. This can help you prove that you can take feedback, learn and improve your methods.
Record your progress
Another tip for maximizing the benefits of your employment trial period is to record your progress. Make sure you know your employer's expectations for the trial period. Then, set goals you can use to help monitor your progress toward meeting these expectations. This can help you ensure that your trial period is successful and increase your chances of getting a permanent position with the company.
Find a support system
It's also helpful to try to find a support system during your trial period. Network with different people at the company and start to build relationships. This can make your trial period more enjoyable, and it can also help you get to know the people you would work with after getting a permanent job offer.
Take care of yourself
Another crucial tip for navigating an employment trial period is to take care of yourself. Be sure to practice self-care, including exercise, healthy eating and the right amount of sleep. Try to manage your stress and maintain your work-life balance. Additionally, try to keep a positive attitude. Making the effort to take care of yourself can help you stay physically and mentally healthy throughout your trial period so you can get a strong start to your permanent position.
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