The first month is crucial…

Although you’ve been offered, accepted and started your new digital marketing job, you’re actually still on trial.

Almost all job offers have a probation period tied to the offer, which you must pass to continue on in that role. During this set period (normally 3-6 months) your suitability is being assessed. Are you capable of delivering the projects you said you could in the interview? Are your Tech SEO skills at the level you professed them to be? Can you create, manage and optimise their Paid Search accounts? But it’s also a time for you to figure out if you’ve made the right decision. Do you like the company? Are you working well with your new colleagues? Do you like your boss? Probation periods go both ways.

In probation, you’ll find your contracted notice period is relatively short. Bear this in mind. You’ve got less-than-normal job security during this period. Both you and the employer usually only have to give each other just one week’s notice should either of you decide it’s not working. Once you’ve passed your probation, your notice period (and job security) increases to the more reasonable industry norm of one, two or even three months dependant on your seniority.

How do I pass my probation period?

5 simple things to do in your new role to help you pass your probation period according to Mindtools:

  • Be proactive
  • Show enthusiasm
  • Collaborate with your new team
  • Make new connections
  • Accept feedback

Any career-minded Digital Marketer knows you need to go above and beyond expectation whilst in probation. Everything is being monitored. Your attendance, timekeeping, attitude, contribution, capability, knowledge, skill and of course your potential. Now is not the time to forget your laptop or to roll in after a big night out smelling of day-old beer or even worse yet, forget to set a cap on your Facebook Ad budget (all genuine reasons why probations have not been passed by candidates)!

So, just because you’ve landed yourself the new job this is no time to slack off. It’s even more important now to show them what you’re made of.

How to pass your probation period

To complete your probation there’s usually a review of progress. In some companies, this is pretty informal with line managers just about mentioning you’ve passed probation at the end. In others, this is tied to a sit-down formal discussion, part of an HR administration process analysing the highs and lows of your contribution.

As your recruiter, we check in with our new starters but also our hiring managers to understand how things are going from both sides. The probation period is a great time to understand expectations and adapt to meet /exceed them. So often there are little tweaks which either party can make which suddenly makes all things great again. Using your recruiter as the mediator can make things easier to fix these quirks early before they become an issue which is another reason why it’s good to keep in touch with your recruiter.

What if the job hasn’t passed my test?

Remember probation is a two-way process. If you’ve given it your best shot but your gut feeling is telling you the job isn’t for you it’s better to cut your losses and make use of the short notice period than suffer on. On the flip side, if an unhappy employer finds themselves wanting more from you, they can let you go.

Will I get a pay rise if I pass my probation period?

Passing probation can mean you’re not just getting the thumbs up in your new job. Some forward-thinking employers tie passing probation with both a performance review and a pay rise. This type of business doesn’t hire staff who are enticed by the money. They want you to join them with genuine passion. Then be able to reward you with a pay rise once you’ve proven yourself.

The upshot is probation isn’t a bad thing. Almost everyone goes through it. If the job is right for you, you’ll pass with flying colours. Just make sure to be yourself at your best.


If you are looking for a new job in digital marketing or need some advice during a tricky job search, our recruitment specialists can help! Get in touch by emailing jobs@clockworktalent.com or browse our blog.