If you’ve just bagged your first graduate job then well done, it’s a big deal! We bet you’re excited to go into your chosen career path and put what you learnt upon your undergraduate degree into practice, you’ve worked super hard to get to this point. However, this may also be a daunting time for you, as you’re unsure with what to expect, but don’t worry, all graduates will be in a similar position as you.
We’ve put together this helpful guide with how to prepare and top tips for how to succeed with your entry-level role and leave a good impression. Not to mention, how to enjoy the experience too!
Let’s get the job done…
What To Expect
The transition into the working world will be a whole new experience if you’re fresh out of university, its a big life change and you may feel nervous to enter the industry. It will bring new challenges and more responsibility than you are used to, but as long as you know a bit about what to expect and try your best, you’ll be absolutely fine!
1. Training For Your New Role
Within the first few weeks you can expect to be training for your new position from learning your core responsibilities to getting to grips with the technology to adjusting to the workload to meeting your co workers to settling in to the new environment. You won’t just be thrown into the deep end when it comes to completing tasks and projects so don’t worry. Everyone will know this is your first professional role and you will be able to get support from your manager, mentor, or other members of your team.
Within your first few days, its more of an introduction to everything from meeting new people to learning about your job to the company you’re working for. Prepare to have conversations with people about who you are, where you went to uni, what degree you studied and just general social chats getting to know each other. Most of all, you need to put your listening ears on during the fist few weeks as you will be receiving lots of information, bring a pen and paper along to write things down.
2. Probation Period
You should expect to be under a probation period when starting your first graduate job, this is essentially a trial period during your employment to see if you’re right for the job and if the job is right for you. Normally probation periods range from three to six months but can sometimes be up to 12 months, your manager will tell you about your probation period upon starting your new role. If you ‘pass’ your probation period then you will continue your employment on a permanent basis.
3. Getting To Grips With Working
It will probably take you a few weeks to get to grips with everything and develop an understanding, so don’t panic about not knowing everything there is to know within the first few days!
The best way to learn and develop your skills within your career is to ask questions, be eager to get tips from other members of staff and be open to more opportunities.
The most important thing is that if you do get stuck then address this to someone and get help, it isn’t something to be scared about, its expected and an important thing!
We’d also suggest preparing for the learning environment to be different to university, you may come across some aspects of your degree which you can put your skills into practice.
However, some things may be a lot different to what you were taught during lectures and seminars, after all, this is the real working world!
4. Working Environment
Each working environment will be different depending which sector or field you’re working in as well as the company you’re working for, but chances are you will be working in an office environment and have a 9-5 schedule Monday to Friday.
You may even have a hybrid model where you work some days a week in the office and the other days at home, this type of schedule has become increasingly popular since the pandemic.
Your employer will most likely send you an email or induction letter prior to your first day to prepare for your role, so it will give you an idea of what you can expect on a day-to-day basis.
5. Workplace Etiquette
There is a certain way of doing things when it comes to professional life, with behaviours that are expected of you to set the right tone. Ensuring you follow the workplace conduct and present yourself to be respectful and polite is a crucial part of starting your first graduate job.
After all, you can’t act the same way you did at uni or the way you do around your friends. This may be ensuring you arrive on time to greeting your colleagues to smiling at others to maintaining eye contact during conversations to turning off your mobile phone.
For example, when you’ve started working don’t your colleagues about drunken stories from the weekend, it won’t give a good impression and isn’t the right workplace etiquette.
The same goes for social-networking, its important to build a network and make new contacts, but remember that you need to remain professional online.
6. Dress Code
You should be prepared to follow a specific dress code as part of workplace culture. You will most likely have to adhere to smart casual or business casual style within your new job, so try to ask about this before you start working so that you dress appropriately.
If you’re not sure about what to wear or how seriously the dress code is, then dress up for your first day and see what other people dress like, then you can always dress down after this.
7. Be Organised
Similar to university, its important to be organised when starting your first job. Spend some time researching the company you’re going to be working for before your starting date if you haven’t already and get everything you need sorted out prior to this.
Whether its planning how you’re going to get there on Google maps a few days before, planning your outfit or going over any induction materials you’ve been sent, whatever you need to do to sort out, do it in good time.
One of our top tips is to do a test run before your first day to see what the commute is like to work, you don’t want to be late when you start! In fact, you want to be early and at your desk rearing to go.
Focus on being organised when you have started working too, like creating a plan of action for the first few weeks or months so you can set goals and targets you want to meet, or that your boss wants you to meet.
Remember, it is important to have a good work-life balance so don’t get yourself too worked up and stressed out focusing on your new job. The last thing you want to do is burn yourself out.
8. Be Passionate
You’re in a great position starting your new job, so ensure that you show your capability and remain passionate and interested on a day to day basis.
It will make you feel fulfilled and will boost your productivity if you enjoy what you do, obviously there may be some not so fun tasks at work but try to bring your passion to work with you.
Remember this is something you’ve been working for and have wanted to achieve for a long time. Stay positive but expect also expect to be put outside of your comfort zone sometimes, its all part of the process!
Good luck with starting your new job role! Don’t forget, you’re bound to make a few mistakes in the beginning, no-ones perfect and its all a learning experience.
We hope our tips have been helpful and that you know what to expect upon starting. Now, go look forward to it!
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Check out our blog on How To Achieve The Perfect Work-Life Balance next.