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Top Tips for your Graduate Placement or First Job

Top Tips for your Graduate Placement or First Job

Well and truly ‘back at school’ now with many students having returned, some starting placement years and others starting their first job it’s a good time to reflect on the changes in your life and the adjustments you’ll need to make to your lifestyle.

Going from studying to the reality of work can be a bit of a shock. It’s not like you didn’t know you’d need to be there every day, 9-5, but actually being there is a whole new ball game…

Here are some top tips to get you through your first few months with flying colours.

First Impressions Last

Whether it’s making sure you nail the dress code, introducing yourself to people with a smile and handshake or offering to go that extra mile on your first task, first impressions matter.

Check the dress code for your office before you start. It’s OK to send an email to HR or your manager, if you have their details, and ask any quick questions you might have for your first day or in the first few months. A quick question about dress code and office hours now saves any misunderstanding when you’re there.

Clarify what time they are expecting to see you, sometimes they might ask you to come in a little later on the first day so they can get set up for your arrival.

Be friendly

A great quote that equally applies to office life is this:

‘You don’t have to be friends with everyone, but you can be friendly to everyone.’

This will take you a long way. Say ‘Hi’ to those who are sat around you, introduce yourself if there is someone else making coffee next to you.

You will often be shown around and introduced to the office but it’s good to keep that up yourself over your first few weeks to become a more familiar face to those around you.

To Social or Not to Social?

You don’t need us to tell you that social media is all around us these days. First things first, we all know that people check social media while they are at work but do you want to be ‘that’ person in your first few weeks?

It’s best to stay away from checking your social media at work until you know more about what others are doing and whether staying up-to-date via any social media channels – such as LinkedIn or other channels the company uses – is OK.

The other side to this coin is connecting with new friends and colleagues at work. If people are requesting you on Facebook or following you on Instagram it can seem like you want to be part of the group. Make sure you consider these the same way you would any other request, you don’t need to be online friends with someone at work unless you want to.

Show an interest

This might seem obvious. If you have worked hard to get this job or placement then you want to be there and that will ultimately show through, right?

Well, hopefully, but actively showing an interest in the projects you are working on is a good way to show that you are keen to be part of the team.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You might not want to ask in front of everyone at a meeting but you can always find a friendly colleague to have a coffee with afterwards and go through a few things. Or ask for a short meeting with your manager to clarify a few things.

Show people that you are keen to get started, don’t assume they know that just because you are there.

Starting somewhere new is daunting at any stage of your career. So make sure that you get off to a flying start first time to set you up for great things further down the line.

We have a range of graduates on our database who are looking for their first job or placement. Get in touch now to chat about how we can help you with your recruitment needs for graduates, placements and beyond.