10 Tips On Surviving Your First Job After Being A Student
Check out the dress code expected of you at your new place of work and adhere to it as closely as your budget will allow. Nobody expects their new recruits in Chanel and Hugo Boss but clean, smart, tidy and decent go a long way to creating the right impression, both to your new bosses and colleagues, but also, if it is a customer facing position, to the clients.
Don’t be over familiar or nosey or interfering with things you know nothing about during your first weeks. Feel your way in - don’t go barging in as if you know everything - nothing will get others backs up more than obnoxious behaviour from a brand new staff member. You may get a reputation for life and in a small industry, you never know where you may come across these people again.
Once you have found your feet, you can start to make suggestions and give ideas for improvement, and be a little more creative in the work that you are asked to do. Reign it in a bit though and don’t go too far with your initiatives or you may put some noses out of joint.
Again, once you have been doing a job for a while you can look to find new and innovative ways to save time or money. If you can really pull this off, you will make an impact, and this will get you noticed when it comes to promotion or working in other departments or branches.
In any workplace situation, there will be the “rainmakers” and high flyers who will open your eyes to new and exciting prospects, ideas and methods of doing things. Align yourself with these types of people and look for inspiration from them. Do not waste the value of your early experiences by hanging out with the people who do not inspire - there will be plenty of time for those in the “real” workplace later on in your career.
You will probably never get another chance to be as guided, be allowed to make mistakes and have mentoring, on the scale that you will experience in your first job. In general, everybody will be helpful to you and want to give advice. Take all of this on board and be receptive to others needs. You may not know the whole picture and being obstructive is not going to win you any friends. Being cooperative will help to secure your position as a team player.
Be on time
Get, and keep, a reputation for for timekeeping. If you can be seen to be efficient and manage your time well, it will get you noticed. To be fair being late and not managing your time will also get you noticed - but for all the wrong reasons.
Always go the extra mile and put yourself out to be helpful and anticipate anything that will ease your colleagues workloads or make life more pleasant generally. This will go a long way to you becoming accepted as part of the team and allow you to suggest new initiatives and ideas without seeming to be too pushy.
In your early days at work pay attention to everything people say to you, how they operate both machinery and organise their time, desks, schedules and appointments. Pay special attention when they deal with customers either in person, by phone or by written letter or email. These insights are invaluable and will enable you to pick which work best and which are not so great and can be utilised for the rest of your career.
Nobody likes to work with a grouchy, moany starter at work. Be keen and willing to take advice and act on it and your colleagues will enjoy working with you and your bosses will notice you that much quicker.
Good luck - and don’t forget to smile ...