You’ve done it. You’ve graduated. You’ve got a degree. You’ve landed a job too. It was all worth it, all those hours and hours of study and work, all that stress, and you’re ready to go out into the big, wide world as a fully functioning adult. Only, if you’ve never had a job before, the whole idea of doing just that can be daunting. It’s okay though; this list of tips on how to prepare for your first ever job will help you to step through the door on your first day full of confidence and excitement.
Be on Time
Being late on your first day is something that will haunt you forever (unless you were late through no fault of your own – sometimes these things happen, and although it’s unfortunate timing, it’s not something to beat yourself up about). It’s hard to change someone’s first impression of you, and if you are late on your first day that impression will be that you aren’t taking your job seriously, that you aren’t organised, or even that you aren’t the right person for the job after all.
If you can, travel to your new place of work before your first day. Do it from home, during your usual commuting time, and see just how long it’s going to take you. Looking online is fine, but it won’t tell you about the holdups that happen every day at a certain junction, or about how you might have to let two or three Tube trains go past before you can get into one. Knowing the obstacles – and the route – ahead of you in advance will mean you can plan to be on time (or even early). Another way to help you be on time is to get your work bag packed and ready the evening before, so all you have to do is pick it up on your way out of the door. Keep some pens, a notebook, your office ready iPhone 8 case and smartphone (along with its charger), your purse or wallet, your keys, and train ticket or Oyster card in there, so you won’t have to hunt for it in the morning and lose time.
Although starting a new job can feel unnerving, and although it may not be entirely possible to prepare for it because you won’t know exactly what you’re doing before you get there, you can do a few little things that will help you, and your boss and co-workers. Firstly, re-read your CV. This was what got you the interview in the first place, the interview in which you were able to prove that all those things you wrote down were true. So, check it all through and ensure you know what is expected of you. If you mention Excel on your CV but you haven’t used it for a few months, read up on it, or go and practice. You just need to brush up on your skills, and you’ll feel much more confident.
Everyone messes up from time to time because no one’s perfect. It’s your first job and you’re still learning the ropes, and you will make errors, but be honest about it. If it has caused a problem, explain to your manager what has happened. If someone else is getting into trouble for it, own up. Being honest and showing integrity will take you a long way. It will also show those around you that you need some more training and they will be able to help you with that. Pretending you know what your doing is not a good way to learn.
Get to Know People
Although it can be tempting just to turn up, get your head down, work, and go home again, it’s always a good idea to try to get to know your co-workers as well. You might not want to hang out with them when you’re not at work, but it’s important to get along with them as much as possible while you are all in one place together. Be courteous, engage in conversation, help when you can, and your work place will be all the better for it. Never spread gossip: it can make a workplace impossible to be in, and the effects of working in a hostile environment can make home life difficult too. Remember, you’re spending many hours a day with the same group of people, so even if they’ll never be your best friends, at least be pleasant. Plus, you might find that they’re a cool group of people and you make some real friends.
Thanks for reading,
*this is a guest post