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How to handle your first graduate job

How to handle your first graduate job

If you’ve aced your CV, got through the interview process and have been accepted into a new graduate role, you’re probably waiting with baited breath for your first day at work to roll around to your doorstep.

Although the idea of a new job is exciting as it holds new opportunities and fresh career starts, it can also be very daunting to imagine yourself walking into work in the morning, to a completely new place, with new people and a brand new set of tasks to complete each day.

What do you wear? Where do you sit? What do you bring? Who do you talk to? These are all questions that will probably be zipping around your head right now, so we thought we would answer some of them for you here, to save you the pressure on the day.

Remember, you’ve been chosen for this job for a reason, your employer thinks you are perfect for the role and has every faith in you! So try not to panic…

What to expect on day number one

There are a few basic rules to remember on your first day, some of which are pretty self-explanatory.

-Make sure you leave yourself enough time in the morning to get ready, have your breakfast and head out the door. It’s maybe a good idea to get there a few minutes early on your first day, it’s always better to be there ahead of time rather than rushing!

-You’ll also have to dress appropriately, wearing an outfit that you’ve hopefully ran by your place of employment for approval.

-Keep away from your phone. It’s always best to leave your phone in your bag for the first few days of work in order to gauge the general office approach. If people have their phones at their desk to check the time or to answer calls, then you can do so too, it’s probably not a great idea to walk in scrolling through Instagram however.

-Turn to your boss for important questions. You don’t want to slip up on your first day, so your boss is probably the best person you can ask for guidance on your new role.

What to bring

-The majority of your first day will most likely be filled with admin, as your new place of work places you onto the payroll, etc. You’ll probably be advised to bring your P45 number (only if you’re moving from another job), your National Insurance Number, your UK VISA if needed, passport for ID, a pen and a notepad!

Imposter Syndrome: What is it? How can you tackle it?

Imposter Syndrome is very real!

Imposter Syndrome is basically a term used to describe a social situation where you do not feel good enough, leading you to feel like a fraud sitting in the office waiting for people to realise that you’re simply too stupid to be there.

Remember, it’s completely normal to feel these emotions for the first couple of days for a new job, imposter syndrome, or feelings of worthlessness, are definitely common.

It’s good to remember, in a bid to combat these emotions, the reason you were accepted onto the role. Your employer thinks that you’re brilliant and now it’s up to you to showcase this ability.

Remember, don’t overthink, set your own goals, ask all the questions you can think of, it shows you’re enthusiastic!- and remember to enjoy yourself.

How to make some work pals

-Although a place of work might not seem like the most exciting place to be, looking forward to seeing your friends during work hours can be a great incentive to head out the door, here are some tips on how to click with your colleagues within the confines of a job.

-Try to find some common interests, this way, over the computer natter won’t be too hard to initiate!

-Likewise, find common grievances, if you both have a slow computer, having a good whine about the software can be a great bonding experience. Very modern!

-Don’t overshare. Unless you truly feel that you trust your work friends, it’s probably best to not overshare too much. You don’t want to bitch about your boss only to hear that’s it’s got back to them through the colleague you shared the news with…

How to behave around your boss

-Having a boss in charge of you can be a daunting experience, especially if all you’ve been used to so far have been professors and lecturers peering over the lecture board. Here are some tips for behaving around bosses.

-Remember that they’re normal people with good days and bad days, so try not to take anything too personally.

-Make sure that you learn from them when you can. Every single boss out there has their own way of communicating, their own opinion on what makes a good working environment and their own opinion on what makes a good worker. Simply observe your bosses’ approaches to these key features and go from there.

-Make sure that you let your boss know of your successes, and always be willing to adapt in order to complete tasks that they lay at your feet, it’s always best to remember that by working hard, you can definitely surprise people!

Sticking Around

It’s hard to say for sure the average time that graduates stick around in their first job as everyone is different.

For many graduates, their starting role can be a taster for the work place, with the majority dipping their toes before moving onto another role once they have clamoured onto the job searching ladder again. Some say that around 12-18 months is the normal time for graduates to stay in their first role, but everyone differs. If your job is negatively affecting your mental health or if you simply feel that it’s not right for you, then it’s best to call time on it, in comparison, if you absolutely love your job, then you may stay there for many years to come.

Elizabeth Whittingham Elizabeth is a history graduate currently working in content and communications.