Getting your first job is a great step towards developing your career, and it’s something to be proud of. But the transition from university to work can be a challenge. Whilst summer internships can give you a good idea of what it will be like to work in a certain industry, there’s nothing quite like your first job. Here are ten lessons that new graduates may learn during their first twelve months as a member of the workforce.
Being helpful is more important than getting everything right
You won’t know everything from the first day that you start at the company, so you’ll have to ask questions, and occasionally you might even get something wrong. The best thing you can do in that situation is learn from your mistake and help to rectify it. Try and learn from every experience so that you avoid making the same mistake twice
It’s great to volunteer on projects
Don’t think that just because you’re a new member of the team you can’t get involved or nominate yourself for a specific project. If you get allocated it then it’s a great opportunity to learn and develop. If they decide that your experience isn’t quite right for it, you’ll have at least been noticed as someone who is keen to get involved.
It’s worth giving more than people expect
The best way to be trusted with more tasks is to show that you are competent and a hard worker who cares about the company that they work for. Going the extra mile will show those who work with you that you are a member of the team and you’re dedicated. This may mean putting in an extra few hours at the office, but it will show that you are willing to go above and beyond to help your team
Be the person who adds positive energy
When you attend a work meeting or are talking to colleagues, always focus on the positives. Complaining about things tends not to help anyone – if there’s an issue that you feel needs to be sorted out then bring it up, and suggest improvements. If you can keep a positive demeanour then the atmosphere at work will be more enjoyable for you and your colleagues.
Your holidays will be different
Most jobs offer a good holiday package, but it certainly isn’t the long breaks that you’ve probably been used to at school and university. The bonus is that you’ll be making a wage so you’ll be able to treat yourself to the kind of holiday that was out of reach for most during your time as a student.
You’ll be completely in charge of your personal budget
Taking home a monthly wage is exciting and means that you can make a lot more decisions by yourself. Some of these are great, and some of these mean taking more responsibility, but overall it’s definitely worth it.
Attention to detail is very important
If there’s one skill that you’ll need in every job that you do, it’s attention to detail. From putting together budgets to writing emails, people will expect you to notice any mistakes. It’s always worth double or even triple checking. It’s an easy skill to learn if you put in the practice, and can save so much time.
You’ll have to work at relationships
When you are offered a job, it’s not only because of your skills and experience, but also because you are seen as a good fit for the team. You’re certain to have a lot of colleagues that you get on really well with, but there may be others who you will find more challenging to work with. Work is about managing these relationships and working together.
You’ve still got a lot to learn
The end of your degree puts you amongst the eldest and most experienced students at university, however, starting a new graduate position means learning a lot of new skills, getting used to a new environment and finding out where you strengths lie.
It’s tough but it’s worth it
It’s a big change from university, but most graduates enjoy their first year of work, despite the challenges that they face. It’s all about finding the position that offers you a chance to develop and allows you to learn a range of skills.
At Enterprise the graduate management scheme offers the chance to practice marketing, sales, leadership and much more. Perhaps it could be the right place to start your career?