After the break some of you will be in the 2nd half of your final trimester. You may be finishing an undergraduate degree, graduate degree or postgraduate degree….you may even have run out of things to graduate from! The world of work is upon you and you’re not quite sure what to expect. You may feel anxious, excited, happy or somewhat distressed at the idea of losing some of your university days ‘freedom’…and you won’t be able to ask your lecturers for an extension on your essay… you’ll find that work deadlines are quite a serious matter!
Whether you are one of the lucky ones with an internship or graduate role lined up, or just getting started on your job search, you will need to know what to expect when you switch from student to staff. Here are some tips to get you started…
Probably one of the most important tips is to watch and listen. How you deal with people and build relationships will be critical to your success. Be sensitive to how others operate and the experience that they come with. Be polite and courteous, show that you are interested. Put in the effort to be seen as a team player and take part in after-work social activities – but take care to always remain professional.
Be a sponge. Make a commitment to on-going learning and up-skilling. Learn from everyone around you whether they are junior or senior staff. Ask questions to show that you’re interested and open to new ideas. Keep up to date with the latest developments by reading industry magazines and resources relevant to your area of work; in-house newsletters are an excellent way to learn about what happens in other areas of your organisation.
Put your hand up. Offer to help others and identify opportunities to get involved in wider projects. This will identify you as a team player, someone who is pro-active and will enable you to display your strengths. Let your employer know that you are happy to take on more responsibilities.
Find a mentor. If possible, identify a champion who may be able to mentor you. This person can be invaluable to helping you set up important relationships both within and external to the organisation. If there is a professional association join up and attend events.
Embrace the start of your career with enthusiasm and positive energy and have fun!