You crafted the perfect CV and cover letter combo, you were invited to an interview, where you met the interviewer with confidence. You sold your brand and demonstrated that you are a talented and well-suited candidate, following which you were offered and accepted the position, whether an internship, grad role or first job. So, what now?
Well, first of all, it’s time to celebrate! Getting a job is no mean feat, so you should feel proud of yourself and your achievement in getting this far.
However, receiving the good news is just the first step. The second step is putting your skills into practice in the new role. This is where the real work starts. Preparing to start your new job, especially if it is your first, can be a scary thought. We have all been there; the uncertainty of where to go, who to speak to and where to sit.
Whether you are about to commence a new job, internship, apprenticeship or graduate scheme it’s important to understand that the impression you make in the office is just as, if not more important than during your interview. You have built and sold your professional brand to your new employer but this is where they will see you in action.
Starting your first job
Whether you have worked in another role while studying or not, your first role in a professional workplace - full-time, part-time, internship or graduate scheme – might be very different than what you’re used to or expect.
The way you dress, behave and converse with your colleagues should reflect the level of professionalism you sold your personal brand to be when you were interviewed. You are responsible for completing your work, seeking additional support if you need it and building professional relationships in your team. With this in mind, what exactly can you expect and how should you behave to ensure you’re seen as an equally valuable and professional member of the team?
Presentation plays an important role in the way others perceive you. Every organisation will have their own dress code, so be sure you meet the standards and level of formality in your workwear. If you dress the part, you will look the part and will feel much more confident in the office. It’s unlikely you will be taken very seriously if you arrive underdressed and having made no effort to tidy your hair and makeup after rolling out of bed in the morning.
The way you interact with others, either socially at lunch or during a meeting, can reflect your confidence and ability in your role. Be assertive when speaking and don’t be afraid to start a friendly conversation with a colleague. The more you open up to your colleagues the sooner you will feel a part of the team.
Above all, your work ethic and drive in your role are key demonstrators of your value in the team. If you are consistently late or never meet deadlines it will be noted and doesn’t reflect well on you. Stay organised, work hard and make sure everything you produce is of your highest quality.