Getting your first ever “proper” job is a pretty big deal – you’ve spent the last few years as a free student with very little commitment – so when you have to work Monday-Friday every week it can be a shock to the system.
Your first year in work is a really important time as it can really help to mould the career that you’re going to embark on. This is why you need to make sure you make your first year is a good one by challenging yourself and enhancing your skills. To make sure you have a beneficial first year, we’ve come up with five essential things to do in your first year of work.
Enhance Your Skills
Your first job after uni should be full of learning opportunities – this first year can really help to shape what career path you’re going to go down. This means that you should outline to your boss what you want to get from your first year – they’ll obviously have their own ideas about what they want you to do, but you can still have input into what you would like from your first year. Don’t be afraid to ask for a new challenge because if anything it makes you look like you’re highly motivated and eager to learn – so go for it!
Have Regular Reviews
Reviews with your boss or manager can be a really good way of establishing your progress – it also gives you a chance to voice any problems you may have. You should be having a review every three months – if you’ve not had this then make sure you speak up.
A lot of the time it could be that your boss is really busy, but a quick reminder email stating that you would like a chat about your progress will help things along. If you’ve not had a review for a few months then you could find yourself feeling a little lost and unclear about the direction you’re going in – so make sure you ask!
Use Your Initiative
If you’re looking to progress within an organisation then you need to show that you’re proactive and independent. Obviously you’ll still need quite a bit of guidance in your first year but where possible try and prove that you can work independently – this could really help you if you’re looking to progress within your role.
So if you’ve got a question that could be answered by a bit of research then do it – if you can prove in the early stage of your career that you can stand on your own two feet with little support then you’re on to a winner!
Get To Know Different People Throughout The Company
It’s not what you know it’s who you know! Now I don’t completely agree with this saying but I think good contacts can stand you in very good stead. So where possible try and interact with different people in the business, whether it’s Sheila from the finance department or Bruce from HR. You never know, these people could come in handy over your years at the organisation – so it’s always good to get to know your colleagues and be friendly.
I think this final point is the most important one – it’s very easy to get a little bit nervous and stressed in your first year, which is pretty understandable. But don’t worry about getting the odd thing wrong; it’s how you learn at the end of the day.
Enjoy your experience in the working world and try to soak up as much knowledge as possible as this will stand you in good stead in the future. If you spend your whole time worrying about things then you’ll just find yourself making silly mistakes.