Starting A Job Straight Out Of University: 7 Tips They Won’t Mention In The Interview
Taking that first step into the professional world after finishing your degree can feel incredibly daunting, but remember everyone has been in your position and try to relish the challenge!
- Don’t let imposter syndrome fool you.
This is a very common feeling for people first entering the world of work. It’s the sense that you don’t belong and that any minute now your boss is going to suss you out and show you the door. It tends to affect women more than men but it’s something we all need to fight against. Remember that you deserve your job as much as anyone else and that you are an active participant in your own achievement. A career is first and foremost about figuring out where your talents are and what you enjoy and then putting this into practice, it really is all down to you!
2. You’ll definitely make mistakes, but that’s ok.
At this level you’re bound to make mistakes; this stage in your career is a learning curve, and you have to accept that you may not get things right straight away. If you keep this mentality you’ll be more resilient, and hopefully won’t throw yourself into a black hole of negativity when you make one little error. There are lots of tips and tricks available online to help build your resilience. It’s reassuring to remember you don’t need to pretend you know it all already, asking questions when you’re unsure will mean you’ll do a better job in the long term.
3. Workplace politics are inevitable but manageable.
Throw together a load of people who don’t know each other for 8 plus hours a day and there are bound to be some tensions. You’d think that since we’re all ‘adults’ now there wouldn’t be playground pettiness but the stress of work can sometimes draw out the worst in people. It might sound obvious but the main thing to remember is that you’re there to WORK and relationships are secondary to actually getting things done. Keeping this in mind will help you avoid unnecessary distractions and stay focused on what you need to do to move forward.
4. BUT you don’t have to be a lone wolf.
You don’t have to be a robot at work. Having supportive colleagues can be really beneficial; this is becoming increasingly well documented and can make the work itself feel much more manageable, so do invest in maintaining them if at all possible!
5. The regularity of 9-5 definitely takes some getting used to…
Uni is great because you can manage your own time and have a level of freedom and flexibility around studying. But jobs are of course somewhat different. It might take some time to come to terms with the simple fact that basically you have to be at work for 5 days a week, every week, every month, every year. Obviously this very much depends on which career you go into but this 9-5 is the routine for most of us. Luckily though, once you settle you’ll learn to fit the rest of your life around this structure.
6. …But it’s worth it for the Friday feeling.
You may also become a weekend warrior. Which can be great fun. And the excitement of bank holidays will make you thank our pagan ancestors that they randomly danced around poles with colourful ribbons and gave us an extra day’s holiday on May 1. So embrace it, you are no longer a despised student but a functional, productive grown up and can share in the woes and joys of the working world.
7. And lastly, professionalism is a learnt skill.
It might look like everyone else is just naturally adept at professional communication, liaising with clients and writing succinct emails, but remember that all of these mini interactions have been honed over time. There is definitely an art to communicating effectively at work, and you shouldn’t feel disheartened if it takes you a while to get the hang of it. When you start just try to be as clear as possible in your speech and writing, shamelessly emulate those around you if need be and check every email before sending to avoid this kind of first world disaster…
Lorna Wild is a contributor for Inspiring Interns.
Inspiring Interns is a graduate recruitment agency which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and giving out graduate careers advice. To hire graduates or browse graduate jobs, visit their website.