Bridging the gap from University to Office:
Transitioning into the workforce is a life changing experience and can be difficult to manage. A simple 5 step guide in the art of mastering the transition from laid-back uni life to the important office responsibilities you’ll soon be taking on.
Use your time wisely
One thing that the workplace quickly teaches you is how to manage your time effectively and to the benefit of your team. As the grad, you will be the first port of call for small tasks that your team needs completed. While you didn’t have a list of tasks when you first walked in this morning, it will soon heap up and you will need to be able to manage your time; prioritising the most important tasks first. Your team depends on you to complete your tasks therefore it’s beneficial for everyone to be efficient and effective with your time.
It’s not always 9 to 5.
Contrary to Dolly Parton’s classic; 9am to 5pm probably won’t be your standard working hours! With most firms adhering to 8.45am to 5.15pm with an hour lunch break; for a fresh graduate who is used to scheduling your own timetable with days off and late starts, it can be easy to get wrong. If you are showing up 15 minutes late or leaving 15 minutes early, you will be setting the wrong impression early in the beginning of your career – there is a lot that can be achieved in that 30 minutes!
A for attitude.
In a new workplace you have gained a new family. In fact, you’ll probably be spending more time with them than your actual family. It is therefore important that you not only make the time to get to know them, but to get along with them. Managing relationships is an important part of your job, more so than at uni, where your major relationships were that of student-professor and fellow students. Your classmates were there to goof around with and help you on assignments and your professors were the ones giving you the work you weren’t always eager to do. Once you hit the workplace you are expected to show initiative and ask questions; to show enthusiasm and get your work done on time! The work that you complete and hand in affects more than just yourself and your grades; you have an organisations reputation to uphold and a client to satisfy so you need to ensure that you are doing everything you possibly can to make it count!
Look the part
Not only is your attitude important but it’s also the way you represent your firm. Your appearance when dealing with clients must always be clean and well cut – your firm has a dress policy for a reason, so be sure to follow it. In addition, your social media accounts must be put up to your highest scrutiny to ensure it is work appropriate and your professional image is maintained outside of the office. That being said, social media can also be an amazing tool for promoting yourself and skills; creating a solid professional network so be sure to harness this 21st century tool in a constructive way.
Believe in yourself
Beginning something completely new and unknown to you can be a very unnerving and stressful situation to adapt to. Suddenly you are having to leave the familiar and relaxed atmosphere of uni and begin the career that you have been working so hard towards. While it’s easy to fall into the trap and expect too much of yourself too soon but it’s really important to remember that you are just a grad and the technical knowledge of your role isn’t expected just yet. Remember to give yourself a break, learn as much as you can from those around you and show enthusiasm for your everyday tasks and I can assure you that the rest will come with time.