06 October 2022

How to impress in your first weeks in a grad job

Taking on your first graduate job is a hugely exciting time. All those years of studying have come to fruition and now you’re taking your first steps on the ladder of your chosen career. It can also be hugely daunting, tiring and yes a little stressful… but we’ve got some tips to help you get off to a flying start!

After working hard for years at school and university, we know you want to make the best impression you can in those crucial first few weeks on the job. With that in mind here’s some top advice from a selection of Hunter’s consultants.

Sam Paynter, Senior Consultant, Cardiff —  “Get to work early!”

A good boss will of course be understanding if an employee is a little bit late from time to time, as long as there’s a good reason for it. However, in your first few weeks it’s crucial to create a good impression. So, endeavour to always be on time – and even a little early if you can.

This sets a good impression. While lateness can be tolerated to a certain extent, it’s not something you want to gain a reputation for, especially in your first few weeks.

Adam Burroughs, Senior Consultant, Service  — “Be approachable”

It’s normal to feel a bit shy in a new place of work, with so many unfamiliar faces and names to try and remember. But try your best to come across as friendly and approachable to everyone. You don’t want to come across as standoffish.

There’s no need to be overly familiar, but smile and introduce yourself when the opportunity arises. People will appreciate the effort and, who knows, you could end up making some friends for life.

Emma Hardman, Senior Consultant, South West – “Be a sponge!”

Remember there is no such thing as a stupid question. Be a sponge and ask as many questions as you can because this shows that you’re eager to learn and will help you get embedded into your team and department as quickly as possible.

Generally, if there’s an inlet of new graduates, it’s the ones who make the effort to ask questions who progress both further and faster.

Robyn Paul, Consultant, Technology — “Be a professional!”

Finally, Robyn points out the importance of acting like a professional. There is, of course, scope in most workplaces to have a bit of fun. But as a graduate it’s a delicate line to tread. Early on you don’t want your co-workers to think you’re immature or – even worse – for your boss to think you’re slacking off!

Be diligent, work hard and behave in a professional manner. Repetition of tasks is a fantastic way to cement your learning so remember that the harder you work now, the sooner you’ll feel confident in your daily tasks and the easier it will feel. You’ve come a really long way to get where you are, you don’t want to throw it all away now by acting in an unprofessional manner.

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