OK awesome to ask
If you’re not quite sure about something, ask. It helps you learn the system faster and shows you’re keen to improve, which any boss will love! Note down any answers, and check in with your manager once you’ve made a start to see if you’re heading in the right direction.
HOT TIP: If you’re nervous about asking in front of everyone you can always email your manager or catch them away from their desk and ask for more information.
2. Time-keeping is a big deal
Being on time for work and meeting your deadlines shows you’re a dedicated person who can be relied on. If you’re late for any reason, let people know straight away. Tell them why you’re late and how late you’ll be. This shows you’re aware of the issue and a team player who’ll keep their team-mates and manager informed.
3. Fitting in with the work culture? Take it slow
To make a great impression – especially if it’s your first taste of the world of work –focus on doing your job as well as you can. You’re new to the workplace, so you don’t really know what lines to cross. Everyone will understand that, as a newbie, you need a little time to find your feet! Keep things a bit formal and toned down in how you dress and behave at first – then you can see what the workplace is really like and fit in at your own pace. After all, even if there’s banter going round, you don’t want to be making inappropriate jokes from the get-go!
HOT TIP: Think about how you’re using social media and your phone, too! If you’ve had a bad day at work, be careful about what you post socially. If this is your first taste of work you might be used to being on Twitter or snapchatting your friends when you feel like it, but this is a fast way to give a wrong impression. Your friends can wait.
4. Be proactive: Keep busy, play to your strengths and ask for more
Don’t be afraid to ask for work or offer to help others if you’ve run out of things to do. It shows off your work ethic and ability to take the initiative. If you want to get noticed, suggest a new idea or way of doing things. Employers want to see you can bring something extra to the business. They’ll remember you for all the right reasons, plus being able to say in your CV that your amazing ideas were used by your employer is a huge plus!
5. Listen, watch, learn (and take notes)
There’s a lot to learn in a new workplace, so it’s useful to have a notebook to hand. You can make notes in meetings and jot down key points whenever you’re shown something new. If you’re faced with a sea of faces on your first day, it’s fine to make a note of people’s names and roles, too!
HOT TIP: Keep a note of what you’ve learnt and any cool things you did and praise you got, too! This will help you update your CV and remember all your achievements for future job interviews.
HOT TIP: Sometimes you can learn a lot about your employer just by observing how things work. What’s considered good behaviour in the workplace? Who is admired, and why? By observing how things work in the workplace, you’re learning and growing as a professional!
6. Network, network, network
They always say it’s who you know, not what you know. It’s kinda both…
Work experience gives you a chance to network with senior colleagues who have been there and done it all. They can give you awesome career tips and might be your key to more work experience opportunities in the future, so make time to talk to them!
Talking to senior colleagues might seem daunting, but don’t let the opportunity slip through your fingers. Pick a moment when they’re not too busy and introduce yourself. If you want to keep it light, you could strike up a conversation in the kitchen area with ice-breakers like ‘how was your weekend?’ Build your confidence to ask at a later point if they have time to offer advice before your work experience ends.
7. Know what you want and go for it
Ask yourself what you want out of this work experience.
Do you want to work with this employer? Then do your best, create a good impression, let it be known that you’ve really valued your experience here and would love to return if there was an opportunity.
Do you want to build up more work skills? Learn everything you can, ask for more work when you’ve run out, and step up to ask if you can help out in any way.
Is there a specific skill you want to improve on? Consider if there’s a way to do that in your situation, and do let it be known that it’s a skill you’d love to build on.
Whatever you want, go for it. You’re a star in the making, and this is your chance to shine!