Getting your career off on the right foot

  February 06, 2017

You've completed your degree – congratulations. Now what? Get a job right? What job? Any job probably because you may not really know what you want to do right now. But as this is your first foray into the world of work you want to do it well; you want to make a good impression, hit the ground running and change the world. All highly commendable goals, but perhaps not the most viable, because as a graduate employee you will be once again at the bottom of the food chain, and it's hard to make much of an impression from there. So what can you do?

Be humble but bold

As a graduate you have very little to offer in the way of industry knowledge, so you have to be humble in your approach and acknowledge that those you work with, will probably know a lot more than you do. But...that being said, what you do have is fresh insight, a curious mind and a willingness to learn, so while you should be humble in your approach, you also need to be bold and willing to speak up when you can see means for improvement and positive change. You've been hired for a reason, and that reason isn't to just sit down, shut up and do what you're told (in most companies anyway, and if you're in one where that is what's expected, then run!), you're there to stimulate change and bring news ideas, so do just that.

Learn, learn learn

You may think you're done with learning now you've graduated, but this is never going to be true no matter how old you are or your seniority in a role, so a great way to boost your career from the very start is to demonstrate an insatiable appetite for learning, and not just when you're told to either. Don't rely on your manager or L&D service to dictate your learning to you, take the initiative to find out as much as you can about your role, your company and anything else you think might be useful to your career. Knowledge is an extremely powerful weapon in your career battle. Plus senior employees love to be asked for their input; it makes them feel great and makes you a bit smarter so that's a win-win.

Get a role that fits you

This is the golden tip, and the one that's probably hardest to do; for many graduates they spend the first few years of their post-uni life bumbling from job to job until they find one that fits. But imagine what an edge you'd have if you found one that fit straight off? Sounds like a pipe-dream we know, but at Happy Work we are dedicated to ensuring people and companies can find their ideal match from the start, rather than having to take the old trial and error route, because it's a waste of time for everyone involved. So if you'd really like to get your career off on the right foot, fill in your Happy Work profile and we'll get matching.