Many graduate employers make it clear right up front to prospective applicants what the graduate induction or 'on-boarding' process will be for new graduate intake starters, others don't reveal that until interviews are held or job offers are made. At whatever stage this happens, the quality of your employment experience will be highly impacted by your induction. The faster you feel that you know your way around the buildings that you work in, the 'rules of engagement' around computer passwords, helpdesks, the expenses policy and so on, the more confident you'll feel about getting on with the work. There's going to be lots that you don't know, people you've never heard of before who can have a huge impact on your day to day, an introduction to the joys of office politics, strange jargon and a new work ethic to get used to.
The best companies recognise that an effective induction programme is essential to retaining new employees. It is a sadly neglected area and leads to the truly shocking statistics of high turnover for new employees at all levels of organisations.
Top tips for starting your new graduate job
First impressions count - be as prepared as possible to start with and remember how much those vital first impressions count.
Be civil to everyone you meet because you will have no idea how pleasant or unpleasant they could make your life – especially porters, security guards, secretaries, canteen staff, the person who orders office supplies etc. Don’t just make a bee line for the great and the powerful and get a reputation as an untrustworthy creep from the start.
Companies are like playgrounds - watch out for the bullies, try not to get involved in gangs, and don’t let anyone take your lunch money!
Get stuck in - be and look busy. Be prepared to put in a few extra hours to get used to things at first, take papers home to read or on your daily commute if you have one.
Learn as much about the culture as possible and behave appropriately.
Be flexible - unless there are fundamental, show stopping gaps (like being paid less than they promised you) between what they told you at your interview and the reality of your job, it’s best to just plough through it.
Rose tinting - at interviews there can often be a slight amount of 'rose tinting' that goes on. However, many people owe their best opportunities to discovering work that was never part of their 'official' job or discussed at an interview. Most people have a certain amount of ‘corporate manure’ to shovel as well getting to do interesting and fun stuff. In real life, we have to take the rough with the smooth.
Take and make opportunities for further personal development and training - there's always something new to learn so make sure you keep up with trends in your industry and develop your own skillset on an ongoing basis.
Keep networking - join groups at work and online as we suggest in our Linkedin guide.
When you want to find your next role get in touch with us and we'll see if we can help.
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