STUDENT LIFE / JUN. 07, 2013
version 91, draft 91

Tips for New Graduates in the Workplace

Once you have landed yourself a job after graduation, it is important to embrace this opportunity and make the most out of your first job. Each graduate goes through a transition period, in which they change from being a student to become a working professional. The transition period varies for each individual as they develop different skills and build their personality in their workplace.

Image and perceptions

As a new employee entering the workplace, there are certain connotations attached to your presence in the office. The same applies for graduates; as a graduate employee it is probable that your colleagues have preconceived notions about you due to your lack of experience or naivety. Therefore, it is important to prepare for your first day of work by researching the company, understanding the job description, and being aware of what you will be expected to do. By being prepared, you will demonstrate an enthusiastic and motivated personality rather than being confused and flustered during your first couple of days.

Bring in new energy

After you have successfully made a positive first impression on your employer and colleagues, it is vital that you maintain this attitude throughout your employment. Being the youngest and having the least experience often tends to put graduates at a disadvantage in the workplace, however, it is vital to remember that you have up-to-date information and your employer values your ideas. Proposing fresh ideas and bringing a new energy in the workplace are the two important features that a graduate posses, therefore it is important to stay motivated and determined.

Beware of the probation

It is likely that graduate employees will have a certain probation period outlined in their employment contract. This period acts as a “test” of your abilities as an employee and whether you are able to cope with a full time job. Graduates are advised to keep their motivation high and persevere during this difficult period – working positively and effectively to demonstrate your enthusiastic approach to work.

During your probation period it is important to remember that you are being constantly being evaluated as an employee. It is likely that your employer will give you feedback in the form of a performance review after a certain period of time. Whether your employer criticizes or praises your performance, it is advised that you take it professionally – especially if it is negative feedback.

Take criticism constructively

In the event that you receive criticism, you should strive to view the feedback in a positive light and never take it personally. By portraying a professional attitude, you demonstrate a positive and motivated individual rather than a naïve graduate. The transition from student to worker should be evident in your attitude after your performance review. Being a graduate in a professional work environment is challenging, however it is important to reflect and learn from your mistakes, develop your skills, and establish yourself as a working professional.

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