What graduates should know about their first job

What graduates should know about their first job

Starting your first job

You could be lucky: you may already know what your dream job is and – if you’re even luckier – how you’re going to get it.

But if you don’t know what your dream job is by now, don’t panic. At this stage, your priority is just to get a job – not necessarily that dream job (if you know what it is) but definitely some kind of job.

It might not have anything to do with the degree you’ve studied so hard for over the past few years, but believe it or not, that’s OK because your first job is less about where you want to be in ten, twenty or thirty years’ time … it’s about the experience you’re gaining right now.

That experience is all about learning the skills you need to operate in a business environment, and developing the mindset you need to make the best use of those skills.

And if you’re lucky enough to find yourself being offered a shortcut to your dream job – most likely some kind of entry-level position with potential – writing it off purely because it’s entry level would be a big mistake.


Settling into your first job

You’ve got a lot to learn at the start of your new job, and not a lot of time to learn it in: employers are looking for people who can hit the ground running and be an asset from their very first day.

In far too many cases, they don’t have the resources to provide more than the most technical of technical training, and in today’s busy world of commerce, there simply isn’t the time for much else.

Even so, it makes sense to keep studying once you’ve settled into your first job, otherwise you’ll find yourself lagging behind everybody else.

But just an infant learning about its new environment needs to cram in as much information as humanly possible in the shortest time available, you’ve got to learn as much as you can about your new working environment right at the start, and as fast as you can … and nobody’s going to pick you up and give you a great big hug to make it all better if it all goes horribly wrong.

Time management is an essential skill which you may have picked up somewhat while studying … but now you’ve moved on to the business world that particular skill needs developing – and fast.

One way of doing this is to create a routine for your working day by setting aside blocks of time for regular activates: dealing with emails only at certain times … reports to be created at other times … outgoing telephone calls batched together for an hour – that kind of arrangement.

Doing this has two advantages: firstly, it gets all those tasks concentrated and done and out of the way … and the second advantage is that once your routine is established and other people know about it, they’ll know better than to disturb you during the hour they know you’re making outgoing phone calls.

News of this routine will drift upwards to your supervisors and their supervisors, and however much you – or anyone else – tell them how well you’ve settled in and how efficient you are, it’s not what you’re saying that impresses them more in the long run – it’s what you’re doing.

Unfortunately, though, it’s human nature to remember the negative aspects of any situation more than the positive ones: few people are going to remember what you did right for very long, but they’ll certainly remember any mistakes you’ve made – probably for years to come. Be warned.

The most important thing, though, is to make sure you’ve got the business skills and the right mindset, which you might have been developing at university – but only up to a certain point.

This is where Flying Start definitely helps. Your course instructors have taken years to create the techniques they’ve been using to give adults the right mindset and the right skills they need to make a success of their careers – even if they’re halfway towards retirement already.

And Flying Start course instructors have adapted those techniques to suit young people right at the beginning of their careers, to make absolutely certain all those skills and that entire business mindset is firmly in place.

It’s a course, yes, but it’s a fun course, designed so that you’ll impress your future employer from the moment they receive your CV to the first morning you walk through their door as their newest employee – and beyond.

“It has opened my eyes to another side of the world and given me invaluable experience for my future career.” (Student)


“I now have the tools so I can step forward and take my opportunities.” (Student)


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