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What To Expect From Your 1st Office Role

I started my first office role at The Searchability Group (of which we are a sub-brand) a few months after completing my A level studies. The jump from student life in full time education into full time office work can definitely be daunting; So whether you’re starting your first office role straight after A levels like me, after a gap year or even post grad, I’ve comprised this blog to help ease your transition into your first office role and to let you know from first-hand experience what you can expect from office life!

Expect there to be both similarities and differences between being in education and the workplace

School/University and work in an office can be perceived as being quite similar. There’s still a set structure at work with regards to a hierarchy of employees, like office moveable walls to create meeting room for sales figures or presentations. its similar to how it is in school, which is helpful as it allows you to see who’s best to turn to for advice. You’ll have set tasks and deadlines to meet as you would in school, however instead of being set by a teacher/professor, they’ll be set by a manager or one of your colleagues.

In contrast, you can expect there to be many differences in your first office role in comparison to your experience as a student, which may take some adjustment. Unlike school you’re able to choose when you can go away on holidays or in some organisations work from home, rather than being confined to term times. This allows you to have far more flexibility as to what you do with your free time and when you do it.  The workplace also allows you to manage your own tasks and workload, giving you the opportunity to be more independent while having a network of colleagues who’ll be able to support you with help and advice.

Expect things to change with time

When you start your role in a new environment, things will not remain the same way that they are at the beginning. When you are new, you are not only learning how to do your job, but also how you should interact with your co-workers. If you're feeling nervous or overwhelmed, remember that you’re still in a transitional period and it won't last forever. Not everything you’re shown will make sense the first time and you may make mistakes in your first few weeks; Likewise, when you were revising for your studies, you wouldn’t remember every piece of information about a topic the first time you looked at it or when you were writing your assignments you wouldn’t always use the first draft. Having an office role is similar to this in the way that you will be learning new information every day to begin with so it will take some adjustment and practice before you can complete all your tasks efficiently and accurately.

A study conducted by Robert Half found that across 9,000 job seekers over 11 different countries revealed that 91% of employees debate quitting their job at some point during their first month. This shows that you can expect to have ups and downs during the first few weeks at your new role, but keep your end goal in mind and stick to it.

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First impressions make a difference

Your first day at your office role consists of navigating your way around the office and meeting your new colleagues, so you can expect to have lots of opportunities to make positive first impressions. Even if you later interact with someone, it’s likely that their initial judgement of you from your first impression will remain, highlighting the importance of being friendly and making positive impacts on your colleagues.  By presenting yourself well, arriving on time, making eye contact and being positive you can make perfect first impressions while embarking on your new office role.

Research the company:

By taking some time to go and research the company you’re about to start working with it can help give you a clearer understanding of what to expect from your new office role. Things such as company policies and their achievements as a business will give you a feel of what to expect and the type of environment you’ll be working in. This will also demonstrate a genuine interest in the job and allows you to better align yourself to the company and their culture. Here are some things you may want to research to further your understanding of what to expect from your new role:.  

  • News and recent events relating to the employer
  • The skills valued by the company
  • The company’s culture
  • The history of the company
  • The USP of the company

Prioritise Being On Time

Everyone runs late sometimes however you definitely don't want to make it a habit. Even if you feel being a few minutes late isn't directly impacting your quality of work, it's sending a clear message to your colleagues and your boss that you aren't taking the job seriously enough to arrive on time. Prioritise your time by organising your belongings or lunches the night before and planning your commute in advance to save time in the morning, and make it less likely for you to run late. Being punctual is an essential habit to get into in preparation for your first office role as it can help you appear more professional and highlights your trustworthiness

Set boundaries

During your first few weeks you can expect to make compromises with your managers or colleagues. It’s common that over your course of employment you’ll stay after work or come in earlier than your shift starts. Eventually you’ll learn adjust to the timescales and your hours to know when its required for you to stay later or if you’re more suited to arriving earlier to get a head start on the day ahead leaving time to complete extra tasks. You can set realistic boundaries with your employer regarding what’s required from you and how often it’s expected of you to work overtime to ensure all of your tasks are completed to a high standard.  It’s also important to set out your future targets and goals, asking what your employer wants from you out of the role can also help you to enforce boundaries.

Use these tips to help the process of starting your first office role run smoothly, or to prepare for the future!

At Klickstarters, we deal with a multitude of candidates that are just starting out and are on hand to give the best advice and guidance that we can. For more information, get in touch with us at info@klickstarters or alternatively, call 01244 379999.

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