So, graduation was a blast and with qualification in hand, you’ve marched off to find that first job: success (!), they’re going to give you a chance.  This is your best opportunity to prove to yourself that this is your vocation.

And the best part is that your employer already thinks that it could be.

While you’re trying desperately not to do anything that will change their minds, you may be paralysing yourself from performing at all.  So, consider the following:

Are you prepared for this workplace?

  • Have your own pens, pad, diary, calculator, whatever you used to take to class, on hand (in satchel, whatever).  If nothing else, it will make you feel a bit more comfortable;
  • Make sure you are listening and participating in induction.  This stuff could save your life if not just your job;
  • Get fitted for your PPE (Personal Protective Equipment): shirts, trousers, gloves, glasses, or lab coat: make sure it’s a comfortable fit and make sure it’s yours before you decide to personalise;
  • Go slow at first: your new co-workers expect it.  This will ensure that you won’t break anything through carelessness or rushing.  Remember, don’t break anything that you couldn’t reasonably afford to pay out of your day’s wage.

Is this workplace prepared for you?

  • In an organised operation, your co-workers should be expecting you.  If they weren’t, take it easy: they need time to adjust;
  • You may be assigned to a specific workspace, shown the lunchroom, even offered a locker for your things.  Make sure that you keep these in pristine condition: they are only a long for the duration;
  • While you are new, take every opportunity to get involved in the workplace.  The organisation is a social organism and by putting you on the payroll, it has mutated.  You are now part of the whole.

Most important tips:

  1. If you’re not sure, ask;
  2. Think before you speak: it’s all very well for people to think that you’re stupid and undeserving, because you aren’t saying anything.  It would be a shame to open your mouth and remove all doubt;
  3. Be yourself: there are many reasons that the manager or team leader selected you.  Don’t make them regret that decision; and
  4. Have fun: welcome to your new life.