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Professionally prepared

June 21, 2021 by Natasha Walker

Professionally prepared

So, you’ve landed a job and are about to embark on the journey you’ve been preparing for since you enrolled in your course! Maybe you are about to start a graduate program, vacation work or an industry employment. If you are about to join the professional workplace, there are some important steps to take to ensure you are pumped, primped and prepared to take on that first day with confidence.

Do your research
You probably did this before your interview, to impress your future employer with intel on the company you were applying to. That’s great, but it doesn’t end there – companies are constantly taking on new projects and are bound to have had recent successes. Make it your goal to find out what they are so, on your first day, you’re armed with information that will show your new boss you have initiative and are invested in their organisation.

Plan your work route
Don’t leave it till your first day to learn how long it will take you to get to work. No matter the mode of transport, do a couple of dry runs and time how long it takes you to get there (include the time it takes to park). Always build extra time into your commute to allow for traffic or any other unexpected delays. If the worst thing that happens in your day is that you were a little early to work, then you are off to a cracking start!

Dress code decorum
Unless you have specifically been given a uniform or dress code, then it’s up to you to determine what is and isn’t appropriate to wear in your new workplace. If the work environment is open to the public then, maybe after one of your ‘work route runs’, stop in and check out what everybody is wearing. No need to be creepy about this, a casual glance around the room should tell you all you need to know to dress appropriately in your new job. If you can’t do this, do a little research or contact them directly and ask!

Professional email etiquette
It’s time to ditch the emoji’s, the abbreviations and the common email slang that has served you well as a student. Here are some tips on how to bring your email etiquette up to professional standards:

  • Start with a professional email address. Replace [email protected] with [email protected]
  • Use a clear professional subject line that effectively introduces the topic of your email
  • Proofread every communication you send and write the email before entering the recipient email address
  • Create a signature block with extra contact details. This is a signature that you can set to attach to each email you send.
  • Use an appropriate greeting. Better to leave the humour and sarcasm for your personal emails.

Clean up your socials
So, your student life has been a blast and you found yourself the life of the party on more than one occasion. Chances are that, at some point in your party history, you thought it a good idea to share your good times with the world. Your new colleagues could look for you online before you start, so get in first and clean up all your profiles. If that seems like an impossible task, then at least change your settings to private.

You’re fast approaching a brand new chapter in your life and it is time to take off your student hat and put on your professional beret! Move into this next phase of your life with the confidence and certainty that being prepared affords. Be aware of the presence you emit and show the world you are on it!

If you’re interested in learning more about preparing for the professional workplace, check out next week’s Graduate Gateway workshops – especially those on Monday 28 and Wednesday 30 June.


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