Starting out your first ‘proper’ job after university? Below are a few simple workplace guidelines that you should follow as an employee:
- Be punctual.
“Better three hours too soon than one minute late.” – William Shakespeare
Being punctual will give the impression that you are organised, reliable and have a good work ethic. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at work, especially if you have a long commute – allow time for sudden transport delays or route diversions. If you are running late, make sure you send your employer an email (well before your start time) or a text message (if you have their mobile numbers).
2) Dress to impress.
Dress for the job you want!
An employee must always appear professional, clean and organised, as how you dress can have a positive impact in the way you are perceived by your employer. Your dress code may be mentioned in your contract but if it isn’t, it’s probably a good idea to contact the HR department or your line manager to find out beforehand. A good way to judge what is appropriate is to look at what your manager or colleagues are wearing and mirror that – you might even have met a few colleagues at your interview.
3) Communication is key.
You will need to be able to communicate effectively with your new employer. Before you start the role, you might be sent information confirming your role, your contract or general information you might need to know. Be sure to acknowledge receipt and ask if anything is unclear (e.g. working hours, dress code). Once you have started the role, other situations where communication is key could include:
- You are unwell and unable to make it into work: You should contact your line manager or HR department and notify them accordingly. The process for this varies from job to job but you will most likely be given instructions as part of your induction.
- You have a medical appointment: Notify your line manager in advance of any doctors, dentist or hospital appointments. If possible, always try to schedule these at the beginning or end of the day.
4) Be professional at all times.
- Resist the urge to look at your phone. Although it is tempting to check your social media or to reply to a text, using your phone during work hours can appear unprofessional.
- Prolonged chats. It’s great to be sociable with your colleagues, but it can be easy to get carried away with conversation (especially after a weekend). Seeming constantly chatty at work can be distracting for others and make it seem as though you are not interested in the job.
5) Take initiative & be proactive.
If you see that a system requires improvement, take steps to fix it. If you can’t, speak to someone who can. This can take you a long way as it shows your employer that you are using your initiative, able to think outside of the box and that you bring real value to the role.
If you need help with a CV, application, exploring your options or anything else careers-related, contact the Careers & Enterprise Centre on 020 7882 8533 or visit careers.qmul.ac.uk