Reflections on my first week of work
The transition from university to the workplace is more complex than most people think. There is a mental shift that must take place before you can move from student into young professional. Tula Geliot is a recent graduate, turned startup employee, and she has found herself navigating the road between her old life and her new one with huge success. In this article, Tula reflects on her first week at work, and how she got there.
Reflections on my first week of work
The first thing you will notice about the transition from University to the workplace is the early mornings. For me, starting work in London meant a 40-minute commute from my friend’s sofa to the office; a far more strenuous exercise than my 10-minute cycle to lectures at Cambridge University.
But, once settled in my lovely office in the heart of Shoreditch, bedecked with enviable views of the city from the boardroom, the drag of the commute gently faded away. Now, 6 weeks in the job and in settled in a brilliant townhouse which is just a 20-minute walk away from work, my prior struggles of the early mornings are but a memory.
Nevertheless, everybody’s first week of work after University is likely to be a bit of a culture-shock. Like in the Uni-days, everyone drinks a lot of coffee, but here it is the real stuff; the bean-grinding, hits-you-like-a-truck concoction rather than the instant gravel I used to treasure. Adulting starts here.
Being newly-orientated into a job means a lot of introductions, too many new names, and a lot of asking questions. My experience was made easy by the lovely team I was initiated into; employers and colleagues want you to be happy at work, and will usually do everything in their power to help you succeed with them. It is important to remember that, unlike at interview-stage (which was probably the last time you saw these people), you are not being tested at work; you are being taught.
This is the time to be the most devotedly organised person you have ever been. Writing-up the processes and information that you absorb in your first week will come to save you a thousand-times over during your career. I thank my earlier, less-seasoned self for being such an avid note-taker every day in the job.
How did I find my job?
During the run-up to graduation, it seemed like I was the only person that didn’t have a certain job to fall into after University. It is so easy to panic-apply to any and every job during this time; and that is exactly what I did for my first month of the summer break.
It wasn’t until late July that I realised that you can have an agency to all of the leg-work for you when it comes to job applications, and that they do it for free. This was a total game-changer. I came into contact with BrighterBox, a recruitment agency specialising in start-up and creative industry jobs for graduates looking to work in London, and was immediately far less stressed about the prospect of finding work.
I found BrighterBox online, by applying for one of their graduate jobs through one of their advertisements online. I was promptly telephoned by one of their team members to start a discussion about what it was that I wanted to do, where I wanted to be, and, most importantly, the type of working environment I felt would be right for me. The uttermost important thing for a good experience in your first job is that the job is a right culture fit for the candidate; and this is something that the team at BrighterBox are attuned to. By virtue of their position as ‘the middle man’, per-se, they are able to accurately decipher whether or not the candidate and the company are likely to get on well. That isn’t to say that any of the decisions throughout the way are not fully your own; the role of a recruiter is to aid and advice you through the process, but the final say is always yours.
BrighterBox offer interview preparation as well as frequent catch-ups via telephone and email during the job-hunt process. They always ensure that you are supported in the early days of a job, too; checking in to see how the new role is going. In my experience I had nothing but good news to feed-back.
Now that I am settled into my first job after University, I feel supremely lucky that my experience has been so positive thus far, and that I had such brilliant support throughout the journey to get here. Going to work is a pleasure, and I have BrighterBox to thank for bringing me here.