Starting your first job is an exciting time in your life. It is normal to feel a bit nervous about starting. No-one expects you to know everything in the first couple of weeks. Focus on asking questions, getting to know your colleagues and learning the skills needed for your roles. Reflecting on skills you want to learn can help you identify opportunities to learn more. Setting boundaries is important when entering the workforce – as a new employee you will be keen to impress and may be tempted to work longer hours than required and do tasks that are not part of your role to make a good impression on your boss or colleagues. But remember that you do not need to do that. It is okay to leave on time and setting good boundaries. Setting a good work/life balance is important for productivity and good mental health. This can be difficult, as unlike school and college, at work you are responsible for your time management and ownership over your boundaries. Showing up on time and working hard are the two basics of being a good employee. Take all the support, training and advice on offer to you from your work.
You have a job! You may have had to complete application forms and attend more than one interview but you have done it – you have been offered a job. You should be confident in your abilities – not only in the skills and qualities that you bring, but in your ability to learn, adapt and grow as an individual and an employee. You may be entitled to a flexible support fund to help you fund travel costs and work clothes – you should contact your local job centre to find out more and to apply. Depending on your age and circumstances you may be entitled to local authority support – you can contact your local authority or your pathways plan co-ordinator (if you have one) for further assistance to help you succeed in your new role. Understanding your rights as a worker is important and something you should prioritize. You can look at:
• Understanding your contract and differences in contracts and what that means for employees
• Understanding your payslip and how to make sense of it
• Your rights when fired
• Your rights in relation to time-off, sickness and poor health.
Depending on the hours you work, you will spend a considerable amount of time at your work, so it is important that you get along with your co-workers. You should, if you feel comfortable, make the effort to get to know your co-workers and their roles so that you can work efficiently together.