March 29, 2022, 4:46 p.m.
Your adventure is about to begin! If you’re at the stage where working life is on the horizon, you’ll probably be feeling slightly nervous and apprehensive about what’s to come. Throughout education, you’ve probably become familiar with the routine of the same subjects, on a similar schedule, seeing the same faces day in and out. Heading into the wonders of working life offers a lot of opportunity, but also huge changes in the way you’ll be spending your days. Below, we’ve shared 5 things you can do to prepare yourself for the world of work…
1. Be open-minded and willing to learn
Much like school, entering the working world will offer a vast amount of opportunity for learning. Every experience you gain within your role will be helpful in providing insight for how to deal with more responsibility in the future. Being open-minded and willing to learn will be a fantastic attribute to share with potential employers during the recruitment stage, they’ll want to invest in a candidate that has ambition to progress through their company and make the most of the opportunities they’re presented with.
2. Research your desired career path
When leaving education, you’re often faced with the key question of “So, what do you want to do”. This question often looms over you, whilst you await that light-bulb moment… which sadly doesn’t happen for everyone. If you’re unsure on the career route you want to go down, we recommend spending time on researching different career options. A great idea is to undertake a career quiz, or personality test; doing this will match your skills, attributes and personality traits to suitable career options.
If you already have a strong idea on the route you want to take, we would also recommend completing valuable research to ensure your decision is the right one. Start by visiting the gov.uk website and search for Job Profiles; here you’ll find insights on every career possible. You could also go the extra mile by speaking to people who are already working in that sector or job role, to ask for their recommendations and first-hand advice on their experience.
3. Practice your organisational skills
One skill that all employers will be looking out for in new recruits is organisation and punctuality. If you’re seen to be someone who turns up late, forgets key responsibilities and has a lazy attitude towards commitment - you may need to put some practice in!
Start by putting in place an organisational aid, like an online or paper diary. Over time, try adding key dates, tasks and goals to the diary so you get into the habit of keeping on top of things. Experiment with which methods work for you, and then implement it into your everyday life. There are a variety of organisational tools online that are free to use, these could include Asana, Monday.com
, Trello and Airtable. Becoming familiar with using these tools will also be vital when entering a professional role, as a lot of employers will expect you to stay on top of your tasks via an online space which can be overlooked by management and your wider team.
4. Start networking within the industry you want to work in
Networking, both online and offline, is an extremely powerful skill. Networking offers the opportunity to meet new people, get yourself out there, and gain connections for the future. If talking to new people isn’t one of your strengths, we recommend starting with an online platform like LinkedIn. Talking to people online, in a professional capacity, can build your confidence in a less intimidating environment. We recommend identifying the sector or industry you’re looking to progress into, searching for key figures in that industry, and then starting a conversation with them to discuss a certain topic or lead. As someone entering the industry, you may want to ask them for career advice, their personal experience, or if they’d kindly share their top tips with you. Once you’re confident with networking in the online space, you can then start to attend local networking events and reach out to people who you think have relevant skills or experience within your sector. You never know where a connection could lead you!
5. Secure a valuable work placement
Finally, we believe the best way to prepare for entering the world of work is through a work placement. Throwing yourself into the working world, without the pressure of securing a full time job, will be a fantastic learning experience. By doing this, you’ll be able to put your skills and knowledge into practice before starting a job with targets and expectations. Think of a work experience as being like a trial run, the best part is you’ll gain clearer insight into whether the career choice you’ve decided on is actually going to meet your expectations. Always remember to ask the employer for a reference, and constructive feedback following the completion of your placement!
If you're looking for further support with gaining the relevant skills and experience to enter the world of work, our Access To Employment Programme may be a good option! Find out more: https://www.wearegft.co.uk/programmes/access-to-employment-2/