It feels like a very long six years since I received that fated envelope containing the letters that would spell my future, but I can still vividly remember GCSE results day – the tears, the tantrums and every step of the stages of grief.
It was very similar on A Level results day two years later, although this time I had a car to escape to so the awkward conversations with peers were significantly reduced, and thus, tantrums were kept to a minimum.
On reflection, I actually did a rather good job with my education, but – ever the perfectionist – that one pesky B ruining my A*/A streak was just too much to handle.
“A B?! You cried over a B?!” you might ask. And yes, yes I did.
You see, it’s all relative. While some of my friends were delighted with C’s, others were on the same page as me – absolutely devastated by anything less than top marks. And that’s okay. We set ourselves targets and we hold ourselves to our ideals.
Speaking of ideals – millions of youngsters, whether walking away from school with GCSEs or from college with their A Levels, will have some idea of where they want to go next. A lot of them will be rather sick of education (you can’t blame them after all those exams) and will head straight for the big, scary world of work.
For those students, I offer one crucial bit of advice – once you’re past the interview and through the door, stop worrying about those pesky results. For everyone, whether you achieved straight A’s or D’s across the board, you’re in the same position stepping into your first full-time job as everyone else.
And it’s scary. You won’t know the rules of the place, there’ll be plenty of faces and names to remember, and sometimes even just navigating your new workplace is a task (I got locked in a store room for 20 minutes at my first job).
So, because it’s a nerve-wracking time, the Creo team is on hand with some top tips and snippets of advice to help you make a great first impression, and get the most out of your first step on your career ladder:
“Smile” – Emily Greenwood
You’re going to be nervous – that’s normal – but do your best to put on a smile. You’ll instantly look approachable so people will want to get to know you and help you out. Sitting all nervous and silent in the corner isn’t the best first impression, so keep a smile and you’ll be surprised how much it makes you enjoy yourself.
“Make tea” – Louise Bradford
Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting you do all the leg-work, but be ready to show a willingness to get involved with the team. Making tea is a simple way to show you want to get stuck in and you’re happy to get your hands dirty. And besides, a cup of tea can always help if a colleague is having a bad day and you’re there to support with a nice brew.
“Always try something once” – Khanyie Shamakumba
You’ll never know unless you try. Don’t be afraid to give something a go, you won’t be asked to do something way beyond your capabilities so it can’t hurt to try. Being nervous about it means you care – so go with it and try your hardest, that’s all anyone can ask of you.
“Take advantage of the fact you’re new” – Jess Ramsey
You’re the new kid on the block so no one will expect you to know it all, which means there’s no such thing as a silly question. People will expect lots of questions – show that you actually care about making yourself a valuable employee by wanting to learn.
We would’ve asked Bryn for his top tip, but as he’s off in sunnier climes and it’s been a very long time since he first joined the world of work (sorry, Bryn), we’ll just keep it to the gals know best.
For all of the students reading this – the very best of luck to you with your new endeavours! And for the professionals – what would be your top tip for those taking their first step into the world of work? Tweet us @WeAreCreo!