When the stress of placement hunting is finally over and you’re eagerly awaiting the start date of the placement position you’ve accepted, there are bound to be a gazillion questions floating around your head. For most, a placement job is the first taste of full-time employment which brings a whole new host of experiences that casual waitressing or a paper round probably did not. To help make the transition as worry-free as possible, here are my top three useful tips of things I wish I knew before embarking on my placement year.
- The days are long, but you will adjust quicker than you realise. Personally, I remember continually worrying that I would never get used to working 9 till 5:30 every day, only having two days off a week and still have time to get chores done, exercise and socialise. However, once you start you will get into this routine much quicker than you expect and easily manage to fit in everything you want. Being savvy with your time, such as getting up and exercising before work or doing a food shop in your lunch break, can be a great help and something you will quickly begin doing without even realising. One way you could kickstart the process before your job even begins is by trying to get up earlier each day for the month leading up, this will help your body adjust and it won’t feel like such a shock when that alarm rings on your first day (you then also shouldn’t end up falling asleep at 7pm every day for the first 3 weeks like I did…).
- Spend as much time browsing the company website and social media channels as you can. Getting yourself very familiar with each aspect of the company, a good understanding of what they offer/ aim to achieve and even the tone of their online presence will give you an abundance of confidence when walking in on your first day. Having that foundation of knowledge and understanding sets you in good stead to settle in faster and feel more comfortable in your role from the get-go. Obviously, however, it is not expected for you to know everything when you begin, it can just be a good way to feel mentally prepared and lessen the nerve-wracking experience.
- Office life isn’t ‘boring’. I remember having this worry when accepting my role, knowing I would spend the vast majority of my next 12 months sat in an office with people I didn’t know yet. However, I found office life to be a lot more enjoyable than first imagined. You will make good connections with your colleagues, you will have a lot of fun socials with the company to help get to know people better, there will be plenty of banter and light-hearted conversations flying around and there will be a continual supply of sugary snacks circling the office every day.
Whilst there are many other areas to think about or things you can do to help with making that leap into full-time employment, these are the top ones I wish that I had known before starting so that I could of better mentally and physically prepared myself for the year to come. Remembering these simple areas can also make your first month less terrifying and more relaxed, something definitely beneficial to all.