Don’t Count the Days, Make the Days Count!
Before starting my placement as a Marketing Assistant with Careers and Placements, I had no idea of what to expect. For most people just as myself, this is the first official full-time employment we may have, and it can make us feel anxious at first. Reflecting on my placement experience so far, here are a few tips I wish to share to help make the transition as worry-free as possible…
1) Don’t hesitate to ask for help
When you begin your placement and start working on projects, it’s perfectly natural to sometimes feel unsure or confused about something and feel the need to ask questions. From my experience, whilst working on my placement, it’s worthwhile asking others for help rather than staying hesitant (as you are not expected to know everything straight away, even if the solution seems simple.) Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it’s one of the proactive steps to your self-development. It’s also worth noting that people are usually willing to help you, as they were also once in your position. So, take the courage to ask others for help, and clear your doubts on time!
2) Be Open Minded and Try to take Opportunities
When working on your placement, you may be approached by other colleagues who may offer you tasks to work on for them alongside the workload your manager may set you on. Try to accept any opportunities that come your way, and take on any extra tasks you think you can (even if you’re not that confident, it’s still a great chance to give something new a go and learn a lot.) You’ll learn or develop new skills, and you’ll become more self-confident, and self-aware of your skills & strengths in the process. Plus, the more opportunities you get involved in earlier, you’ll have more details of these projects you got to get involved in which you could talk about in future job interviews. Don’t forget to network yourself with other people from other departments or functions of your organisation- they may come in useful in the future when you start searching for graduate jobs.
3) Try to be an Active listener and understand how things are done at your workplace.
From the very beginning of your placement, try to get into the habit of active listening: engage with others discussions, show that you are interested when they are speaking by giving them verbal responses; display positive body language (maintain eye contact, don’t cross your arms, sit up straight not slouched.) Try to maintain the orientation that you want to learn and develop yourself. Also, try to familiarise yourself with the workplace culture, it’s values, immerse yourself with your team, and aim to foster and promote this daily!
Best of luck with your Placement experience. Be sure to make the most out of it!