February 24, 2020
5 tips for making a great impression in your first job
By: Nicole Lange
A lot of interns and grads find the transition from uni to corporate a bit daunting. And, it’s true, the world of work can be very different from what you’re used to. Accenture Graduate Recruiter, Nicole Lange shares her top five tips for working effectively with your new team and making a smooth transition into the workplace.
- Bring the right attitude – Be positive about everything. Even if the task you’re given is pretty basic, do it well and with enthusiasm. This is how you build trust with your team. Soon, they’ll give you more interesting work.
With my colleagues in the Melbourne grad recruitment team – before I relocated to Brisbane!
- Be productive –Make a checklist of the tasks you need to get done and schedule time for them in your work calendar. If you’re working on a deadline, make sure you minimise distractions. Turn off your phone and put it out of your line of sight. Turn off the IM pings and email alerts on your laptop. These might sound like small changes, but they can really improve your work speed.
When you’re given a task, try to ask all your questions upfront, so you don’t need to stop to ask questions along the way. That said, if you do get stuck on a task, don’t be afraid to ask for help or go back to your manager with questions. It’s much better to ask and do it right than waste time doing something incorrectly. When in doubt, ask for feedback.
Celebrating NAIDOC week with our AIME hoodies
- Extend courtesy to everyone – Treat everyone with respect, regardless of their role and level in the organisation. If someone helps you, try to thank them in person. Respect your co-workers’ time and workspace. Make an effort to dress appropriately for the job (but make sure to still reflect your personality of course!). If you’re not sure, ask your recruitment team or future manager. If in doubt, dress up – not down.
- Understand meeting etiquette - You’re going to attend a lot of meetings – virtually and in person. Here’s how to make the most of them:
- Be on time and don’t run over – Respect other people’s time.
- Introduce yourself – But keep it short and sweet. “I’m Nicole. I work with Amanda. I’ve been here for a week and I’m looking forward to working with you all.”
- Check your body language – Sit up straight, look interested and take notes.
- Put your phone away – Even if it’s on silent, putting your phone on the table is a distraction to others and might tempt you to check an email while someone else is speaking. Pay attention, be present and listen actively.
- Ask thoughtful questions – People sometimes feel they need to ask a question to justify their existence. Don’t ask something just for the sake of it.
Volunteering as part of Accenture’s Corporate Citizenship Program
- Communicate like a pro – When you join a team, ask what communication methods are used for different purposes. Being mindful of individual and client preferences helps build productive and positive working relationships.
- Client conversations – Think about what you’re going to say in advance. Try to be as concise as possible. If you’re presenting in a meeting, prepare well and practice. Where possible, communicate in person. If your team member sits across from you, it can be quicker to just ask them rather than send an email or IM.
- Email – There truly is an art to writing a good email! Be specific, concise and give an overview and summary of what you need in the first sentence. Then provide additional context. Stick to professional fonts, like Arial and Calibri, use professional salutations where appropriate and your organisation’s signature. If you’re ever unsure, take guidance from your manager and more senior colleagues.
Before you hit ‘send’: use spell-check and read your email out loud; double check who you’re sending the email to so do you don’t accidently “reply all” to 1,000 people in the distribution group; check you’ve added the right attachment; and if you’re forwarding a long email trail, provide a courtesy summary and specify what exactly you need.
- Instant Message (IM) – This can be a quick way to get an answer, but don’t forget to introduce yourself and quickly establish why you’re contacting them. “Hi, Nicole here – I work with Amanda’s client team. Could you tell me…” Don’t just say ‘Hi’. Use complete sentences and avoid text slang – this is not the same as texting a friend.
On a recent holiday in Bali
Don’t stress if this all seems a bit overwhelming. Everyone appreciates how hard it is being the new person. The best thing about Accenture is that we try really hard to welcome and support you - we have world class professional development and career coaching programs. Soon everything that seemed confusing will be second nature. Then, when the next new person arrives, you can be the one to help them settle in!
No matter what you studied or where you are in life, we’ve got programs for you. Get in touch and explore what’s on offer today at www.accenture.com/campus.