With Bridget Berry

Surviving the office beat first up can be hectic and often not easy. What are some of the best ways for individuals to get settled into an office?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions – if you are no sure where to find something or how the copier works just ask.  Most companies will put you on an induction program that will cover all the basics, you will also meet other new grads and this will be the start of your network.  Use the induction session to find out as much as possible – it can be a bit of an information overload so prepare yourself…..you may get board, feel tired and think why is his important now…but trust me all that information is necessary and needed so hang in there and try and make the most of it.  Write down the names of people you interact with or who come in to talk to you and make a note of what they do so when you are asked to go and get information from marketing for example you have a name and a starting point.

Work, work, work, seems to be the key to prove oneself as a grad who is now taking their varsity experience into a practical environment. Surely the robotic approach is not the best way forward or is putting your head down and grafting hard the best way to go…we are human after all?
You need to start off as you intend to go on…first impressions are big, remember you have had very limited interaction with the people in the business you are now working with as you have been dealing with the HR or the recruiting teams – so now you need to make your mark, show off your personality and your skills but don’t be overbearing, rude or obnoxious rather have fun, show your commitment and dedication to the company and your role.  It is going to take hard work to make your mark but companies want well rounded and balanced individuals so give them a taste of your fun side while showing them they made the right choice in hiring you!
Okay the coffee issue! The newbie in the office always gets asked to make coffee or do silly admin tasks, is the trick to make a bad cup of coffee off the bat so you won’t be asked again or is there more to these mundane tasks that don’t meet the eye?
There are going to be some very mundane and boring tasks that people will ask you to do but if you are still making the coffee after a month 3 then there is a problem!!!
You may not realize the importance of some of these tasks – if it needs to be done then it is important.  Complaining is not going to give you any credibility – if you do well on an small menial task you will give your managers and colleagues a taste of what you can do – if you do a lousy job they may think you are useless and won’t bother to give you things that are challenging their perception of you will be one of - if he/she can’t even make copies how can he/she possibly do anything more complicated.  So give your best even if it is just coffee!!
Success is not an overnight occurrence at the office for a new grad and sometimes leaving a company too soon can make you take on the label as a job hopper, how do you avoid that?

You need to be patient and give your new job time to evolve and yourself a chance to understand what you enjoy and what you are good at.    If you are sitting around the office making paper clip statuettes for days on end and you are not learning anything you may want to consider moving on but only if you have spoken to your managers or HR team to establish why you are not getting any work or if there is something you can do.  

Leaving a new job after a few months can get the alarm bell to ring out “problem child” remember that companies have heard and seen it all before, so before you make the decisions to move ensure it is for the right reasons and you have done all you can to make the most of the position
Now you have the basics covered, let’s hope you can make the change over from a new grad to a good grad!
Bridget Berry is a senior Graduate Recruitment Manager based in South Africa.