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International students, how to impress on your first day of work and beyond

After all your hard work, you’ve secured your first professional role- congratulations! It can be both an exciting and daunting time as you start this next stage in your career. In order to make a good impression and show the value you bring, we’ve put together some ideas for how to prepare for your new role and impress your employer.

Before the first day

First day nerves are normal but what will help you feel more relaxed is to be prepared. Start by researching the company, you will have started this before your interview but it’s a good idea to refresh your memory, understanding how the company works is important to grasping where your role fits in. It will also give you a heads up on specific company phrases or acronyms that might be useful. Look at their website, social media platforms and LinkedIn account to find out what you can.

Organise the documents and outfit you will need for your first week. Some employers may ask you to bring your passport or visa documents with you so have them to hand just in case. Check if the company has a dress code or wear something that fits in with the company culture, you might have been able to determine this at your interview. If you’re not sure, it’s best to dress professionally and make a smart first impression.

Arriving at the company

Planning is key to set you off to a good first day at your new company. Plan ahead for your new commute and if you have the time it can be worthwhile doing a practice run the week before to check that your chosen transport will get you there on time. On your first day, it’s best to plan to be a little ahead of time to factor in any delays you might encounter.

First impressions are important, so try to use body language and your work-wear to ensure this is a positive one. You might to be nervous, but try to remember to smile. Turn your phone on silent so that you won’t be disturbed while in a meeting with your new manager and can give each interaction your undivided attention.

The next few months

After your first day, it will take you a little time to settle into your new role so don’t be afraid to ask questions during this transition period. It’s important for you to not only learn about your new role but to show your new employer that you have a genuine interest in the role and company. If you need help with a task, check if there are any handover or guidance notes you can use then ask a colleague for assistance. Your team will understand that you might have questions in those first few weeks so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Try to be flexible when asked to assist with tasks and challenge yourself by trying to learn as much as you can during this time. Skills you learn in this role will be invaluable as you continue with your career but remember there may be things your colleagues can learn from you.

As an international graduate, is there anything that could help you at work? Your understanding of cultural difference or language skills? There are qualities you will have learnt during your time studying in the UK that could be invaluable in this first role, adaptability, motivation, organisation skills and communication to name just a few!

For more careers advice and the latest graduate global roles, register with GradLink today!

By Jen Garmston Published: October 19, 2018

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