If you have been fortunate enough to gain a work placement it is important to make the most of it. It can be daunting and stressful going into a job or industry you may have never experienced before, knowing how to behave and what’s considered appropriate or inappropriate, so if you’re worried at all here are some key placement do’s and don’ts to get you started.
The most important thing to remember is you can ask questions, you supervisors should understand that you are new to the world of work and they would probably appreciate you querying something rather than doing it wrong and not saying anything.
- Time Keeping – Being on time is so important, people will become irritated if you’re always late. Try to arrive 5/10 minutes early so you are ready to start working. If you’re running late, let people know and apologise when you arrive.
- Emails – Always be polite & professional, make sure to use spellcheck and if you are unsure about anything ask a colleague to check it. Do not use your work email for personal correspondence.
- Attitude & Body Language – Always try to keep up a positive attitude and show enthusiasm. Make yourself approachable and welcoming.
- Unhappy? – If your placement isn’t going how you had hoped the first thing you need to do is be honest and talk to your line manager. Definitely do not start complaining on social media, it will always get back to someone.
- Food – Every company has different policies on lunch breaks, where you can eat etc. so make sure you’re aware of them. If you are eating in a shared space be considerate of others and avoid smelly & messy food.
- Holidays, illness & absences – If you are ill, make sure to let your manager know before your start time. When booking holiday, make sure you follow the approved processes and give plenty of notice.
- Dress Code – Dress smart and professionally, especially if you engage with customers. All offices have slightly different policies so just check before you start.
- Phones – Find out your offices policy on using phones, but generally: if you need to take a personal call, leave the office, do not sit on your phone during meetings, make sure your phone is on silent, consider keeping your phone in your desk draw rather than on display.
- Organisation – Make sure you keep on top of the tasks you are set and make a note of anything anyone asks you to do.
Comment below any other tips for starting work experience or a new job!