Career Goals: Starting Your Journey into the World of Work

Today marks nearly two months to the day since I started work. It’s been super hectic adjusting to the commute and to a 9-5 routine, but I feel like I’m finally getting the swing of it now!

So in this post, I’m sharing tips on what I have learnt about starting a new role. For anyone who is applying for jobs right now, I’ve got something to help you, and for anyone who, like me, has just started on the journey of their career, I hope by the end of this you’ll know that while it can be a difficult season, there are ways to make it easier.

Currently job-hunting?

Job-hunting is really not easy. There’s a lot of uncertainty and it can be really tough to face rejections after all of the effort of applying. It’s important not to let those rejections knock your confidence. Persevere, keep an open mind and make sure you’re applying to jobs you truly believe you’re suited to.

Interviews, assessment centres and cover letters can be pretty daunting and hard to ace if you don’t have the guidance you need.

So, if you’re applying for a job currently — maybe you’re a student applying for a grad job or scheme — and you’re in need of some advice, please feel free to contact me for a one-to-one session. In it, we can chat about what you need help with—from interview preparation and the skills you need to ace them, to assessment centre tips and CV and Cover Letter reviews.

For more info, or for a list of what I can help with, drop me a line at hello@imanishola.co.uk or check out ISLA Coaching here.

Secured a new job?

If you’re new into a role (congratulations!) you’ll know that applying for and securing a job is just the beginning—the first hurdle. The real work comes with settling in, getting your bearings, finding your routine and your circle, and learning how to ace being at your new workplace. My five top tips for you:

  1. Be kind to yourself. Starting a brand new job is no small feat. At graduate level, it will often come in tandem with moving to new accommodation or a new city, and learning a new commute. Then there’s learning everything from where the toilets are, to your colleagues’ individual personalities; what the company culture is like, to how to master the technical skills needed for your role. It’s a LOT to adjust to! So, through it all, remember this is a major season-shift and you’re going to make mistakes and take a little while to settle in (naturally). Give yourself space to learn and adjust.
  2. Find a mentor …Someone who has a trait (or traits) that you admire, who you believe can help you grow in areas you’re weaker in, maybe such as communicating clearly, or expressing your ideas with confidence. A mentor can be a great sounding board for everything from how you’re feeling to the shape you’d like your career to take and work-life balance.
  3. Self-care. Mindfulness can be a great skill if ever you’re feeling a little stressed. And little things like blocking out your lunch so meetings aren’t scheduled in then count as self-care, too. Remember you need breaks during the day in order to do perform at your best and do your job well! Whether you like to have lunch with friends or on your own, stay in or go to the gym or for a walk — take the breaks you’re entitled to and use them to do whatever it is that relaxes you and sets you up for a productive afternoon. 
  4. Speak up. Be assertive. Learn to find the right balance between respect for yourself and your feelings, and respect for others and theirs. I struggle with assertiveness at times, but speaking up is really important in the workplace and applies in so many ways. Say what you think and how you feel, and importantly, learn that it’s okay to do it the right way.
  5. Use weekends wisely. This is huge. Weekends are like islands of rest between busy weeks. I’ve learnt the beauty of pyjama days and staying in 😂. Also I’m a lot more intentional about scheduling in time to meet friends because I can’t always meet them after work. The grand conclusion is: We love weekends.

I am wishing you all the best whichever season you are in, and for a brilliant December. As we enter the last month of this year and of this decade, let’s make it count. ☺️

See you in December!

Imani x

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Photo: Christin Hume

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