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What does it take to succeed as a graduate engineer?

Have you ever thought about how you want make the most of your first year as an engineer? Start with these five tips from the Engineers Australia Careers Manager – Stephanie Somerville to make the right first impression.

Hundreds of companies will start recruiting for next year’s fresh graduates in the coming months, so now is the time to start thinking about how you are going to present yourself into the competitive and fast moving world of work.

For those of you about to embark on this new journey in your lives here are five points to help you start off on the right foot and be a success from day one.

  1. Proactively network

Take the initiative – introduce yourself first and get to know your team. These are the people you will be working with 9 to 5, five days a week. Let them know your background, and that you’re available to help on projects. Not everyone will have time to come to you… so go to them. Get to know other people from different departments and figure out how they all fit together. It’s handy to have friends in different departments. And if someone asks you to have lunch with them – say yes!

  1. Develop a new routine

Work out your work / life balance early on. This will help you settle into your new role faster, and help you handle the stress of starting a new job. It’s time to adapt – try packing your lunch the night before, or going to the gym in the mornings if you work late.

  1. Establish expectations

The first week in your new job sets the tone for the rest of your time with the company. Make sure you meet with your manager early on and establish what their expectations of your role and how your performance will be evaluated. This is also the time to ask all your questions about protocols for taking leave, office hours and overtime.

  1. Develop your knowledge

Learn as much as you can about the company in your first few weeks. People will be patient with you as you learn the ropes – show an interest in learning and they will be happy to spend time with you. This will help you to become a more effective team member, and make valuable contributions to the team.

  1. Seek out development opportunities

Don’t be afraid to ask about career development opportunities within the company. By showing you are eager to progress your skills further you’ll be seen as goal driven. Professional development is an invaluable resource to your future career, and the earlier you start the better.

Originally published by Engineers Australia.

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