So you’ve been looking around for a while at jobs and have finally landed yourself a position. Starting a new career can be an intimidating time, especially when you’re a student or newly graduated. You may be new to the world of work and in this case it’s important to know your rights and what is expected from you as an employee.
We sat down with Every Cloud Management, a HR company from Sussex and Surrey, and found out their key takeaways for those new to the workplace:
When you’ve agreed to accept your new job, you should expect to be sent two copies of your contractual agreement. One of these is for you to sign and send back to your new employer and the other contract is for you to keep. Before you go ahead and sign the contract, take the time to read it carefully. Get a piece of paper and a pen by your side just in case any questions pop up so that you can ask your employer. Now’s your time to make sure everything is in line and understood before your first day.
It’s also worth sitting down and going through your contract with your parents or an older sibling. Sometimes the language used in these type of documents can be confusing if you’re not used to it, so don’t be worried about getting support from your family.
Make a note of the following things so that you remember them in the first few weeks of working at your new job. You can create a printout sheet and keep it in your notebook or at home in a safe place to refer back to. These include:
• Your working days and hours
• Whether your employment is subject to a probationary period and how long this is
• Your exact job role and responsibilities according to the contract and job specification
• What to do in case of sickness
• What the company procedure is on sick pay
• What happens in case of overtime
• What date you will receive your pay and how this will be paid to you
• How much holiday you have in the year and if there are any restrictions on when this can be taken
• Procedure for expenses in case of meetings or travel
• How much time you must give if handing in your notice
It’s good to know these top ten things right from the start so that you have them in the back of your mind. Taking the time to properly read through any contracts, staff handbook or other paperwork also helps you avoid awkward situations where you’d have to ask your colleagues about company procedures.
Your employer is responsible for your health and safety when you’re in the working environment. During your first week at a new job, you can expect your employer or manager to show you around the workplace, pointing out all health and safety features. They should also show you your desk if you’re in an office environment, allowing you to set up the seat and monitor height properly so that you aren’t straining your back or neck.
Equally, you should keep your own responsibilities in mind. Make sure you make a note of any fire drill procedures or responsibilities within your job role that affects your colleagues to ensure you’re up to scratch. Remember – you’ll likely be in an initial probation period to begin with so you should be ensuring that you meet all expectations to impress your employers.
In the case that you need to take a sick day, it’s important to know what you should do. Do you call into the office or email? Who do you need to contact on the occasion that you’re unwell? After your probation period is complete, you could be entitled to a number of paid sick days; if you take more than your qualified amount you may have pay taken off for those days. Remember, whilst all of these facts look quite cold and official on paper, you’re always entitled to ask more questions. Your colleagues are people too and will understand genuine reasons for leave.
It might be quite daunting for you to enter a new workplace, especially if it’s the first step in your career after education. You’ll learn more and gain valuable experience as you settle in. Get well informed first and it should be a breeze!