It’s official, you’ve landed your first engineering job! Your contract is signed, your start date has been agreed, and as the big day approaches, you’re fizzing with excitement and nerves. There are so many milestones ahead (hello, first payday), you have so much to learn, and you want to start off on the right foot.
Many graduates find starting their first job a little overwhelming. There’s a new building to navigate, colleagues to build rapport with and a sudden influx of information to get your head around. However, taking a few steps to prepare yourself in advance can help ease some of the anxiety around your first few days and give you the confidence to tackle your new challenge.
Read on, as we share some tips for starting your first engineering job.
Get your tools and equipment in advance
You’re more likely to feel confident going into your first job if you have your tools and equipment ready to go. Investing in good quality equipment will ensure your kit lasts a good length of time and will save you money in the long run.
Remember to pick up safety equipment such as safety glasses to protect you and PAT tester accessories to ensure any safety tests you run are carried out accurately.
Ask for help
When you encounter an issue that you don’t know how to handle, the easiest way to resolve it is by asking your colleagues for advice. You may feel awkward at first, but it’s important to remember that learning on the job is part of every junior engineer’s journey and should be viewed as time well spent.
Take the opportunity to ask questions, make notes and learn new skills to support your role. Keep in mind that every one of your colleagues has been in your shoes, so no one will judge you for not knowing something or asking for help.
Communicate your needs
The best way to get the most out of your first engineering role is to be honest and upfront about your needs. For example, if you think you could work more efficiently with a different type of software, let your manager know. Keeping quiet about something you need won’t serve you well, and it could cause problems for your employer too.
Being open with your manager will also help you build a good working relationship with them, which will make you feel more comfortable in your role and may be beneficial in the future as your career progresses.
Learn software programs
Different companies use different software programs, and it’s likely you won’t have learnt how to navigate engineering software at school. Find out which programs your company uses and spend some time getting to grips with these.
Not only will this give you a head-start when you begin your new role but having a range of software experience will also make you more employable in the future, particularly given the tech skills shortage.