A Survival Guide to Your First Job

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A Survival Guide to Your First Job

You’ve done it! All those sleepless nights and moments of despair have been worth it as you’ve graduated at long last. The world is your oyster, you feel unstoppable, bring it on world!

Graduation is something that you’ve been aspiring for but no you have to face the challenge of starting your first job. Don’t panic though, University has trained you for this, though you may not know it…

Commuting to Work

Accepting that you will have to get up early in the morning is the first step here, no more 11am alarms for you! Getting to work on time is crucial as it will set you up to become the new office hotshot and show that you are keen to do well.

The best option is to find your own way there for the first day and then once you’ve met a few people ask them for advice on how to get in, they may know the best bus routes or a shortcut to the office.

Invest in a bike! Many companies offer ‘Cycle to Work’ schemes and may reward you for cycling to work. It’s also a great way to keep fit and reduce your travel costs since you won’t be paying for buses or trains.

Learning Names

You may remember from your early days a bright-eyed and bushy tailed student how difficult it was to remember everyone’s name. Things are no different at work.

If you’re keen to not act silly by calling everyone ‘Buddy’ or ‘Mate’ then create a little drawing of your place of work with everyone’s name at their desk. Using this will help you to remember who that guy in accounts is or who your new office crush is.

Finding something memorable about a person will also help boost your memory of their name. Do you like the same football team? Perhaps they have an accent or a unique hair style.

Sadly though, unlike University you’re probably the only one who started recently and everyone already knows everyone else, so for them learning one new name isn’t an issue. People you’ve never seen before who you apparently work with will ask you how you are and if you’re enjoying your new job. Just smile and be polite then hope you don’t have to ask them for something.

Dress to Impress

Don your best outfit and strut like you’re a fashion model! You only get one chance to make a first impression so make it count. Jeans and hoody may not cut it at your work so it’s always best to check with your boss what the dress code is BEFORE your first day. Trust us when we say turning up to an office in jeans and a shirt when everyone else is in a suit is pretty embarrassing…

After a few weeks or so when you’ve settled in more you can become a little less formal. Don’t go full casual though, find the balance between comfort and style and you will feel way better about how you look. Who knows? They might even do casual Friday so you can bust out your Uni sports hoody and brag about how great your University is.

Learning the Area

Have a look around during your lunch break and see what there is near your place of work. You could discover a quirky café or funky restaurant that serves your favourite food. Asking your new colleagues is another quick way to work out what’s around you and if that doesn’t suffice come up on a weekend and wonder around.

If you’re working in the same city as your University you’ll probably know what there is to do and eat anyway but if you’re moving to a new place check our local guides and see if we’ve covered it all for you already!

Student Cooking Hacks

One thing we all have in common is the need to eat, and another thing we all have in common is the need to eat junk food.
The problem with junk food is… well you already know what the problem is: it’s bad for you and it’s often surprisingly expensive to eat a full meal.
So, whilst a late-night kebab is a rite of passage which no one should TAKE AWAY from you, what do you do for the rest of the week?
Here are some recipes and life-hacks which will leave your stomach and your bank account full.

The reduced items sweet spot

We know what you’re thinking – your experience with reduced items has only been disappointing, but that’s probably because you got there too late or too early!

Find out what time your local supermarket puts out their reduced items. It could be morning, afternoon, or right before they close. You can figure this out by trial-and-error, or just ask a member of staff.

Not only will you make big savings on your food shop, but the selection of reduced items encourages you to branch out and try new things – which is what uni is all about! Cook what’s nearly out of date, and freeze the rest. You’ll be stocked up in no time.

Frozen vegetables

The simplest things can make the biggest difference, and the humble pack of frozen veg turns a measly meat pie into a meal worth plating up. For just a few pence per meal, frozen veg adds colour, flavour, and vitamins to whatever else you’re rustling up.

Whole chickens

They might look more difficult to cook than a chicken breast but it turns out they’re not! You can put a whole chicken in the oven and forget about it for an hour or so. When it’s done, you’ll have freshly cooked chicken legs, breast, and wings for less than the price of any part on its own. And you can even use what’s left to make chicken stock! Why aren’t you already doing this!

Tin foil – your best friend in the kitchen

Tin foil is great for two reasons: it’s cheap, and it means no washing up! It works as a baking tray and can be shaped into a parcel which keeps flavours in. Just make yourself a parcel and chuck in fish, burgers, corn-on-the-cob or a jerk chicken recipe. You’ll be amazed at the delicious dishes that emerge from your tin-foil creation!

Whipping up one of these dishes might take a little longer than popping down to the chippy, but you’ll save money, stay healthy, and you’ll learn how to cook. Convinced?

Do you have any student kitchen hacks you’d like to share? Tweet us – @comelivewithus