How to be a successful engineer in your first year

What does it take to succeed in your graduate role? Start with these five tips to make the right first impression. Hundreds of fresh university graduates will be starting their new jobs in the coming months, launching themselves into the competitive and fast moving engineering world.
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The Big Meet

What does it take to succeed in your graduate role? Start with these five tips to make the right first impression.

Hundreds of fresh university graduates will be starting their new jobs in the coming months, launching themselves into the competitive and fast moving engineering world.

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!

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

Landing your dream job

To assist you in landing your dream graduate position, Engineers Australia is partnering with the Australian Association of Graduate Employers (AAGE) in The Big Meet. Engineers Australia will have a stand at the event to answer all or your questions.

The Big Meet is a free one-day careers fair, organised by the AAGE, which is open to all students from all universities in Perth. The date for The Big Meet 2016 in Perth is:

Friday 4 March 2016, 11.00am - 2.00pm Pavilion 1, Perth Convention Exhibition Centre, 21 Mounts Bay Road, Perth, WA

Visit the web page to find out more: www.thebigmeet.com.au

Prior to attending the Big Meet event, join our webinar on Wednesday 24 February at 10am AWST time on how to get the most out of careers expos, including:

  • how to prepare for a careers expo,
  • making an impression on potential employers, and 
  • what to bring and wear on the day.

Register for our "How to get the most out of Careers Expos" webinar here.

This event is part of the Engineers Australia Graduate Roadmap, which provides a structured program of activities and products tailored to your professional and personal development needs.

During the first three years of Graduate membership, you’ll receive monthly advice to advance your career and make the most of your membership. Plus, you can start your career journey with our annual calendar of live and online events.