After graduating from Lancaster University, I kicked off my career in public relations at McCann Birmingham.

While at first the idea of working every day (with no naps!) was terrifying, a few months down the line, I’ve managed to keep my head above water and learnt a few things along the way.

So, here are my top five tips for surviving your first proper job…

  • ENTHUSIASM IS EVERYTHING Showing up to the office a few minutes early and leaving a little later than when the clock strikes home-time shows that you’re an eager beaver, excited to be there. While it may be tricky to look cheerful while you’re struggling to remember lots of essential information and new names, give your resting bitch face a rest, put on a brave face and be sure to make your smile a key component of your work wardrobe.


  • WORK FRIENDS MAKE WORK FUN It can feel lonely being the newbie, especially if your job doesn’t come with ready-made friends in the form of fellow grads. Even if you’re not naturally an extrovert, it’s important to get involved. Make an effort to say hello to people, take on the tea round and set time aside to go for lunch. It’s in your interest to build relationships with everyone. From the receptionist to the CEO, it’s always good to have someone on your side.


  • FIND YOUR MENTOR Get a go-to person: someone you look up to and someone you can trust. No matter what the problem, you can bet that they’ve been in your shoes before (or at least seen when someone else has). With experience on their side, they may be able save you from having to learn the hard way.


  • THE ONLY WAY IS ORGANISED Keep a running to-do-list. Whether you’re a pen and paper traditionalist or a dyed-in-the-wool Word fanatic, there’s nothing more satisfying than striking off a task. Don’t forget to take advantage of e-calendars too – block out time to allow yourself to focus on specific tasks and set reminders for your future self.


  • BE YOUR OWN BIGGEST FAN Make the most of opportunities where you have the chance to speak up and celebrate your achievements – it won’t go unnoticed. Treat these as your time to shine. Always save down any stand-out pieces of work or emails noting your success. You never know when these snippets might come in useful, whether it’s at your appraisal or asking for a promotion.