Headline | October 20, 2015

We are the city: the 10 commandments that will help you survive and thrive at your first graduate role

natashaStarting a new job can be daunting process. With university fast becoming a distant memory, beginning a new career can feel like you’re entering uncharted territory. Naturally there is a mixture of excitement and apprehensiveness teamed with countless questions surrounding the impending start of your new job. If any of this sounds familiar you’re in luck, Natasha Murray, MD of Havas Media gives some essential graduate advice on preparing to take the leap into the world of employment.

1 – Know your role and how it affects the company.

This may sound a basic first step but this overview is essential so you are able to deliver value, affect change, make a difference and, ultimately, get noticed for your efforts. Read your job description and look at colleague’s profiles on LinkedIn. If you are unsure about anything don’t be afraid to ask, it shows initiative and a desire to succeed.

2 – Always think about the big picture on assignments

Every assignment you are given, you should always start by considering the objective. If you focus on why you are doing the task and understand the motivations behind it, you will be more productive and successful. Think what the overall goal is, how will this project affect the team, the division and the company as a whole.

At Havas Media our purpose is to be “the home of meaningful brands”, and we actively encourage people to pursue meaning and purpose in all they do. I call this finding”meaningful me” and I’m constantly thinking about how my role aligns with the wider purpose, which is hugely motivating.

3- Feedback is paramount for your development

Feedback is an essential part of effective learning it will improve confidence, self-awareness and enthusiasm for learning. Effective feedback during the first few months can aid the development of your growth within the organisation. Don’t hesitate to clarify what others expect of you, and the procedure of which senior managers plan on giving you reviews/ feedback.

4 -Find a mentor to coach you to success

A mentor can give you the benefit of his or her perspective and experience. They can help you assimilate to the new position and give you an insider’s view on how to get things done. A mentor can help you look at situations in new ways. Remember (especially on the tough days) that whatever dilemma you encounter in the workplace, someone else has had a similar experience. Learn from them and take comfort that you are never alone in how you feel.

5 –Break out of your comfort zone

Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new. Taking risks in a managed way can lead you to bigger and better things in work and in life.

At Havas Media we have a programme called ‘The Academy’ that gives all employees the perfect platform to develop their knowledge. Many employers will offer schemes like ours, but if yours doesn’t, it only demonstrates your passion to enquire about further learning opportunities.

6- Accept that you will make mistakes, but be sure to learn from them

Making mistakes is inevitable and part of being human. Let’s be honest, no-one wants to make a mistake, but we all do. Just make sure that you only make the same mistake once and see it as a development opportunity. It might be cringe-worthy in the hot-flush-filled moment, but accepting it and managing it well will be key to your future success.

7 – Never play the blame game

You can only learn from a mistake after you admit you’ve made it. As soon as you start blaming other people (or the universe itself), you distance yourself from any possible lesson.

But if you courageously stand up and honestly say: “This is my mistake and I am responsible” the possibilities for learning will move towards you.

8 – Take ownership of your work, be autonomous

When you take ownership at work you are in essence creating a perception of a problem solver and that’s exactly what employers look for in the next generation of leaders. Developing a willingness to learn through the good times and bad will lead to new opportunities and build your confidence. The key is to have an open mind combined with the enthusiasm to do what is best for the company, readily accepting what you did well and what areas need improvement.

9 – Find an outlet for your passion at the workplace

A big part of reaching your dreams is finding a way to incorporate your passions into your day-to-day life. For example, one of the girls that works for me put herself forward to head up the Havas Equality and Respect agenda (HER), because she felt feel strongly about helping female employees tap into what matters to them and showing them inspirational role models across the business.

10 – Get networking

Networking is the art of forming and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with others who are linked to your career, sector, market, region or specific interest. Successful networking can help you to raise your profile, meet new customers, develop your knowledge or skills and explore new ideas. Social media is a terrific platform to make yourself heard and known, so be sure to utilise this free marketing tool to the upmost. LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook are all awaiting your updates!

Natasha has worked for Havas Media since 2000 when she joined as a Media Manager after working as a planner buyer at WWAV Rapp Collins. Since then she has held roles including Head of Media and Head of Client Service and has worked across clients including Orange, BBC, TUI Travel, The National Lottery, Birds Eye, EDF Energy and Pernod Ricard UK.

Her focus as Managing Director is on shaping the company into a media business that works with senior executives to offer their companies solutions that transform their businesses – instead of offering just traditional media plans. This involves ensuring recent acquisitions are bedded successfully into the business, as well as integrating the most recent ‘Meaningful Brands’ research into the agency’s offering.

Natasha is also passionate about ensuring that Havas Media offers the best opportunities to its employees for career progression and work/life blend in the industry, and considers this to be a vital part of her job.

Published on We are the City