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In this blog, IMO shares some advice for starting a new job, written by a care leaver who recently join the Children’s Commissioner’s team.

As a care leaver who has recently joined the Childrens Commissioner’s office and finding my place in the world of work, I have been able to gather some key advice and experiences that I would like to pass on to other care leavers joining the work force for the first time.  

  1. Do some research into the company or organisation. The more you know, the more you can talk about or ask questions. You can use the company’s website or social media pages to see what they do and learn more about how they run. 
  2. Introduce yourself to the people you meet. Set up 1-to-1 chats, coffee meetings and get to know your colleagues.  
  3. Ask questions, even if you think they are ‘silly’. You are new and no one expects you to know it all, you will slowly find things out as you go. You should ask questions that relate to your role or even asking where the fire exits are, cafeteria or meeting rooms if it’s necessary. 
  4. Check in with your manager before you start/on your first day. Your manager will be your go to person when starting a new role and you should speak to them about any worries you may have. They can help you navigate the workplace and give you advice when you need it.  
  5. Get organised. Depending on the type of job you have you can create your own to do list. Write down your tasks for the day and week and tick them off as you go. The more organised you are the better you’ll be at tracking your progress. 
  6. Keep a file or document of any praise and good work you have done. When you are feeling down or feeling like you haven’t been progressing, you can look through all the work you achieved and can use all the praise when looking at your development.  
  7. Don’t get stressed over what to wear, once you get more comfortable you can see how others dress at your workplace, most places have a smart casual dress code, and you can mix and match clothes. There are also charities such as Smart Works that offer free work clothing for those starting a new role.  
  8. Take everyday as it comes. This might be your first ever job and it can be overwhelming. Take a breather and just know every day you will get more comfortable, learn more and make friends.  

Starting a new job or career can be nerve-wracking, whether you are a care leaver or not. But, for most of us, this is a new beginning and an achievement of all our hard work.

I hope these tips help you feel more confident about starting your new job. You will ace it. and just know that…

You are there because you deserve to be there. You were chosen for this role because you have the skills and abilities for it.  

Newly employed care leaver at CCo

Now it’s your time to shine! 

Find more careers advice and resources see our careers page.

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