Guest Post: Personal Development in Your First Year of Post-Graduate Employment

We are delighted to welcome a guest post from Samantha Cooper – Director at Little Acorn Digital Marketing

Time Management

As soon as you embark upon your first post-graduate role you will commit to a brand new schedule. If you are taking on a full time job, you will usually be expected to work between 35 and 40 hours per week. Office based jobs usually adopt a ‘9 till 5, 5 days a week’ kind of policy, however customer facing roles may require more varied hours. This will naturally add more structure to your life and you will become accustomed to a new routine. Attendance will be more crucial than ever as you will be under the watchful eye of your employer or line manager who will need to document any absences and if you don’t already do so, you will be expected to achieve impeccable time management. This is something which is transferable and extremely useful in other areas of your life. The routine of your new job will shape your personal life to a certain extent and with less time on your hands, you will learn how to be more productive with the time you have and also learn how to juggle relationships.


You will likely spend the first few weeks of your new job getting to know the ropes but once you are settled in, you will take on the responsibility of fulfilling certain duties or tasks for which you will be accountable for. You will have experience in completing tasks for deadlines at university. However failing to complete assignments would only have a negative impact on yourself, whereas failing to complete tasks in your new job will have an impact on the business which employs you.

You may also be given objectives or targets which you will be expected to meet and preferably exceed. Your employer or manager should ensure that these are fair and manageable. By taking on this kind of accountability, you will learn how to manage responsibility and become more confident in delivering results.

Communication & Networking

A new job means a new group of people. The number will be dictated by the size of the company you work for or the size of the office in which you are based, but it is encouraged that you get to know all of the people that you work with day to day. You will also get to meet or at least speak with external figures including clients, suppliers and other associates. This will develop your communication, relationship management and networking skills and provide you with connections in numerous different industries. You will be surprised how useful these connections can be at various occasions in your later career, even if you don’t realise it at the time.

Within your role you will most likely be asked to report on performance or pitch new ideas to management. A popular method of doing so is presenting, something which you may have had some practice in at university. It can still be nerve wracking presenting to a new group of people to start with but the more you do this the more comfortable you will be communicating in this way. This is such a valuable skill and it is transferable to any other role you may move to in the future.


I am going to end on self-confidence as the three personal skills above all contribute to this. The knowledge that you have great time management and are highly responsible gives you confidence in yourself to fulfil both tasks and new roles. Having great communication skills will naturally make you more confident in speaking to new people and this is something which will shine through. On top of this, the work skills which you will also acquire will give you more confidence in fulfilling your current job and the belief that you can adapt and grow into other roles.