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Starting a new job can be a daunting prospect for anyone, especially if it is your very first full time role. There is a lot to take on board and learn, lots of new faces and names to remember. Sometimes those first few weeks or months of settling in can be tough and a bit of a rollercoaster. We wanted to share some advice from the SWAC team on some of the things you may come across at day to day at work.

Firstly we asked our director Clare Vertigen how she keeps a happy SWAC workforce!

Maintaining a happy workforce is not all about financial reward (though that can be nice too!) it is about:

  • recognising and celebrating hard work and excellent individual and team performance
  • empowering your team to make decisions and lead on projects
  • encouraging creative thinking – just because something has always been done a certain way doesn’t mean it is the best way!
  • inspiring the team by talking about the positive impact they are having on other lives
  • help them to feel pride by understanding why their work is so important to others they work with whether that’s their team, their customers or our stakeholders

But remember, team motivation can be very difficult and you need to live by the same rules as above and most importantly you need to stay focussed and motivated too!


Our Learner Account Manager Shelley King wants to share her thoughts on having an Organised day = organised mind:

“Ok, so I must admit that I am not the most organised person in the world, so being organised for my work days doesn’t come as easy to me as it may others.

I have learnt a few tricks from my team at SWAC to help me become more on top of things and I am going to share some very simple ideas with you.

  1. Write a daily to do list and tick off your tasks as you complete them
  2. If you have to remember something send yourself a text message
  3. Try to complete tasks as they happen, it becomes a bit of nightmare when you have too many unfinished tasks on the go at once
  4. I keep an outlook diary and I also have a paper diary (even though the team mock me for having a paper diary!)
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you are feeling overwhelmed. My colleagues at SWAC know I have a little wobble now and again and they always help to get me back on track.

Basically, if you are organised throughout your day, it relieves stress and makes things more enjoyable. You get a great sense of satisfaction knowing that you have accomplished all of your tasks for that day and leaves you feeling relaxed when you get into bed at night, instead of worrying about those things that you have forgotten to do.


We asked our Operations Manager Shelley Mills her thoughts on not always liking the jobs we are asked to do at work:

“Now that you’re actually an employee, you assume your work and responsibilities will be challenging and motivating. This will happen, but not immediately. For the majority of new employees just out of school or college the work and tasks you will be asked to do may feel a little tedious.

Initially the work may not be something you particularly enjoy or were expecting, your employer is simply trying to keep your workload light as you acclimate to your new surroundings, responsibilities and team.

Take advantage of this time to get to know the organisation. Be patient and prove that you can excel with the tedious work. Over time, you will begin to get more responsibility and more exciting work added to your workload once you show you are capable.

Remember that all work tasks are important to the business and have a part to play in the ‘bigger picture’ ensure even the most tedious of tasks are approached with enthusiasm and completed to the best of your ability.”


We talked to Sally our Business Development about dealing with conflict at work:

“Starting a new job will involve working with all different types of people. When you have been at school or college you are used to being around your peers, so lots of people your own age and then the staff are there to supervise you.

When you start work, you will be working with people of all ages and from all backgrounds. They will be working at different levels and also as a part of your team. It is not always easy as you may not always get on with everyone around you and it is important that you get involved with the team who are all there to support you and the company.

Not everyone in the team will be your ‘type’ of person but there will always be common ground where you can start a conversation, Something on the TV, what they did at the weekend or ask about pets! It will really help with you settling in to get to know the people you work with as they will be there for you to ask for help and some of my oldest friends have come from chance meetings at the kettle!”


We asked Alice our Recruitment Officer her thoughts on challenged she faced starting her first full time job and here is her advice:

“Starting my apprenticeship with SWAC was the first full time job I had and initially I found it difficult to adjust. After attending college part time and having a part time job, adjusting to full time/set hours was a challenge!

I had to try to remember that it was normal to feel tired during my first couple of weeks and that I wasn’t failing or not cut out for it, it was just a change!

When starting your first job, remember to take time for yourself in the evenings after work and try to relax and switch off from work when you leave.

It will get easier – I promise!”


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