Preparing For The World Of Work


It’s no secret that school never really prepares you for the world of work and for those of us who get older, it’s something we forget and take for granted. As I meet a lot of school-leavers and graduates looking to take their first step into the world of work, we tend to cover quite a lot of information around being fully prepared for their first day.

First Steps – CVs & Interviews

Filling out a CV without prior work experience can be quite difficult, especially if you want to stand out. With that in mind, think about any part-time work experience you’ve had in the past and ensure you emphasise the tasks that could be relevant to the job you’re applying for and if you had any extra-curricular activities whilst in education or personal achievements, add that too. As part of our process, I’m always happy to review your CV which is something I do for all candidates upon registration, making sure they have their best foot forward before applying.

Once you’re at interview stage, like any presentation or test, it pays to revise, but don’t just research the company, make sure you have a good understanding of the role that you’re applying for too. Ensure that you understand industry-specific terms that are mentioned in the job description, details about associated organisations or qualifications and also conduct some research on your interviewers via LinkedIn or Google.

As well as making sure your CV is in tip-top condition before going to prospective employers, I’m always on-hand to help you prepare for interviews, don’t shy away from asking, that’s why I’m here!

Another question I get asked a lot is for guidance on pay, and whilst many of you won’t have many financial commitments such as rent and utility bills, you need to make sure you can afford to have enough to live on and enjoy your free time! For example, a simple budget in an Excel spreadsheet, covering such things as board, mobile phone bill, food and savings (you’ll thank yourself in a few years’ time, trust me!) is a good place to start. On top of this, we can advise you on what kind of salary to expect based on the job you’re applying for.

Next Steps – Getting Your Finances In Order

So, let’s fast-forward, you have secured your new position and it’s time to enter the world of work. A few things you’ll need to get in order:

Tax Coding: Your employer will require a tax coding notice in order to be able to pay you. A quick email to requesting a coding notice to be sent to your new employer and you’ll be sorted. Ensure you include your tax reference number in the email, or, if you don’t have that, your full name and postal address, they’ll be quick to come back to you should they require any further information. Your coding notice will tell you what your weekly and monthly tax allowance is, this is the portion of your wage that will be tax-free and anything earned above this will be taxed at 20p in every £1. You can read more about tax coding notices here:

Social Security: Social security contributions are deducted from your wage at 6.6% (as at 2019), although there are lower and upper earnings limits for this. If you do not have a social security number/card then you can complete the application form online here:

Upon starting work, you will need to hand over your social security card to your employer and upon leaving their employment it should be returned to you.

Work Permit: A work permit/resident permit (often referred to as Right To Work) is a card that confirms you are lawfully allowed to work in Guernsey. Employers are to take a copy of this upon starting employment, but it must be returned to you as this is your property. For any questions around these permits, contact Population Management (

The above three items are required to start work lawfully in Guernsey and in order for your employer to pay you. Your line manager or HR department will, of course, let you know about any other requirements such as references, police check, bank details etc, but make ensure you have the above three items in order at your earliest convenience to prevent any delays.

Building For The Future – Networking & Personal Growth

Once you have settled in, it’s beneficial to put together a growth plan for your role within the company and professional growth externally. Many employers will offer options for professional study, which will help you advance in your role and also bolster your CV. Ensure that you check the terms of the professional study handbook/contract as there may be fines should you fail, pull-out or change employer within a certain timeframe, however, some employers will take on this expense, but not always.

In addition to professional study funded by your employer, don’t shy away from funding your own. Take a look at our glossary for some examples of professional development qualifications:, just don’t overload yourself!

Building your own professional network is also a really key development point, create your own LinkedIn profile, sign up for YBG ( and get networking!

I hope you’ve found the above information useful when entering the world of work and if I can be of assistance, feel free to drop me an email to: – I’ll be more than happy to help.