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First Job, First Day

Five Ways to Prepare For Your First Day on the Job

As new graduates prepare for their first career positions after graduation, guest blogger Katheryn Rivas, an English Major at the University of Texas, offers this advice to her fellow students on success.

You’ve navigated the complicated and sometimes frustrating process of applying for a position, survived an interview, and waited anxiously for news about the position. Now that you’ve responded to the offer letter, it’s time to prepare for your first day on the job.

If this is your very first job, here a few things to consider as you prepare for your first day.

Establish Your Work Routine

Once you find out that you’ve received the position, you should begin to acclimate yourself to the standard nine to five routine, especially if you have been unemployed for a while. Take a few days to wake up as if you were about to go to work. Spend your morning and afternoons tidying away any last-minute responsibilities or tasks that you have but might not be able to get to once you are working forty hours each week. The routine you begin to follow before you start will help you adjust more quickly once you are on the job.

Research Your New Company

Most likely you already took this step when you prepared for your interview, but it couldn’t hurt to research the company with fresh eyes (now that you’re an employee.) This time, pay attention to profiles of your supervisors and company leadership and recent news regarding your new company’s brand. You should also review your company’s mission statement and any other information on their website that will help you understand and begin to internalize the company’s values.

Familiarize Yourself with the Industry

While you research your new company, you should also widen your research to consider recent trends within the industry. Look at industry blogs and news sites. If applicable, take stock of the latest trading news for other companies in the industry. Doing this homework will help you start to think about challenges and opportunities your company may be facing.

Be Ready for the First Day Tasks

 Before you leave for work on the first day, make sure you have with you two forms of identification, which you’ll use to fill out your I-9 form. Bring a voided check so that you can set up direct deposit with payroll.  You’ll be asked to fill out tax withholding and select a benefits plan option, so think about your needs in advance.  Make sure you have a sufficient work wardrobe for the first couple of weeks  and at least one outfit that will work as business casual attire. And ask ahead about your parking situation, if you plan on driving. Taking care of these things as quickly as possible will help you focus your energy on your first task at work.

Make a Good First Impression

Finally, you worked so hard to impress the people who  interviewed you, so make sure you make a good first impression on your co-workers as well. Act professionally, dress smartly, and do your best to remember everyone’s names.  Bring a pad of paper to write your co-workers’ names and a few details to help you remember them; you’ll also need to record important details and assignments.  Don’t rely on your memory for the first few weeks; you’ll be overwhelmed with information and be glad you took notes.  Whatever you do, don’t get roped into any office gossip on your first day.  Stay focused on your job and becoming competent as quickly as possible.

This guest post was submitted by Katheryn Rivas, who regularly writes for online universities.  She welcomes your comments: Katheryn Rivas.

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