Advice from the Other Side: Your First Week on the Job

The post-graduation job search can seem endless at times, but with a little perseverance, you’ll soon land your very first “grown-up” job. Taking that first step into your career is so exciting, but it’s also a little nerve-wracking if you don’t know what to expect. After all, you’ve spent the majority of your life in school, and now you’re diving head-first into brand new territory. Here are a few tips to help you survive your first week on the job.

Introduce yourself. It’s very likely that many of your colleagues will introduce themselves to you throughout your first few days at work, but you don’t want to exclusively rely on that. Take initiative and get to know people! Introduce yourself to everyone you see during your first week; the sooner you get to know your colleagues, the more comfortable you’ll feel at work.

Take lots of notes. Your first few days of work serve as a “crash course” of the organization. You will most likely be hit with an influx of information, and you’ll be expected to catch on quickly. Take a step back, observe everything you can, and put those note-taking skills you’ve developed over the years into action.

Ask questions. Don’t go into your career with a “fake it ‘til you make it” mentality. Your company hired you because they have faith that you can do your job well, and your supervisors will understand that there will be a learning curve as you get comfortable in your role. During your first week (and really, throughout your entire career) don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Asking questions isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s an indication that you want to do your job to the best of your ability.

Have lunch with your boss. Okay, this doesn’t necessarily have to happen over lunch, but you should definitely find some time to sit down with your supervisor at least once during your first week to discuss your position. You’ll want to go over the parameters of your job, and discuss what success looks like for your role. Going into your new job with a clear outline of what your first few months should entail will certainly help you get started as you settle in.

Find the coffee maker. This may seem trivial, but trust me, you’ll want to know where the coffee is. Not only is that your source of sweet, sweet caffeine, but you’re also likely to run into some colleagues in the breakroom as well. Remember when I mentioned that you should introduce yourself to people in the office? Well you’ll want to build those new connections, too, and bonding over coffee is a great way to do that!

Your first week on the job will be a whirlwind of new people and information. Use these tips as starting points for a smooth transition, and remember: you got this!

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