Be Prepared: Getting Ready for Your First Day on the Job

At some point during college, things like résumés, professional appearance and internships become priorities. Like Uncle Scar from Disney’s “The Lion King” says, “Be prepared.” If you aren’t prepared ahead of time, you will fall behind other students trying to do the same thing — land a job.

Uncle Scar from The Lion King
“Be prepared.” Courtesy www.curry23.deviantart.com.

Preparation is a key factor. It’s important to know what can help and hurt you during those first few days as a new employee. Here are a few suggestions to prepare for your first day once you’ve landed a new job.

Plan to arrive looking sharp.

If you’re not sure what to wear your first day, try to remember what people were wearing the day you were interviewed. If you don’t recall what they wore, use the conservative approach — dress pants and a button-up shirt or blouse.

Do a little research.

Don’t want to walk into the office thinking you are only an intern or entry-level hire who doesn’t  need to know company details. An arrogant attitude will get you nowhere in the job market. Find out background information on what the company does, if they are publicly traded and if they’re doing something new in the coming year. Historical research is always good to know, but it’s the “happening now” information you should know beforehand.

Get a good night’s sleep.

You don’t want to stroll in your first day with bags under your eyes. Wake up well-rested, energetic and ready to face your first day on the job. Employers will be glad to know you put in the effort to make your first day a great experience.

Be aware of time.

Double check what time you should arrive to work and what time you are allowed to leave. You should have a clarified understanding of your work schedule and always be on time. Leave home at an appropriate time in order to handle traffic or uncertain weather conditions. Plan enough time in the morning to get ready, be out the door and on time for work.

Eat a breakfast of champions.

Don’t load up on a huge stack of pancakes and sausage, or worse, eat nothing at all, then expect to feel great during your first work day. Eat something light but substantial, like a bowl of cereal, some fruit or eggs and eat slowly. Don’t rush because that only makes you more anxious. Just relax, eat your breakfast and then head off to work.

While the first day of a new job often holds several surprises, research, preparation and initiative can help you better prepare and handle those unexpected surprises at a new job.

How do you prepare for the first day at a new job? What advice do you have for students starting new jobs?

Megan Gross is a junior at the University of Toledo majoring in marketing and minoring in communication. Megan was a reporter and editor for the Independent Collegian, University of Toledo’s student newspaper.  She is currently a marketing intern at Therma Tru Doors, Inc. in Maumee, OH.

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