Have you ever got a job offer that you so badly wanted and then started worrying about how and what to do when you show up on your first day? I always thought first day jitters was something for high school and college freshman, but nope, they don’t go away when you get started in your career. Having a plan for success for your first day is key to handle those jitters and prepare for the best start at your new office. Since I moved to Philadelphia, I have had my eyes set for working for one non-profit organization. I must have applied to about three or four different positions, and finally, I received an interview. Following that, came another interview and an offer! I’ll be working with a great organization that fundraises money to fund childhood cancer research and offers support to families that are impacted, my position, in particular, is the Development and Donor Relations Specialist.
Dress for Success:
Before you even leave your home, make sure that you are dressed for the part! Before your first day make sure that your HR manager explained to you the ins and outs of the dress code. For the first few weeks put in a little extra effort. Depending on the dress code I would recommend dressing up just a little extra. In my new job, my office has a complete casual dress code, think jeans, daily. For the first day, I plan on wearing a nice colored pair of pants and a blouse. I’ll stay casual but a little bit more pulled together.
Have the Essentials:
Not only should you be leaving your home looking your best, but you should have everything with you to succeed. You won’t know what you’ll have available for you so ensure that you have the main essentials for the first day. On your first day make sure you have:
-All documents (driver’s license, social security card, voided check for direct deposit, etc.have)
-Notebook & favorite pen
-Folder to collect important papers
This is not a day one or week one recommendation. Always be punctual, in fact, you should be early to work every day and stay a little bit later. I’m not saying you should be arriving to work an hour early, but you should get there at least ten minutes early so you can settle in for the day. Usually, when I arrive to work, I like to make myself a cup of coffee and just get everything sorted. If I arrive ten minutes early, this allows me to get to work right on time.
Have your ears open and a pen ready. So much information will be thrown your way between passwords, how to use the office phone, and how to do your job. Writing everything down will be a lifesaver for when you need to recall some of the smaller details. In my very first job, I remember that I even drew myself an office map including where the coffee was and which office belonged to who (and a short description of who those people were). Become a sponge and soak up everything, the first week everyone will be looking to help mentor you.
Your first day probably will not be your typical day in the office, but it’s important to start laying the groundwork for organization. Develop your schedule and workflow. My one commitment for my new job is to have specific times to check my email. My last job I spent an overwhelming amount of time refreshing my inbox that a lot of time was wasted. Now, I was an event coordinator so it was important to check it often but I could have spent my time more effectively. My new position will involve building relationships with donors so my email will be very important again but, I am committing to specific allotted times for email management.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, even ones that are simple and basic. It’s easier to get an answer real quick than to try and figure it out on your own for the next week. When someone helps you out make sure you thank them, in the moment and send a quick email at the end of the day!
Make a Plan:
Set goals early for yourself. Making goals for the first week, month, 60 and 90 days will ensure that you put your best foot forward. Plus it shows that your new boss that you’re committed to not only your position but moving the organization forward.
Keep Track of What You Do:
At the end of each day, stay after for some extra time to write down what you did during the day. Do this daily so you can keep track of your progress. This will become important when you want to discuss a potential raise or change in job title. It may also help you if there’s a conflict within the office.
What do you do to make sure you’re successful in a new job?
Oh darling be successful!