First Day on the Job Reminders

Two young neighbors were busy this weekend getting organized for their first full-time jobs.  They are among the lucky ones who landed jobs prior to graduation.  Reportedly, only 25% of ’09 graduates begin jobs in June.  For most, the job search continues.

For those starting jobs soon, I want to call your attention to excellent posts by two student bloggers.  Michigan State University student and blogger Nick Lucido provides excellent suggestions for first days on the job and Central Michigan’s Rachel Esterline, who writes A Step Ahead, talks about her first day as an intern. 

Here’s Nick’s post: 

With the end of the school year comes the first for something new: the first day on the job. I wholeheartedly believe that first impressions are incredibly important, especially in the workplace. If you can manage to make a solid first impression to your supervisor and coworkers, you will be off to a great start at your job or internship.

Here are some of my reminders when it comes to making a first impression:

Preparing for the first day
Just because you got the job doesn’t mean you should stop researching the company. Make sure you know about big events relating to the company and the industry in general. Keep on with Google Alerts, subscribe to the company’s blog or news feed and read industry publications to make sure you know what’s up. You never know who you’ll meet the first day!

What you’re wearing and how well you take care of yourself really speak louder than words. Before the first day, make sure you get in contact with an employee of the company and see what the dress code is. There’s nothing worse than wearing a suit when everyone else is casual, and when you’re not comfortable, you won’t be able to perform.

What to expect
Come to your first day with an open mind and get ready for anything. With some companies, you might have an orientation for the entire day. With other companies, you might have a brainstorming meeting, a writing project and some media clipping to do. Chances are you’ll be entering a fast-paced work environment, especially at an agency, where you will have to jump right in. Get to know the people around you and ask them how you can help. By asking questions and becoming familiar with the clients, you’ll be able to be a more effective practitioner.

Will your new coworkers take you out to lunch? Will you all eat in the lunchroom together? Will you eat at your desk? Be prepared for anything. I recommend bringing a lunch – something that you can keep for another day in case you go out.

When to leave?
When you’re trying to figure out when to leave, make sure you’re not staring at the clock wondering when you can get the heck out. That said, it might be overkill to stay hours past closing. The best thing you can do is understand when  you’ll be expected to stay and make one more call or answer one more e-mail before heading out.


I started my internship at Fahlgren Mortine today. I learned how to use tools like Cision and Factiva. I also edited a media list and worked on researching editorials for a client. First days can be intimidating, so here are a few tips for your first day at a new internship.

1. Be proactive about working from day one. If you’re not doing anything, review information about your clients, look through the manual or ask if there is anything you can do.

2. If you’re in a new city (or state, like I am), leave early in case you get lost or stuck in traffic. I actually drove to work before my first day so I would know the route and left very early in the morning to avoid the rush.

3. Ask questions. They expect that you won’t know what you’re doing. It is better to get things straight than to ask about simple things a month later.

4. Bring necessary information for HR. Sometimes they will need a copy of your social security card or your driver’s license.

5. Be excited. You’re an intern! You are one step closer to being a professional.

3 thoughts on “First Day on the Job Reminders

  1. Thanks for posting about my first day. It was quite the surprise to see my post featured on your blog. Nick’s post is really great too.

    I hope these both give insight to others who will be starting jobs/internships soon.

  2. Echoing what Rachel said, thanks again for sharing. Hopefully, between the two of us, we covered most of the challenges new employees face, though there is always room to add.

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