The first day of work is always a bit nerve-wracking, especially for recent college graduates. From meeting new people to learning a billion new passwords and account information, it can actually be quite exhausting.
My first day at NewmanPR was a mixture of excitement, performance anxiety and a bit of frustration. I was excited about the position, working with my new co-workers, most of whom I had previously met during meetings with management, and having one additional excuse to hang out in one of my favorite places, Coconut Grove.
I was also worried about screwing up, which I did, and not “fitting in.” All in all, my first day was fine, I don’t even remember most of it.
As a recent college graduate and rookie in the public relations industry, I know that my most important education will come from the real world, not those wonderfully overpriced textbooks I purchased in college. As a newly minted account coordinator with the agency, I will use this blog to document my experience and hopefully inform my fellow Millennials about the in’s and out’s of life outside the ivory towers and inside corporate America.
Below, I’ve compiled a list of seven nuggets of advice to make your transition from recent college graduate to young professional a little easier.
•Learn as much as you can about the company before your first day of work. Sure you may have read the company’s Web site to prepare for your initial interview, but once you’ve landed the position, find out the specific project(s) you will work on, the clients you will work for and learn as much as your brain can possibly retain between that time and your first day of work.
•Come ready to work and learn on Day 1. Contrary to popular belief, the first day of work is not a freebie day with HR papers and tax forms. You are no longer an applicant for employment. You are now a PAID employee and yes, you are expected to contribute. The sooner the better.
•Ask plenty of questions and take notes of everything. Asking questions is not a sign of weakness. It shows that you want to do well and that you actually care. Just don’t ask the same questions repeatedly.
•Adjust your expectations. Yes, you may have been on the executive board of every organization on campus during college, but now you have officially descended back to the bottom of the totem pole, much like your freshman year of high school. You probably won’t make any major decisions or exert any influence on the daily affairs of the organization anytime soon, but you will be surrounded by seasoned, intelligent individuals who have probably forgotten more than you will ever know. Don’t try to be a know-it-all. Instead, listen and learn because humility will take you very far in the early stages of your professional career and life in general.
•Become a good follower. From early on in life, we are encouraged by our parents to be leaders, but one of the surest ways to succeed in the workplace at this stage in your career is to effectively take orders from your superiors. Follow directions and execute.
•Build effective relationships with your co-workers. Your new co-workers will become your second family. Befriend everyone in the office and DO NOT clique-up with any one person or group . Cliques are always a bad thing.
•Above all, don’t sweat the small stuff. Surely there will be screw-ups in the beginning but you should look at every assignment as an opportunity for growth. Relax, have fun and take it all in stride because you only have to do the first day once.