1st Day on the Job!

Filed in Finding a Job, From the Staff, Life at WPI by on April 27, 2018

You did it! You landed that job/internship/co-op of your dreams and it’s smooth sailing from here! Except…now what? Here’s a few tips for how to prepare and make the most of your experience.

What to wear

Odds are the hiring manager will let you know what dress code you should follow. If not, you can reach out to your point of contact and ask. Be sure to dress well on that first day (to make a good impression), and make sure you’re always wearing something that makes you feel confident. Also, wear comfortable shoes!

Learning Names

Learn the names of the people you’re working with. This is important both to show that you care, and to make it easier to ask questions and find information. I recommend that you ask people’s names as much as you can in the first week, so that you’re not asking someone’s name after a month of knowing them.

Be friendly!

You want to make a good impression with the people you’re working with. Make eye contact, smile, and be an active listener. You’ll be spending a lot of time with these people, so you want to have a positive relationship with them. They could also be future references!

Ask questions!!!

When you’re first starting a job, odds are there’s going to be lots of things you don’t know. That’s okay! Be ready to ask lots of questions and learn a ton of new stuff. Asking questions can be intimidating, but will show your interest in learning more.

Take ownership of your experience

On the flip side, be willing to troubleshoot and figure things out before immediately asking for help. This will help you learn and show your supervisor that you can work independently and take ownership of your work. Find the spaces where you can take initiative and show off the extra value you can provide to your team.

Take notes

Keep detailed notes of what you’re doing and the skills you’re gaining. This will help you reflect at the end of your experience and market it as you pursue new experiences. Similarly, take pictures! These look great in portfolios and help you remember your experience.

Reflect on your experience

Be mindful of your experience. It’s easy to get trapped in the mindset of “I’m doing this because its my job” or “because I have to” or “because I need money”, which is valid. That being said, try to think deeper. Why else are you doing this? Are you passionate about the work you’re doing? Would you want to do this for the rest of your life? What could make this better? This experience will help guide you along your path to finding what pays the bills AND fulfills you. Think about it!

Good luck with your experience, and remember: YOU GOT THIS!

(also don’t forget to pack a lunch and water)


About the Author ()

Pronouns: she/her or they/them. I'm an Environmental Engineering major from Georgetown, MA. On campus, I act as a Peer Advisor with the Career Development Center, a Resident Advisor with Residential Services, and a Safety Technician with the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. I'm also the President of the Alliance at WPI, and have a passion for social justice and advocacy.

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