How to Kill It at Your First Month of Work
Congratulations, you got the job! Now what?
Congratulations, rookie. The job hunt you so tirelessly poured yourself into has come to an end. You can finally drag your cursor away from the Refresh button on that page of job listings you’ve kept open and file your resume away for future updating. This is it: you’ve been hired!
Now that that’s over, you’re due for a paradigm shift. It’s time to stop banking on what if’s and start setting the wheels of your career into motion. From here, we school you on the questions you should be asking to make the most out of your first month on the job.
What time do I need to be there?
We get it. Rising and shining isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. Before employment, you could snooze on your alarm to your heart’s content but now leaving the sheets any earlier than 7AM makes you feel like you’re committing an injustice against your bed. But alas, there’s a commute to be braved and traffic to be beaten.
If you’re looking to leave a good impression, observing punctuality is a good start. Actions speak louder than words and showing up to work on time speaks volumes about an employee. Review possible routes to your office and keep travel times in mind. Should you leave home earlier on a Monday? Would taking the skyway be a smart choice today? Familiarize yourself with traffic patterns and work your daily commute around them.
Am I forgetting anything?
Picture this: you show up at the office after a stress-free morning commute, clock in right on the dot, only to discover that you left that folder of documents your boss asked you to bring for today’s meeting on your coffee table back home. Sounds like a potential headache already, doesn’t it?
Here’s a slice of honesty pie: there’s no point in coming in early if you show up empty-handed. Preparation is key when it comes to saving face, so make sure you have everything you need—whether it’s your company ID, research you’ve culled for the next day, or perhaps even a power blazer that gives you that extra boost of confidence—before taking a good night’s rest. If you swear by your to-do lists, keep a checklist by the front door. If you’re of the tech-savvy sort, consider downloading a productivity app to help keep yourself at your A-game.
Who can I talk to?
Remember back in elementary school when your teacher would ask what you wanted to be when you grow up? Chances are there was that one classmate who wanted to be president, a seatmate who wanted to become a doctor, maybe a friend who wanted to make it as a celebrity. Now that you’re in the workforce and waist-deep into the swamps of adulthood, all that is actually possible—only probably within your own industry. The folks your supervisor introduces you to on your first day could turn out to be valuable contacts in the near future.
That said, keeping your sociable hat on during work hours is definitely a good idea. If workplace friendships aren’t quite your cup of tea, dial it down to casual hi’s and hello’s. Even a simple good morning to start the day can work wonders in sparking connections.
What can I improve?
Any good success story finds footing in failure. Walt Disney was fired for a so-called lack of creativity before he whisked up the idea of Mickey Mouse. Heck, Beyonce wouldn’t have had that stellar Coachella moment if Girl’s Tyme hadn’t reformed as Destiny’s Child. Fall 7 times, stand up 8, right?
Now, don’t get us wrong—we’re not saying that big meeting you’re scheduled to attend is going to fall flat. The takeaway is this: there’s no reason to fear failure. Instead of walking on eggshells and tiptoeing around your tasks, face them head-on. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. If anything, doing so shows you care about the outcome of your work. And hey, if things don’t quite work out the first time, you’ll know what not to do when the next opportunity comes around.
How am I holding up?
When you’ve got a seemingly never-ending to-do list to work your way down, it’s easy to forget to look inwards. Your daily outputs may be impeccable, but how are you? While it might not be the best time to try out that fancy new restaurant in town or treat yourself to that tempting Margarita-All-You-Can promo your friends keep telling you about, setting little rewards can go a long way in keeping yourself motivated.
Clock in those hours of beauty sleep you missed. Carve out time to watch that movie you’ve been waiting months to see. Take a long walk around your favorite part of town to the sound of your favorite song. Sometimes, the best rewards are those that come free.
We all know adulthood can get a little daunting, but here’s hoping that you’ll learn to love the hustle. Best of luck, rookie!