Written by: Erin Frederick
It is safe to say that through my 16+ years of school I have had quite a few first days. You always pack your backpack, lunch, and pick out your clothes the night before. Do a dry run of walking to the bus stop and all your classes. Plus I never can get over those jitters the night before while you try and get some sleep. Well starting the first day of my internship was no different!
Being in a brand new city, apartment and job, there were a lot of variables that could have gone wrong. However I am proud to report that I survived the first day and the subsequent days to follow. Below are the 5 most important lessons I have learned to ensure that you have a perfect first day and impression!
1. Learn when to use each badge
I have three different security badges. One for the Accenture home office, on to get into the AON center and then another to get around the 5th floor. I was not aware that each had a certain purpose and was stuck setting off a few alarms in front of my new boss by using the wrong ID. Not to worry, my boss got a kick out of it and I had since mastered the badges.
2. Do not be afraid to ask questions
You are entering this new work environment knowing pretty much nothing. Your boss and colleagues know that and expect you to be full of questions. I often felt like I was being a burden or disruptive bugging them with “dumb” questions when I could not download the right software or to repeat the instructions again. However it is important to stand up and ask those questions because if you do not, you run the risk of getting yourself into even more trouble.
3. The first two weeks are the worst
At school everyone loves “syllabus week” because it is the easiest and yet can be the most boring. The same applies to work. The first week at least, you do not have a ton to do. You are just trying to get your bearings so they are not going to surprise you with a pop quiz. Keep in mind if you are bored; enjoy it, as it only lasts so long. Soon enough was you become more familiar with the terms and technology; you will be wishing you had a free moment!
4. Take advantage of opportunities to get to know your co-workers outside of work
In my particular office everyone goes out to lunch, grab an afternoon coffee and sometimes go out after work to watch a game. While I spend a good 40+ hours working with these people it is nice to see and get to know a more fun and relaxed environment. Memories of course are built in the office but I feel like you get to know someone better when they are not slaving away over an excel file.
5. Acronyms and office lingo- They will come naturally eventually
TGP, CHL, GL, and KFC (not Kentucky Fried Chicken) were all acronyms thrown around my first day at work. They all mean something different and can be overwhelming as you feel everyone is talking a different language. My advice is to right everything down. Sooner or later they will be rolling of your tongue.
BONUS ADVICE: Write everything down!
In will be hand now and in years to come. Right now it is nice because there is so much being thrown at you a little reminder will jog your member of where the file is or how you made that excel chart. Perhaps even 5 years down the line you will be wondering what you did at your job or how you wrote that SQL code.
These are just a few out many words of advice I have in order for the first day to go smoothly. I would love to hear what words of advice you have as well!
Until next time,