Hello my fellow Gents,

After a year of looking for a job after college, I finally got a job. I will begin next week with dow Jones! Needless to say, I am rather nervous. What should I do/keep in mind on my first day/week in the job? This is entirely new to me! 

Thanks everyone, I'll listen to anything you have to say.

Tags: career, job, new

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"Dow Jones" the stripper club? Just keep working the pole and save your money.

classy.

Carlo,

Good for you man. First take a moment to enjoy. It's a big step. One which you have earned.

I've worked with my share of new hires, here's my advice.

The first week is going to be full of a lot of paperwork, orientation, whatnot. There's a lot to take in. Obviously, you need to be a sponge, but everyone is trying to figure out how you'll fit in. It's mostly social. Nobody can tell if you know your shit yet, they're just looking for social cues. So, during the first week, be friendly, be outgoing but be deferential to everyone. Until you figure out the lay of the land both socially (who's important) and professionally (who can help you make the most of your skills), you position yourself as everyone's future right-hand man.

After the first week or so, the best advice I can give you is to make sure you understand what the business is that your company does. And what your role is in that. I may not be explaining it well, but if you just do what your supervisor tells you, you'll never excel. It may take a while, but try to figure out how your skills can further the business.

This is very golden advice, Steve. I will definitely go about understanding how things work so that I can actively engage myself in the program without just doing the minimum. Thank you so much.

Show up everyday and on time.  

Unless you're obnoxious, and nervous people are hardly ever that kind of obnoxious, most people find "the new guy" endearing in his nervousness and eagerness, and it's hard to go wrong in the first month or so.

*Show up on time, ready to work [duh]

*Look for an office rhythm regarding when to take lunch. You may be given a specific time, in which case, just do that. More likely, you'll have to find a time. Maybe it's when almost everyone else takes lunch and no one expects anyone to be at their desk. Maybe it's when your boss takes lunch. Maybe it's anytime OTHER than when your boss is out, so there's someone on hand for emergencies.

*Write down anything complicated or that you might have trouble remembering. In my first jobs, that was acronyms. [e.g., "emmennay" = M&A = mergers & acquisitions] It's probably also procedures like logging into your computer. [Most jobs involve special software.]

*Remember that now is when people expect you to ask questions. If they're annoyed by them, that's on them. So make sure you're really clear on your responsibilities, so you aren't having to be re-trained months down the road.

*Bring evidence you're legally authorized to work in the U.S. on the first day of work. Call your contact in HR if you don't know what that is. A US citizen's passport works. If you don't have a passport, call HR.

*Also, bring a check you can void so they can set up automatic deposit of your paychecks.

*Most conscientious people slip-up with non-work parts of their job. That is, you'll probably be fine with your assignments, core responsibilities, etc. Where you'll run into trouble is "stupid administrative stuff." What this is varies from job to job, but it involves things like time sheets and expense reports - all kinds of paperwork that goes to HR or accounting or some department other than your immediate supervisors. Figure out what these tasks are, and get into a rhythm of doing them timely.

*Keep all the paperwork you receive in the first days and at least skim it. If they say you should keep it at your desk, do that. If they say, "We're legally obligated to give this to you and ask you to read it," keep it in a safe place at home. These papers, which include an employee handbook, anti-discrimination policies, possibly a job description, dress code, benefits summary, etc., are your most important tool should you ever have trouble at your job. You were promised health insurance after 3 months on the job, and it's been 5, and you're about to be kicked off your parents' plan? Take the appropriate paper to HR. Be flexible and reasonable, of course, but do know what your written rights and responsibilities are.

*As with questions, so with tools. It's easier to get office supplies when you're new than when you've been around awhile. So, if, after a few days, you find you'd like highlighters for your work even though your boss marks reports in red pencil, ask for them. You don't have to be so like your boss you have to have the same favorite writing instruments.

*Consider asking for the manual for any equipment you're presented with. This depends on the equipment and your personality. I do really well with written directions. You probably won't be working with anything dangerous, but you might be working in an operating system you're unfamiliar with, or with something like a dictaphone.

Really good points.

I would add when you screw up let people know.  You are new you will break, misfile etc something just let the people know.  They all did it also and they can fix it faster then you most of the time.  Because you don't know who to call to fix things.

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