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New Grads: Survival Tips for Day 1 of Your First Job

The positive feeling you get when you accept a job offer falls somewhere between relief and euphoria. If you're a new college graduate and still looking for that first full-time job, you may experience both relief and euphoria. I hope you experience those feelings—and soon!

First DayIn time, you'll phase into a new routine of having to wake up and go to work every day for eight hours or so—with nothing more than a daily lunch break, no summers off or entire months during the holidays. No more spring breaks.

OK, don't get bummed out! Yes, this may be a big change for you. And you need to start it off right on Day One because first impressions count a lot with your boss and coworkers. So, here are five tips for what you should do on your first day:

  1. Don't Be Late! Make sure you're on time. Better yet, get there a few minutes earlier than your expected arrival. You'll look good, and it could make your boss look good too just for hiring you. And it's very important to be on the boss's good side.
  2. Ask questions. If you finish a task, ask your boss what to do next (don't just sit there), or ask a coworker where the kitchen is, or maybe the copier. Send a message that you're engaged in the job and you're willing to engage your coworkers.
  3. Smile and Be Friendly. You'll likely be introduced to most or all of your coworkers. Be friendly, and be prepared to talk about yourself so that your new colleagues get to know a bit more about you than what they may have been told before your arrival.
  4. Listen More, Talk Less. Get a feel for your coworkers by listening to them attentively. Find out what they do, how their roles impact yours (if they do), and a little bit about their personal lives if they're willing to share it.
  5. Don't Leave Early! This is the flip side of "Don't Be Late!" Leave when everyone else leaves, or stay a bit longer. This sends a message that you're putting in extra effort to become more acquainted with the job and the company—even if you're not (and shows you're not in a rush to get the heck out of there).

Starting a new job can be difficult and downright stressful, especially if it's your first post-graduation gig. These tips can make your transition easier.

Do you remember your first day at work after you graduated from college? What advice would you add to this list? Tell us in a comment below.

RELATED LINKS

6 Things You Should Never Say at Work
Coworkers Can Make or Break Your Job Satisfaction
New Grads: How to Prepare for Your First Interview  

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