Despite Millennials’ incessant drive for success and ambitious career goals, we’ve gotten a bad rep in the work ethics department. Our elders might admire our intelligent, creative, and tech-savvy nature, but some may think we’re unloyal, a bit too skeptical, and demanding.
So before you strut into your new internship or job with hopes of one day running the place (or just getting enough experience to move on and land your real dream job), arm yourself with these job survival tips on surviving that first day.
Be on time. And that means at least 10 minutes early. Afterall, you want to be able to use the rest of these job survival tips! Know how long it takes you to get up, shower, dress, and eat. This seems like a no-brainer, but don’t forget to check out your route (maybe even run through it a day beforehand), take traffic and parking into consideration if you’re driving, and please please please do not speed. Google maps or HopStop are reliable sites to help you out whether you’re driving, walking, or taking public transit.
Map out your time backwards. Think, “I want to get to work at 8:50AM, but it takes me half an hour to get there, also I want time to grab a coffee first, and there might be traffic, so I should be ready to leave by 8:00AM.” Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, too (use this bedtime calendar for help).
Oh, and don’t forget a healthy breakfast.
Dress for the job you want. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed at first, then you can scope out the dress code later. Be conservative – and females should err on the side of caution with big jewelry.
Planning on staying awhile? Channel what position you want when you dress for work. Keep in mind what kind of dress or suit your superiors are wearing, but don’t get too flashy.
Ask questions. People often won’t ask questions for fear of sounding stupid. You have leeway in the first week or two to ask for clarification on anything, so take the chance! Your boss need not be bothered so much, so ask your peers or a more junior colleague first.
Twenty-two-year-old Kimberly Waldbillig of Brafton Custom News Marketing Inc. has had countless internships in many business fields. She warns, “ask questions to gain knowledge, not to display your knowledge.”
Take on the motto that there are no stupid questions, (unless of course, someone already told you the answer.)
LISTEN! You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Waldbillig suggests that a new hire should “listen more than speak.” Take excessive notes and don’t assume you’ll remember everything. Consolidate your notes at the end of every day.
Try, but not too hard. Ari Warsawski, 25, of Source Code Corporation says, “Be the hero, but don’t be intrusive.” Find ways that you can shine by making your boss’s life a little easier.
Make a list of what you can do during your time at the company (organize the file cabinet? store old records?), and be sure to keep out of everyone’s way. There have been stories of people being fired for being too eager to take on responsibility.
Leaving so soon? What, I thought you loved working!? Kidding. The words “Can I go now?” should never cross your lips. Wait and see when the majority of your peers are leaving. When it seems safe to head out, offer some last-minute help on a project or take out the trash (squash that pride). You will most likely be told when you’re good to go.
Don’t come in hung-over. There isn’t any kind of booze that will allow you to remain flawless the morning after, so refrain from drinking before the big day.
These job survival tips should become a regular habit for your job, no matter what line of work. Unless of course your boss insisted that you get sloshed, in which case, you don’t want to be out of the loop! Communal hangovers can be a bonding experience, just try not to get too personal. Now that you’ve survived the first day, you need to be on you’re A-game at all times.