Did you just land your first job? Congratulations! Welcome to the colorful life of adulting in the workplace. Preparing for your first job may seem daunting and overwhelming. So to make it a success, here are 25 practical things to do when starting a new job:
- Research about the company
- Read and know the company policies
- Research on your co-workers online and learn about them
- Learn your way around the office
- Complete your requirements
- Know your way around the city
- Get familiar with your travel route to work
- Adjust your sleep pattern
- Make necessary household arrangements
- Prepare a meal plan
- Prepare your office wardrobe
- Have a trusted pair of comfortable work shoes
- Prepare your bag
- Prepare your toiletries
- Bring office stationery
- Plan your daily budget
- Stash of drinks and snacks to keep you alert
- Keep your mobile phone on silent
- Build your professional profile
- Stop comparing yourself to your colleagues
- Listen and observe
- Learn from your mistakes
- Be yourself
- Make work-life balance a priority
Want to know exactly how to prepare for these practical things before you face your most awaited first day at work? Read on.
1. Research about the company
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Researching about your new company will give you an idea of how, where, when it operates, with whom, and what products and services it offers. This information coupled with your work description will give you an idea on how you can grow in that company, careerwise.
2. Read and know the company policies
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When starting a new career, it is important that you read and understand the company policies as well as the contract you signed. These policies are designed to protect you and the company, should problems arise. So it is wise to avoid TL:DR-ing (too long; didn’t read) when you are given your contract and the company policies.
3. Research on your co-workers online and learn about them in person
Before entering college, have you ever thought of stalking your profs online? If you have, consider something similar when starting your new job. Try to research your co-workers online. This will give you an idea of their names, roles, and previous alma mater. You never know how information like this could come in handy.
An important thing to do when starting your new job is making friends with your colleagues. You can do this by trying to learn more about them through conversations in person. This will give you a glimpse of their personality and work attitude.
4. Learn your way around the office
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Working at a new office is like living in a new house; there’s a need to become familiar with your immediate surroundings. So on your first day on the job, try to learn where the comfort room, the photocopy machine, and the pantry are located.
5. Complete your requirements
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Have you secured your SSS, PhilHealth, and PAG-IBIG numbers? If not, start completing them as well as the other pre-employment requirements your company may ask of you before your first day at work.
Nowadays, online membership application can be easily accomplished before you make a personal appearance at their offices. Better yet, government websites also provide a list of requirements, making it easier for you to know what to do and what to bring with you when you visit their office.
Other requirements may include your Philippine Statistics Office (PSA) Birth Certificate, NBI or Police Clearance, college diploma, and Transcript of Records. If you avoid getting this done early, you might find yourself not having enough time to work on them once you start working.
6. Know your way around the city
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If you arrived in Manila fresh from the province or from another city outside of your new work location, chances are, you will have to become familiar with the city where your office is. It may be a challenge to survive as a fresh grad in a big city. A piece of advice: before you first day at work, why not try to know your way around the city?
Is your office making you a person of the North or the South? Take this as an opportunity to go around and search for nearby restaurants and hang-out places where you can de-stress from work. Moreover, this is an ideal time to find a place to rent near your office. DMCI Homes has a wide array of units in Quezon City to rent, where a lot of commercial establishments and institutions are located. Want to give it a try?
7. Get familiar with your travel route to work
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Traffic in the metro has a notorious reputation—worldwide. To get an idea of the traffic situation going to work and back home, test your travel route and the time your trip, to find out how long it took you to reach your office and get back home. Doing so will help you know what time you should leave home to arrive on time at work.
As part of the adulting journey, you may opt to move out of your birth house and rent a place of their own nearer work. If you’re seeing signs that you are ready to rent, there are a lot of DMCI Homes properties around the metro where you can lease a space that is near your workplace. An ideal place to rent at is in Mandaluyong because it’s strategically located in the center of the city, giving you easy access wherever your work may be.
8. Adjust your sleep pattern
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According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, in terms of sleep deprivation and deficiency, “Getting enough quality sleep at the right times helps you function well throughout the day. People who are sleep deficient are less productive at work and at school. They take longer to finish tasks, have a slower reaction time, and make more mistakes.”
Your punctuality, health, and work performance all depend on your sleep; so make sure to fix your sleep pattern so that you wake up on time and well-rested, especially as you start a new career.
9. Make necessary household arrangements
With all the time you’ll spend at work, plus the commute, expect to spend anywhere from 10-12 hours away from home each workday. If you live alone or away from your parents, chances are chores will be waiting home for you. These chores should be done and not neglected just because you are exhausted from work.
To be fully efficient in accomplishing your work in the office and your house chores, one of the best things to do before starting your first job is to make a schedule of your household chores. This way, your home will be clean and organized, making you a responsible adult.
10. Prepare a meal plan
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When you were still in school, your mom likely planned and cooked for you and the family, to make sure that everyone eats healthy. Now that you’re starting a new career, you might be tempted to simply order meals from food chains or nearby restaurants, to save time. Worse yet, you might even skip breakfast or lunch, if the workload is heavy.
To keep healthy, you should eat healthy. As Ron Friedman, a psychologist and behavior change expert, food affects your productivity. If you do want to make wise judgments at work and be efficient, follow a grocery guide when doing your go groceries and prepare a meal plan.
11. Prepare your office wardrobe
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The way you dress for work can make or break your co-workers’ first impression of you. Naturally, you would want to make a good impression. To up your chances, prepare your office wardrobe by familiarizing yourself with what smart casual and corporate attires that are typically expected at the office.
Next, know your company dress code and build your wardrobe around that. Even though your first company may have a casual dress code, having a coat and a formal office outfit will come handy, especially during formal meetings and events. If you’re having problems deciding what to wear, mix and match your clothing articles, and search the Internet for office fashion inspiration.
12. Have a trusted pair of comfortable work shoes
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Make sure that your footwear is simple and comfortable, especially on your first day of work. This is not the time to sport your sneakers, stilettos, or high-knee boots. You can opt for a more casual pair of shoes such as topsiders, leather shoes in black or brown, comfortable pumps in nude or black, or simple ballet flats in neutral colors. To make sure that you’re comfortable on your first day at the new job, this is also not the time to break in a brand new pair of shoes, because you can look and feel uncomfortable in them.
13. Prepare your bag
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Make sure that your office bag will fit all the things you need to bring to work: packed lunch, water bottle, umbrella, laptop (if needed), and other work essentials. If you’re bringing a lot of things with you, consider a durable backpack with secret pockets where you can store your mobile phone and coin purse for extra security, especially when you’re commuting.
14. Prepare your toiletries
To stay fresh and clean in spite of spending long hours at work, one of the things to prepare before you start your first job is your toiletries pouch. In it, stash your toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, facial wash, and other hygiene essentials, to help you freshen up retouch your make-up after lunch or before an important meeting.
15. Bring office stationery
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Sure, your new office has basic office supplies, but it doesn’t hurt to bring your own office stationery. It is ideal to have with you your own pens, notebook, and sticky notes; so that you can make quick notes during a meeting or during small conversations with your colleagues.
16. Plan your daily budget
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Since you’ll likely receive your monthly salary on the 15th and the 30th of each month, it would do well to figure out your daily, weekly, and monthly budget. Include your rent, electricity and water bills, transportation cost, and other monthly expenses in your budget.
To save money, consider bringing packed lunch at work, instead of eating out. =
Is your new work located at the heart of Bonifacio Global City or McKinley Hill in Taguig? If you’re looking to rent a place for a modest price and amazing amenities near your workplace, check out DMCI Homes’ Taguig property.
17. Stash of drinks and snacks to keep you alert
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Coffee is one of the most sought-after pick-me-up drinks in the workforce. Does your new employer provide free coffee and snacks? If yes, good on you! Otherwise, bring your own coffee at work. =
If you’re not fond of coffee but you still want to stay awake and productive at work, bring with you a stash of black tea or chocolate bars and snacks to consume whenever you need an energy boost.
18. Keep your mobile phone in silent
You should be focused on your work; however, there are times when your cell phone could get in the way of your productivity. When starting your new career, make sure to observe cell phone etiquette at work. This includes switching your phone on silent or vibrate mode; so as not to cause any disturbance, if someone messages or calls you during your working hours.
19. Build your professional profile
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Aside from updating your CV from time to time, another thing you must do before starting a new job is to build your professional profile in professional online networks such as LinkedIn. Updating your professional profile online is a great opportunity to grow your professional contacts for possible collaboration or projects.
20. Stop comparing yourself to your colleagues
As you start your new job and transition from school to work life, there will be differences—lots of it. One of the things NOT to do when starting a new job is complaining and comparing how life was before you became employed. Be open to new ways of doing things that might be different from your professors’ instructions. Learn to adjust and adapt to the work culture in your job.
21. Listen and observe
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As a newbie employee, take this time to listen and observe. This means listening to advice and observing how work is done in the company. This will give you a glimpse of how you can deal with your bosses and with your colleagues well to maintain peace and efficiency at the office.
22. Learn from your mistakes
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If you make mistakes on your first day at work, don’t lose heart. Don’t expect too much from yourself too soon. Instead of sulking, learn from your mistakes by taking note of what went wrong and how you can do things better/ differently next time.
To grow in your chosen career, ask questions before doing something, especially if you are unsure about the instruction given. Asking feedback and constructive criticism from your boss and colleagues will also help you identify weaknesses you can improve on.
23. Be yourself
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You do not need to pretend to be someone else to please everyone at work. After all, no one wants to be friends with a great pretender. Being true to who you are will help you gain not only professional acquaintances at work but also genuine friendships. Before your first day at work, prepare a simple elevator speech you can say when a new colleague asks about you.
24. Make work-life balance a priority
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Work can really take up much of your time, but it doesn’t mean your life should revolve around it. A key thing to do before starting your new job is to spend time with yourself, your family, and friends outside of work. Work and life balance is important, to avoid burning out at work; and make sure you don’t miss out on life in favor of too much work.
Preparing for your first day at work can be exciting and exhausting. Remember that once you start working, you will be busy; and you may not have the luxury of time to do the things you want or rest, compared to before. So breathe, relax, and enjoy your remaining days as an unemployed individual before you start your first day at your new job.
Your first day of work is something you should be excited about and prepared for. It can open doors of opportunities for your career growth. Follow these 25 practical things, and make your first job a real success!