Updated 2021

Congratulations! You’ve been hired and start your new job soon. This is an exciting time, and I encourage you to enjoy your last bit of freedom before entering or re-entering the workforce full-time.  

Entering the working world can be a scary transition for junior-level employees. Read on for a few tips to smooth your transition from student to full-time employee.

How to Prepare for a New Job

1. Get your home in order

Are you moving to start your new job? If so, make sure you unpack completely before you start work.  You do not want to come home to rooms full of empty boxes after a long day at the office.  You may find it hard to get into the 9-to-5 groove after a few years of a flexible schedule, especially if your new groove is actually closer to 9-to-whenever the work is done.

If your new job did not requite a location change, spend a little time organizing yourself for the first day of work. Tackle those home projects that have been bothering you. Clean (or hire someone to clean). Think through your outfits and meals for the first week of work. Even if you do not start your new job with a ton of tasks to keep you busy, the mental strain of learning about your new job may leave you more tired than you expect. Future you will be super happy to come home to a clean house with a meal ready to go or ready to assemble.

2. Automate everything

This may seem extreme, but consider simplifying your everyday life as much as possible before you start your job. You can set up automatic bill payment, housecleaning, laundry pick-up, DVR recording, and more – whatever makes sense for your life, schedule, and budget. Prepare for the worst case scenario: lots of work, all the time.  Save your brainpower for work and fun, not chores.

3. Shop within reason

Dress codes vary widely by office, so I suggest you hold off on any major clothes shopping until after you’ve been at work for a couple of weeks to get a sense for your office norms (especially in the days of remote working where offices have tended toward the casual).  At a minimum, you need to make sure you are neat and presentable starting on day one.  A good rule of thumb for many offices erring on the formal side (like law firms or banks) is to wear a suit your first day.  Over time, you will probably dress more casually, as very few offices actually require formal business dress these days.  And don’t be afraid to show your personality through your clothing if it makes you happy!

Enjoy these tips on how to prepare for a new job? Check out our other career advice here

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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