Preparing to Jump Into a New Summer Job

By Danni White on May 23, 2017

Image via Pexels

So, you just landed an awesomely cool new job for the summer. Woo-hoo! You’ve now joined over 23.1 million young people who are working through the summer months.

Accepting a new job offer is an exciting time for any job seeker, especially emerging adults like you and me. It means that you’ve successfully crafted a resume, submitted an application, obtained good references, and passed the company’s initial procedures for new employees. You’re well on your way to learning something new and plugging another notch on the journey to your dream career.

You may be tempted to throw yourself a party or to take a week off before you start and head to Belize, but consider not moving so fast in either of those directions. New employees know that signing a job offer is only half the battle. Just as you prepared yourself to pass the interview, you will need to do a little preparation before you jump into your new summer job.

Whether you have a weekend or an entire two weeks before your starting date, here are some things you can do to prepare yourself for your first day on the job.

Go over the job description and expectations

Obviously, the hiring manager thought your skill set, interests, or background qualified you for the new position upon which you are about to embark. It’s easy to get excited about something new and then once we get into it, temporarily forget what we’re supposed to do. To avoid that, before you settle into day one, take a moment to read over the job description and expectations of the company.

Evaluate your skills

If you’ve held a summer job or any type of job before this one, take a mental note of what helped you to succeed there and what you can improve on. Use this opportunity to build on your strengths while limiting attention to your weaknesses. If an essential skill is needed that you don’t have, take the time to read or watch videos from places like Udemy or Coursera to help you develop those skills.

Of course, if you’ve applied for the job, then you’re the best person to know whether you can do it or not. But you don’t want to spotlight any skill gaps to your new co-workers and boss. You do, however, want to settle some early victories and establish a good reputation of hard work, respect, and willingness to learn.

Go with the flow 

People, from the highest level to your peers, will make quick judgments of you. And in truth, we all do this. When we see other people, before we even meet them, we make initial judgments about who they are or what they may be like. Of course, it is not fair, but don’t attempt to fight human predispositions with retaliation, disrespect, or trying to defend yourself.

If such attitudes turn into outright harassment or discrimination, then report it. If not handled promptly, then remove yourself from the position. If this is not the case, know that this is typical in work environments. Go with the flow and prove your worth by your work.

Consider your wardrobe and equipment

If you will be working in an office, go through your closet and see whether you have appropriate attire. Do you need to buy new clothes to fit your new job’s dress code? What about equipment? Maybe you need a new laptop, certain software, or other organizational tools to help you be efficient and successful at your job.

Try to obtain a copy of the company employee handbook which should provide details about attire and needed equipment. A quick phone call to your soon-to-be boss for clarification on these things isn’t out of order and will show pro-action on your part.

Any questions? Ask now

Now is a good time to think about any questions you may have for your new boss. Take a couple of moments to jot down anything you have a question about or need clarification on so you can hit the ground running when you arrive. Give your boss or someone who is knowledgeable at the company a call or shoot them an email several days in advance.

It is sometimes frustrating to managers when employees have too many questions. This is why it is best to ask all you can ahead of time so you have what you need at least to get started.

Research the work culture 

Whether you’re working for a Fortune 500 company or small town business, take a minute to search the company online. Look for reviews about the overall working environment. Read what people say about the pros and cons of working for the company and how they perceive the company culture. Remember, it is all perception until you start working there. Check out the company’s presence online including social media and websites and history if the company has been established for a while.

Look up your colleagues

I know it sounds kind of creepy but on your first day, you will be hit with names and faces that it’s in your best interest to memorize. They’ll be your coworkers. You can strike up a conversation with them over the water cooler or at lunch more easily if you’ve read a little bit about them and have taken note of what their roles are in the company.

LinkedIn is an awesome place to start. Google search the names of your supervisor and co-workers to see their level of experience, previous and current roles, education, interests, hobbies, and so forth. This will give you a better idea of what and who lie ahead.

Relax

Yes, take it easy. Read a book. Watch a movie. Take a walk. Your first day is going to be awesome. You’ve got this.

Danni White is a developmental psychology graduate student at Liberty University. She works in the digital publishing, media, and technology industries. After this degree, she will go on to work on a PhD in social psychology in which she hopes to do research on perception and social cognition’s impact on human behavior. She hopes to apply this research in corporate HR departments and community-based organizations. In her otherwise limited spare time, she blogs, writes and reads. She loves coffee, sports, music, cooking, meeting new people, and binge watching Netflix.

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