A Survival Guide Between the Job Offer and First Day on the Job

Work Interview

You survived the nervousness and tough questions, conquering the interview. But after you’ve accepted a job offer, your work is just getting started. Before you settle into the steady routine of a working man/woman, here are some important things you should know about entering the work force.

First off, congratulations. Finishing school doesn’t guarantee employment, so the fact that you are getting ready to start a new job is a sign that you’ve put in the work and are ready to make the most of your career. There are several things you should consider before you start your job, things that will make your transition into the professional world an easier one.

  • Have your paperwork in order. On your first day, if not before, your new employer will need to get copies of your identification and have you fill out various forms. Come prepared with your social security card and driver’s license, or a copy of your birth certificate. Have the information of your emergency contacts, including the name and phone number of your physician, in case an accident or illness happens while you are at work. You may also want to bring a voided check if you plan on signing up for direct deposit.
  • Don’t sweat the drug test. For many employers, drug testing all new employees is standard. The test is typically done at an outside lab before your first day. Generally, it’s a urine test and requires no advanced preparation on your part.
  • Test-drive your route. Before your first day, test your to-and-from work route. See how long it takes you to get from home to the job, preferably at the time you’ll normally be driving. Then, add 10 minutes or so to your planning, just in case you are delayed.
  • Ask about parking or commuter perks. Depending on where you live and where you work, your job may have assigned parking, garage passes, or even benefits for those who opt for public transportation. Ask before your first day.
  • Dress appropriately. Dress codes and appearance expectations vary widely depending on your industry and the culture of your new employer. This is another thing you should ask about before your first day, lest you show up in a suit and everyone else wears jeans.
  • Write down your questions. As your first day on the job nears, you’ll no doubt have questions about the position and company. Write them down and take them with you. You’ll surely have the opportunity to ask those questions, and keeping them in a tablet, planner or notebook will ensure you don’t forget.
  • Ease into the job’s social culture. Every company has a social aspect, whether it’s happy hour with the team or sipping coffee in the break room. You’ll find your space in the company’s culture, but make sure you focus on business first and recreation later.
  • Know your rights. No matter where you work, there is always a chance that you’ll get hurt on the job. When this happens, you are protected under workers’ compensation laws. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance will help cover the cost of your medical visits and prescription costs and pay a portion of your wages. If your workers’ comp claim is denied or if the company only offers to pay a fraction of what you’re entitled to, you can also retain an attorney to help.

Starting a new career can be both exciting and scary. Being prepared will help you show up on your first day with confidence!

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