So you've landed your dream job (or at least a good first rung on the ladder) and you're now entering uncharted territory – the full-time world of graduate work... The trick is to use as many props as are available to make you feel good on your first day – smart clothes, hairstyle and a nourishing breakfast, plus a positive and confident attitude will get you on the right start.
A working professional needs a working wardrobe, and if nothing else this is a great excuse to shop. But think about what people were wearing when you went for your interview and try to fit in with this. As a general rule it's probably best to verge more on the formal side for the first day. If everyone is strolling round in shorts and flip-flops when you get there, then you can join in the next day, but it doesn't work the other way around!
Refresh your memory
Re-read any material and information you already have about your new employer. You could even phone your new boss to ask for any additional material that might help you. The initial relief and euphoria you experienced after being offered the job may have briefly distracted you from all the concentration you put into the interview procedure. Remember what you learned about your job and department, and remember what it is about the job and the company that excited you in the first place!
Know your commute
Arriving late on your first date won't give off the best first impression so make sure you allow yourself plenty of travel time. Bear in mind that if your interview was in the middle of the day then you probably didn't travel during rush hour. Make allowances for a few rush hour delays.
Be friendly and approachable
First impressions do count for a great deal, but it's not all about that. Being helpful, approachable, and taking time to get to know your colleagues will build the foundations for a good working environment. A good job is a lot to do with who you work with and how you get on with them. And from a career development perspective, if you're friendly and good to work with you'll go far!
Do your job
OK, it may be stating the obvious, but make sure you know what is expected of you. If you are worried or unsure about any particular aspects of your work, talk things over with your boss. If you are set deadlines make sure that you meet them. The 'but Bob in finance does nothing all day!' complaint won't do you any favours. Bob may work in a different department, and besides he's worked there for years. The best way to establish yourself in a new job is to do your job and do it well. So get to know the organisational structure, the relationship of your job to others and preferred communication networks (phone, face-to-face, memos, e-mail, etc), and get on with it!