Get off to a good start — Joyce’s career tip of the week

Have you recently started or will you soon be beginning your summer internship or first full-time professional position? You’re probably excited and maybe even a bit nervous. Relax! You are ready. You can do this. Consider the following recommendations and develop your plan to get off to a good start.

Do your homework. Are there certain things (social security card) you need to bring on the first day? Do you know where to park and how to dress? Most importantly, pay attention to your work — not your smartphone! Be prepared to take notes.

Not only on your first day, but most days, show up early and do not be the first person to leave at the end of the day. Make sure that you understand what your supervisor expects from you. You will not be expected to know how to do everything, but there is the expectation that you know how to learn. There will be a steep learning curve. Plan to spend “personal time” (time when you are not at work) studying and learning. Be patient with yourself. Stay positive. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Ask lots of them.

Get to know your colleagues. Make friends. Find mentors. If you do not have a car, see if you can find someone who is willing to carpool — and offer to share expenses for gas. Make it a habit to join others at lunchtime.

Like you college professors and classmates, your co-workers are your professional network. Get to know others’ skills and interests by working together. Your network is a resource that will help you throughout your entire career.


Joyce Donahue is a career counselor in the Fulton Schools Career Center. She is a nationally certified career counselor and holds “Master Career Counselor” membership status in the National Career Development Association.