- Look out for periodic Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA).
- Know whether your company provides yearly bonuses, performance bonuses, or stock options.
Resources from UMD's Financial Aid Office
Your First Day
- Ask plenty of questions.
- HR: For questions related to onboarding, such as paychecks, parking permits, and benefits, reach out your Human Resources (HR) representative. Typically, phone or email is best for these questions.
- Supervisor: For questions related to job duties and company processes, reach out to your supervisor. It is wise to schedule weekly 1-1 meetings with your supervisor and collect questions to ask at that time. Otherwise, ask your supervisor whether they have an open-door policy or for their preferred communication method.
- Colleagues: For questions about daily work culture or helpful job resources, you may want to reach out to colleagues rather than your supervisor. Sending emails or using an email chat feature can work well; however, you may still want to ask colleagues for their preferred communication methods.
- Online/Internal Resources: Before asking someone a question, check whether you can find the answer online or in your company's internal resources, such as shared drives or manuals.
- Plan your commute. Being early is infinitely better than being on time, especially for your first day.
- Dress well in order to make a good impression. If others are dressed more casually around you, you may consider dressing down once you have been at the company for more time.
- Start using your calendar and making folders (email and otherwise) for staying organized. Keep your onboarding information easily accessible.
- Take notes on important websites (use bookmarks) and processes. Make sure to remember your passwords!
- Don't leave without saying goodbye to your supervisor. Thanking them for hiring you and let them know that you enjoyed your first day. Talk with them if they open conversation, both in a professional and more personal sense, if you are comfortable.
- Prepare an elevator pitch in order to introduce yourself to your new coworkers. Explain your previous jobs and what your position is in the company now.
- Schedule individual meetings with each of your colleagues to get to know them, their work, and how you can work with them in your role.
- Observe those around you and get a feel for the overall atmosphere of the company. Observe how people interact with one another, what kind of language they use, and how they behave with their superiors/subordinates. This will help you understand the culture of your new job and make better decisions.
- Equally important, pay attention to your body language. You may not realize when you start to slouch or show signs of boredom like yawning or playing idly with your pen. Demonstrate your engagement with others by sitting up straight, being attentive to what they are saying, and adding to the conversation when appropriate.
Arriving Home After Your First Day
- Relax! You made it through the first day!
- Organize and review any notes you made about the company (important deadlines, forms that need to be filled, credentials, etc.).
- Connect to your colleagues on LinkedIn to continue building a professional relationship with them.
- Make a plan for the next day. Use what you learned during your first day to help guide the rest of your week.