Ya girl is FINALLY a full time employee!! This week I started my new job as a Sample Coordinator for a licensed sports apparel company, and I couldn't be more excited. Luckily, I had some flexibility my start date, so I gave myself about 10 days between the day I officially accepted the offer and my first day of work. This allowed me to get all of my ducks in a row and mentally prepare for being a full time member of corporate America after a solid 6 months of drifting.
Remember in sixth grade you knew some kids who already had two growth spurts and also kids who still fit into the children's section? That's kind of what life is like after college-- everyone is on different wavelengths and that is totally okay. Some people I graduated with are currently working at their third job since May, and some people (mostly me) took a long time to find a place that is a "perfect fit" (or at least a perfect start).
So wherever you are on your "journey," here are 10 things you should do before you start your first (or fifth!) full-time job:
1. Fix Your Sleep Schedule
If you were not working a 9-to-5 during college, your biological clock probably isn't prepared for this new schedule. Take the time you have before you start a new job to get into the habit of waking up first thing in the morning and going to bed before The Daily Show comes on.
2. Dry Cleaning
Odds are you have a ton of button ups, slacks, and sweaters that you rarely wear because of that intimidating "Dry Clean Only" tag. These nicer pieces will definitely be worn more frequently now that you have an office dress code to adhere to, and now is the best time to have a completely empty laundry basket.
3. Wash Sheets and Towels
While you are waiting for your dry cleaning to be done, take this opportunity to have fresh sets of linens. You'll be happy to come home to freshly cleaned sheets by your first Friday.
4. Deep Clean Living Spaces
You will have a lot less spare time once you get into the swing of things, so take the time to deep scrub the tub and vacuum every corner of your room. Future You will be eternally grateful
5. Stock Up On Snacks Just like your first day of school, you want your lunch box (or leather messenger bag) to be fully stocked. Your first week of work will probably be a little hectic with onboarding meetings and training, so you'll be happy you bought a bag of apples and box of your favorite granola bars. Also, you never know what the break room situation will be, and you don't want to be stuck paying $1 for an unsatisfying bag of chips.
6. Visit Your Storage Unit
When I moved back home, I brought a lot of things to a storage unit and kept only what I thought was the bare necessities in my house. Before I started my job, I took the time to go through everything in my closet and on my shelves and figure out what I use frequently and what I don't need that's taking up space. I also knew there were a lot of things in my unit that I wanted to get (winter coats, books, etc) and I knew if I didn't make the trip now, it would never happen.
7. Organize Documents
Your employer will need all of the standard documents for onboarding, so make sure you have your license, social security card, direct deposit forms, and W-4 information ready.
8. File Income Taxes
And since you are putting all of your personal information in one handy place, take the time to file your income taxes for the previous year. This was one less thing you'll have to worry about remembering to do.
9. Prepare for Your Commute
Whatever your commute is, leave your home prepared on your first day. This means fill up your gas tank, reload your metro card, buy your monthly bus pass, check train schedules and figure out where the nearest coffee shop is.
10. Organize Personal Computer
Make sure your personal inbox is clear, you have successfully unsubscribed to promotional emails you never open, organized your desktop, uploaded pictures from your phone and backed up all of your files. This helps you start your new job with a personal blank slate.
These are my tips to get your personal life ready for your new job. For more information on what to expect on your first day, how to get over new job jitters, and how to act like a professional, I highly recommend checking out The Muse and The Financial Diet for no-nonsense advice.