Asking For a Friend | Chapter 50
Advice from Babe to Babe
Starting a new job is daunting, whether you’ve done it a hundred times or are just entering the workforce. Luckily for us, the BWH advice gurus are here with sound advice and some welcome real-talk.
I was once told to dress monochromatic on my first day—that way people remember you and not “some girl in a bright-red sweater.” Plus, I secretly think black is my power color.
—Mandy Shold, BABE #154 + Contributor
My tips would be: pack a lunch (you can go out to eat with friendly new coworkers if you choose, but if it’s not that kind of place, you still have an option) and get in bed a full hour earlier than usual. I have a hard time sleeping the night before a new gig and laying in bed, even if I’m wide awake, helps.
—Thais Lage, BABE #151
Give yourself way more time than usual in the morning; there is nothing worse than being late on your first day at a new job. Wear shoes that won’t slow you down. Bring a phone charger and $20 in cash (just in case). Make sure you have at least two pens and a small notebook in your purse to jot things down. Bring something for lunch, but nothing smelly or otherwise offensive on the first day, and don’t be the first to talk about lunch—play it cool there. Keep a flexible mindset and realistic expectations. Spend the first few days getting to know people and figuring out the vibe of the organization. Save your grand ideas or big changes for when they know you a little bit and you’re slightly more established. Good luck!
—Caitlin Brown, BABE #107
If you haven’t received details about the first day yet, feel free to email them with any questions you may have (who to ask for when you arrive, parking, if you need to bring anything for HR). Wear whatever you feel comfortable in and shoes you can walk in. Bring an agenda with you and a notebook, but wait to bring any personal items for your desk until day two or three. If you’re someone who likes to bring lunch then do so, but if you are more of a Postmates gal, feel comfortable to go that route. If you order lunch, it’s always nice to ask others if they would like to order with you. Also, speak up if they’re overloading you with information or if you need more clarification. Lastly, keep calm; there is a reason they hired you. You’ve got this.
—Daniella Cabezas, BABE #26
You can file a complaint to HR completely anonymously. In reality, will everyone try to figure out who complained? Yes. But will there be any record it was you? No.
—Symone Shinton, Contributor
File that thing! Even if nothing comes of your report, it'll have the creep in-question on HR's radar in case there are future infractions.
— Lindsay Bowyer, Contributor
Negotiate your first salary. The higher you start, you will ideally only keep going higher. I knew many people at my first job who never knew to negotiate after their initial offer. I realized I was making so much more starting out, doing the same job, just because of that! Don't be afraid to tell your worth, because it's extremely unlikely they will rescind the offer after you try to negotiate. The worst that can happen is they say: "Sorry, we can't afford that. Your offer remains the same."
—Maggie Antalek, BABE #45
Keep your options open, never limit yourself and go ahead and apply to a job or school that "you may not think you can get," because you will surprise yourself.
—Natasha Niemann, BABE #36
In your first big-girl job, it’s OK for work just to be work. I think a lot of us expect our first job out of college to align perfectly with our skills, passions and interests. For most, that’s just not how it works. Go into your first job with an eagerness to learn and expand your skill set, and to grow your network. Your now-homework-free nights and weekends can be spent exploring your interests and hobbies and doing the things you love. Working up to your “dream job” takes time, and putting in the post-grad “grunt work” is all part of the process. —Chelsea Dudevoire, BWH Founder + CEO
Until Next Week,
—THE BWH ADVICE GURUS
Asking for a Friend is Babes Who Hustle's weekly advice column that asks and answers the work-related questions on all of our minds. Looking for advice and guidance? Hit us with all of your questions below and stay tuned for next Wednesday's edition!