“Don’t Be A Goofus…” – Reflections on Starting Out in the Workforce

So you have your internship for the summer or you are graduating and have a position lined up for when you leave college, and may I be the first to say congratulations to you; you’re finally in the workforce! After years of schooling, here you are finally suiting up and taking that dream career head on! Now that you have your foot in the door, however, I’m sure some new questions come up as to how you should present yourself when you begin your internship or job. It’s a level of nervousness that I like to compare to Scotty Smalls in the movie The Sandlot, as this new kid on the block is introduced to a whole new world of neighborhood baseball. Like Smalls, you worry a lot on your first day about not making a total idiot of yourself, but sometimes you end up doing just that.

When I came into work for the first time here at the Center for Career Development, I could see why that was the case. Right on freshman move-in day, when the job training had already begun, if my first impression didn’t scream “This kid’s a freshman,” then I don’t know what does. That first impression involved walking into a formal meeting with a hoodie and cargo shorts on (which, let’s be honest, isn’t that much of a thing anymore in casual wear let alone a FORMAL meeting). Needless to say the level of embarrassment went through the roof, and all that was left was to take that nervousness with a grain of salt and begin learning what I needed to in order to succeed in the position I was lucky enough to fill.

That’s the kind of story that is common for a lot of people starting out in the work place. The key to succeeding in your new job, however, is not to be discouraged about those first day woes. Just remain calm, take a deep breath, and take in all of the information you are given by your boss on how to adjust to fit your position’s needs. It was nerve-wracking for me at first, but like the story of Scotty Smalls and his first summer in The Valley, I’ve been able to adjust and thrive in the position I am in. After a full academic year on the job, I’ve been able to make some new friends, learn a lot about the college-to-career transition, and do things that I had no idea that I would be able to do. So, don’t be discouraged by your first day jitters as you start your job or internship. After all, even the biggest of L-7 Weenies can make a lasting impact on a company and the people around it.

If you’re still feeling nervous, however, there’s always your friends here at the Center for Career Development to help you prepare. Visit them in Wilbur Cross, Room 202.