Back2Work: First Day To Do List

Advertising is one of those industries where people are always coming and going.

Accounts go into review, clients adjust budgets, management switches or your personal/professional/financial/geographical needs change.

Plus, sometimes moving around is the best way to move up. So whether explicitly or only whispered in the dark corners of their daydreams, creative folks are always looking for a job.

And with a new job, you have the deliciously dramatic First Day.

Today was mine.

I felt a weird mix of excitement and anxiety for all the newness laid out before me.

New place. New people. New email. New policies. New bathroom. New culture. New clients. New lunch spots. New commute. New opportunities. New challenges. New copy machines to figure out.

It's all so sticky and new it hurt my stomach a little, in a weird but good way, like too much cotton candy.

Firsts always mess up your emotions like that. Whether it's a first job, first tattoo, first kiss or first marriage - the same questions always flood around your head and suddenly you're 14 all over again, full of acne and insecurity.

What am I doing? What if I get lost? What if they don't like me? What if I mess up? What if I imagined this all? What if I don't like them? What if I smell? What if I don't know what I'm doing? What if Oprah, Buddha and Mary Poppins come over to me and I say something stupid? What if I suck? What if I hate it?

It's all irrelevant. Ignore the voices, take a deep breath and get yourself together.

You're there because you're supposed to be.

You're going to be just fine.

(By you I mean me, unless it's your first day too, then I mean you too.)

First Day To Do List

Be comfortable. Wear something you like and feel good in. Wedgies and blisters make any situation 33% worse.
Be on time. In other words, be early.
Be yourself. Faking just takes too much damn effort.
Be humble. Show them you're great, don't say it. Effort is king, not ego.
Be proactive. Ask questions, take notes, make suggestions.
Be realistic. Don't overpromise or take on too much because you're new and want to show off. Allow yourself the time and space to truly do your best.
Be social. Advertising is one big sandbox. Play nice, play often and play by the rules.
Be open. Ignore the shoulds and what ifs. The less you expect, the more you enjoy. 

And don't forget to wash your hands. With all that meeting and greeting, they're just a terrorist training cell for germs.