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Hank & Rachel are starting a new job! Here are some tips on how to put your best foot forward when you're newly employed.

1) Reach Out to Prepare
2) Arrive Early
3) Get Your Paperwork Filled Out
4) Get Oriented With the Workplace
5) Jump In With Respect
6) Bring Your Lunch, and Socialize!
7) Ask For More Work When You're Finished With a Task
8) Check In at the End of the Day

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[intro music]

Rachel: I'm Rachel Calderon Navarro.

Hank: And I'm Hank Green. And we are starting a new job today.

R: With Mike and Emma's blessing, we'll be taking over as your hosts for How to Adult.

H: So since this is our first day, we're going to talk about how to have the best first day of a new job ever.

R: We'll talk about how to navigate the logistics of your first day and how to set yourself up for success on your new job.

H: So before you even start, reach out to your new supervisor and ask advice on how to prepare for your first day. They might have paperwork for you to go over, articles to read, or training videos to watch to help you get oriented with the new company. Be sure to ask when and where you should report on your first day, and ask what you should bring with you.

R: On your fist day, get ready early and plan to arrive early. You'll want to give yourself extra time to check your teeth for some rogue spinach and find the right office. The people training you will expect you to arrive early, so they may arrive early to greet you. Make sure you don't leave them hanging.

H: Most likely the first thing you'll do is fill out paperwork. You will need your legal ID, like a driver's license or a passport, and your social security card.

R: Copies don't count, so bring originals.

H: Also, bring your checkbook. Many places pay employees through direct deposit, which is nice because your bank account just gets filled up and you don't have to think about anything, and you need a voided check to set that up.

R: Mm hmm, getting paid is good.

H: Once the paperwork is done, ask to get oriented with the workplace and the overall company. You might be scheduled for a formal orientation, but you might have to just ask someone to give you a tour. This way, you can learn where all the important things are, like the bathroom, maybe even the one bathroom that just has one toilet instead of a bunch of toilets, and while you're being shown around, you'll probably get a chance to meet some people.

R: Try and learn the lay of the land as soon as you can. The quicker you transition out of feeling like the new kid, the more comfy you'll be with your new workplace, and the more valuable you'll be to your new coworkers and bosses.

H: So now that you've scoped the place out, it's important to remember two things about being a new hire. One, they're hiring people because they need help, so they're probably busy. Take it upon yourself to introduce yourself and ask how you can help.

R: And two, they most likely already have a successful system for doing things and it's important to respect that. Learn how you fit into the system by asking how your coworkers and supervisors like things done.

H: No matter how thorough your trainer, there will be tons of things you won't know how to do until you jump in and start working. Do jump in and do ask for feedback and advice.

R: Have a thick skin when receiving feedback. Remember, your ideas might be great and well thought out, but your new coworkers and supervisors will teach you how and why things are done in a specific way at this company.

H: The specificities aren't things you're expected to know before you start, but they are things you're expected to accept and to adopt into your workflow.

R: So now that you've done your paperwork, know where the bathroom is, and have a project you're helping with, it's probably after lunch and you're way starving...

H: Yeah, I, I'd...

R: ... like me.

H: ... yeah, I also didn't bring food to work today.

R: Yeah. So maybe you'll have time to go out to lunch, maybe there's food where you work, but you just really don't know on your first day, so bring your lunch so you don't faint and distract people with your stomach growls.

H: Yes, fainting is also very distracting and worrying. Lunch is a great time to learn more about the culture of your new workplace. If there's a break room or an area where people gather to eat, be brave and ask if you can join. Even if you're not a social person, it's important to push outside your comfort zone when starting a new job because you want people to feel comfortable coming to you. It'll open you up to new friends as well as new opportunities in the workplace.

R: At some point during your first day or maybe even during the first week, there will be a lull. You'll finish your work you know about and then you won't know what to do with yourself.

H: So this is what you do with yourself. You ask for more work. Whether they say it or not, your supervisor expects you to check in when you finish a task.

R: They may have more plans for you, whether it's checking your work or moving you to another project; don't assume you're finished. In all likelihood, they're expecting your first try at something to not be perfect and will have you do it again. Take it in stride; it's all part of the training process.

H: At the end of the day, check in with your supervisor again and ask what procedures there are for the end of the day and ask what you can look forward to for the rest of the week.

R: And don't make plans for right after work on the first day. You'll likely stay a little late, and what if your new coworkers are going out for happy hour? You don't want to miss out on a fun way to get to know your new workmates.

H: Also, that first time you meet everybody, it's your chance to, like, earn a nickname or throw out a real great catchphrase, like, ah, what, do you have a catchphrase?

R: No.

H: Just remember to have fun, ask lots of questions, and try to be helpful. You'll do great.

R: Thanks for joining us on our first day of this new job. If you have any advice for someone starting a new job or have a topic that you'd like us to cover, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

H: And if you want to learn more about adulting with us, you can go to and subscribe. One of my very first job interviews ever, it was at the university here in town, and I rode my bike to the university all the time, but I was like, "I'm going to make sure I'm extra safe," and so I drove...

R: Mm hmm.

H: ... which was a disaster because driving to the university, it was like, peak time, there were no parking spots, and I was like thirteen minutes late for the interview. Terrible thing to do for a job interview. So take the way that you know how to get to the place that works instead of, like, trying something new on that day.

R: Yeah. And don't forget about the weather, because sometimes if it's snowing, calculate for snow shoveling.