Starting Work

The thought of starting my first full-time job out of college was terrifying. Upon receiving my offer letter I began furiously reading textbooks and documentation on anything included in my company’s stack. To me, my start date represented nothing more than a countdown, the days I had left to thoroughly digest all knowledge related to computer science since it’s inception in … *Kevin sweats nervously*.

As you can tell the studying was going well, I could undoubtably reverse engineer assembly code and three fourths of PHP’s documentation was tattooed across my chest. I could see the headline appearing on Reddit, “New engineer accidentally deletes all of production database on first day of job.”

It was the night before I started work and I could hardly sleep. Kind of like a small child the night before Christmas, except in this case Christmas comes five days a week and you celebrate regardless of whether or not you’re Catholic. I woke up the next day and walked to my new office, exited the elevator, and…that’s right…everything was fine. I didn’t run “rm -rf /”, I didn’t break production, and no one batted an eye when I told them I use tabs over spaces (roast me). By the end of the week I even saw several of my changes go live.

What I’m trying to say is that starting a job can be stressful, but you’ll be just fine.

The company you work for has hired you for a reason; they hired you because they know that you can do the job. While it may take a bit of time to get up and running, most companies are well aware of this and are happy to help you in any way they can. If I could offer my two cents of advice from starting work it’d be these three things:

  1. Find a Mentor — find an engineer who is willing to help you through the onboarding process. Your mentor will be the person to turn to when you need to learn the codebase, tackle a tricky ticket, or even ask a seemingly trivial question.
  2. Volunteer — willingly take on challenges and learn as you go. Offer to help your team in any way possible: whether that means picking up unassigned tickets or electing to be the developer on call. Your coworkers will thank you and you will learn from these experiences.
  3. Be Confident — Believe in your abilities and skills as an engineer, frequently look back to acknowledge and celebrate the progress you’ve made, and more importantly, look forward to the accomplishments you have yet to achieve.

I hope this article helps calm your nerves before the first day. Good luck and remember to get a good night sleep(28800000).