I have just recently started my first co-op term working at Skyjack, a company that builds aerial lift platforms. Initially, I was concerned about getting into the swing of my first real office job but over the course of my first week or so I’ve picked up some habits that have helped me get acclimated. Working on my first co-op job has been tough but hopefully some of my tips can help you prepare for a co-op or whatever other job you may be working this summer!
Don’t Be Nervous
The first day that I walked into the office I had a chance to talk to all of the different managers in the marketing department. They all gave me a warm welcome and told me about their role in the department. The last manager I talked to was Mike. He gave me the standard welcome and intro to his role, then said, “see you around” and started to walk away. He took a couple of steps before he wheeled around and said, “oh, and one more thing: don’t be nervous.” I tried to focus on his advice, whether it was not being afraid to talk about my interests or working on new functions in Excel without worrying about making a mistake. By not being nervous I was able to worry less and just focus on learning all of my new tasks without the extra pressure of fitting in.
Pay Attention to Detail
A company like Skyjack who’s yearly revenues are approaching $1 billion, likely won’t have too many tasks that you can work on independently. Over the first few days, I have been able to work on some projects before sending them to my boss. Each and every project I submit, I make sure to read it over carefully before I submit it. Your bosses have an eye for detail (that’s why they’re your boss) so by producing error-free work, hopefully, you’ll be able to earn the right to work on more important projects.
Plan Out Your Day
One of the habits that I’ve found to be most fruitful is prepping all of my lunches at the beginning of the week. I’ve found it very helpful to have all of my lunches ready in the morning and then I can just grab them and go! I also love to cook so it’s great to be able to focus on making a really great, well-seasoned meal instead of just throwing it together the morning-of. As well when you’re at work, focus on which tasks have priority and get those done first but don’t forget about your secondary projects!
I hope you enjoyed my guide for starting your first co-op work term! Thank you for visiting our blog and make sure to check out all the other awesome content we have here on our website!
Vice President of Delegate Experience, DECA U Guelph 2017-2018