The offer letter is signed, the tassel is turned, and the first day of a new internship or entry-level job is right around the corner. After years of hard work, all-nighters, and yes, a lot of fun, college is over and your career is starting. Along with excitement, you’re probably feeling a bit nervous and maybe even wondering if they picked the right person for the job. Before your first day, read through these quotes and remember you wouldn’t have gotten this far in the first place without a very specific person – you!
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. – E.E. Cummings
Transitioning from college life into a career isn’t easy. As poet E.E. Cummings said, growing up and becoming the person you always thought you could be takes courage. Remember that when stepping into your new office on the first day.
Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it. – Lou Holtz
When starting your new role, listen to the former American football player and coach, Lou Holtz. Your talents got you this far, but your motivation and attitude will show just how above and beyond you’ll go for your job.
You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do. – Henry Ford
Founder and innovator Henry Ford said it best. Don’t spend so much time planning that you can’t spend any time doing. When starting a new job, it’s important to be conscientious and detail-oriented, but it’s also important to put yourself out there and work as hard as you can to establish your go-getter reputation early on.
Feeling confident – or pretending that you feel confident – is necessary to reach for opportunities. It’s a cliché, but opportunities are rarely offered; they’re seized. – Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg – Facebook COO, author, and founder of LeanIn.Org – reminds us of the importance of exuding confidence, even if you don’t feel that way. You were hired for a reason, and the company you’re with wants to see you grow and take on new opportunities as you settle into the job.
I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of “Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,” and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough. — Marissa Mayer
Your first job will be filled with moments of, “I’m not sure how to do this,” or “I never learned this in school.” Take a page out of the former Yahoo CEO’s book and push through the moments of uncertainty. But remember that pushing through doesn’t always mean keeping your head down and working through it. It can mean reaching out to your supervisor or coworker if you feel lost and pushing through with a little guidance.
Don’t let the fear of striking out hold you back. – Babe Ruth
Legendary baseball player Babe Ruth may have been speaking literally when he said this, but it’s something new employees should take to heart. It can be intimidating to speak up or bring a new idea to the table when you’re the new person at work, but don’t let your fear of being shut down hold you back. Not every idea will be a *home run* but you won’t know unless you put it out there.
If we all did the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves. – Thomas Edison
It’s easy to underestimate what you’re capable of, especially when you’re surrounded by people with a lot more experience. But in the words of inventor Thomas Edison, you might surprise yourself with what you can do.
The more you do stuff, the better you get at dealing with how you still fail at it a lot of the time. – John Mulaney
Starting a new job, it’s inevitable that you’ll make mistakes. Comedian and actor John Mulaney explains that the more you work at something, the better you get at dealing with failure. So when you make first Big Work Mistake and it feels like the world is ending, learn from it, and remember it gets better.
We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success. – Arianna Huffington
Here’s another quote on being OK with failure, this time from media mogul Arianna Huffington. It’s so important to understand that you’ll make mistakes not only in your first few months on the job but throughout your entire career. Embrace your mistakes, and recognize it as one of the sure ways you can improve.
A year from now you may wish you had started today. – Karen Lamb
Now that you have the job, you might be tempted to play it safe for a while. But as author Karen Lamb once said, a year from now you might look back and wish you had kept up with things like networking or professional development. If you want to learn a new skill that could help you progress at work, don’t wait to start to learn it. If you want to expand your network for when you decide to go for a promotion, don’t wait until a few months before to start reaching out.
Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out. – Robert Collier
Any job, but especially an entry-level role, may come with a set of day-to-day, seemingly mundane tasks. While these tasks can occasionally feel draining, self-help author Robert Collier reminds us that it’s important to remember that those tasks are likely essential to the larger success of an organization.
Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going. – Sam Levenson
As you settle into your new internship or job, don’t get discouraged by long days or weeks that seem to stretch forever. Sam Levenson, an American humorist, gave a piece of advice that applies to anyone with a career, but is especially important to remember in the early days. If you ever feel bogged down and find yourself watching the clock count down to the end of the day, focus on doing what you do best and keep pushing forward.
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