First day: presence and precedents


The “first day” of a new situation is one of life’s purest opportunities for reinvention: first day of school, first day in a new neighborhood, first day at a new job. My case for this is simple:

1) No one knows you: your style, your work ethic, whether you are an introvert or extrovert
2) You’ll be meeting lots of people for the first time, so you can set a widespread tone
3) You won’t easily fall back into old routines – after all, you’ve got people who look up to you now!
4) It’s a chance to put those lessons learned from past mistakes into action

It’s not only a chance to be different, but to be better.

Maybe you were a gossip at your old school or job – did it really get you anywhere or make you any friends? Actively choose to contribute less snarky-ness to the world. Be the girl who secretly tapes pink Post-Its with “You’re beautiful!” in the ladies’ room.

Maybe you trusted someone you shouldn’t have. It stung, didn’t it?  This time, be more reserved until people start to show their true colors. Put a jar of candy or homemade muffins on your desk and let people come to you to tell their stories.

Maybe you always gave in on your diet to please other people – having a piece of each kind of cake so as not to offend or, conversely, skipping free pizza because you were so regimented to spinach salad. Don’t go to either extreme! Be strong but gracious. And, please, set an example by never commenting on other people’s food.

Maybe your last job cost you hundreds of hours of frustration, thinking they meant what they said about “meritocracy,” only to send you packing. Give more than what’s necessary, but never give your heart. Jobs come and go, and like friends and relationships, are often just poignant ways for us to learn something about the world or about ourselves. Be you, be your best, and be proud of the work you do everyday. You are shining light into someone’s life just by showing up.

First day at my new job outfit (although I was clearly not quite awake, as I forgot to add the Anthropologie jacket before I snapped the photo):
Top: Calvin Klein, Skirt: Tahari (similar) Watch: Michael Kors




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