Starting a New Job? 8 Ways to Prepare

Starting a new career is so exciting. We apply to countless job postings in effort to move forward, we finally land an interview which could lead to second or even third interviews and then, if we’re lucky, get the call that we have been selected! Awesome, right? While it is a truly awesome thing, it can be very scary to move on.

Shake up your style at your new gig

For me, I had been working at my first Public Relations job for a little over four years. This company was the first in the industry to give me a chance. I am grateful for them. The perks were superb; my co-workers were awesome, I was close to my manager, I got free garage parking in downtown Cleveland, the culture was great, we got free soda, I had nearly 30 days in PTO and the holiday parties were raging! I could probably go on and on about what I left behind but I had learned all I could from the position and capped out at a senior title. I also wanted to go into the nonprofit sector and have a career with more purpose. It was time to go. I luckily landed a Donor Relations position at a local nonprofit that helps people in the community get access to physical and mental healthcare, career coaching and much more. This is the direction I wanted my career to go.

With all that being said, transitioning is hard and I want to give a few tips, speaking from experience, on starting a new job:

Your last paycheck at your previous job will be mailed

This is severely inconvenient but it is standard. Your last paycheck is mailed and could take up to seven days to arrive. This means that you will receive your pay later than usual and will need to either save up money to cover any bills due within that time or just to have money in your pocket. Also keep in mind that there may be a delay in your paycheck at your new job, depending on what point in the pay period you were hired. Having a little cushion in this time will be crucial to your financial well-being.

“In case of doubt, overdress…” until you learn the dress code

My previous job sent me information with my offer letter about the dress code so I was well informed. My current job sent over a handbook and I searched the large document for the dress code policy and found nothing. I dressed business casual on my first day based on what I observed at my interview, to be safe. I learned that day, in orientation, that there wasn’t an official dress code. We were to dress according to department. My department never wears jeans but they don’t wear suits either so, my observation was correct. Pay attention to the people around you and always remember to dress for the position you want. Clothes aren’t everything but they do represent you. You may look a little overdressed at times but that’s not a bad thing. “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.”- Oscar Wilde

Come prepared

Bring pens, notebooks, highlighters, a coffee mug, eating utensils and a water cup. Unless told, you don’t know what supplies are available for you. My current job has disposable coffee cups and actually provided us with a company logo water tumbler but I was at least prepared. I also don’t want to be wasteful by using the disposable cups. Having your own mug is eco friendly, y’all! You’ll definitely need to take notes so always have a notebook and pen. I’m a highlighter junkie so I always make sure I have those as well. Being prepared takes away a lot of the first day jitters. Trust me, you’ll feel much more organized.

Arrive ready to learn

Whether you’re entering a new career, like myself, or staying in the same realm, there’s always something to learn. Don’t cut corners on the note taking and take in as much as possible without overwhelming yourself. Remember that it’s okay to ask questions.

Get a lot of rest

With all that learning, you’re going to need your rest. At least for the first couple weeks, turn in early. Tell your friends you have to skip happy hour because you need sleep and can’t afford the hangover! You may become overwhelmed and will need this rest to recharge. Celebrate your first couple weeks at your new job in a couple of Fridays once you have your duties down packed!

Bring your lunch or research restaurants nearby in advance

I like to pack my lunch. If you go this route, pack your lunch in a bag with an ice pack. You don’t know the refrigerator situation until you get there. If this is a new area you’re working in and want to go out for lunch, google some lunch spots in advance so you’re not wasting your lunch hour hunting for something you like.

Observe and/or ask about the rules

If you’re sent a handbook by Human Resources, read it and learn it. Most of your questions about pay periods, rules, regulations and standard operating procedures will be in there. This will avoid you asking the questions and looking like you didn’t read what they gave you. Ask your co-workers or observe what they’re doing when it comes to  having your cellphone out, eating at your desk, internet browsing and all of those other little things I’m sure you’re all wondering that may not be listed in the handbook. I’m always afraid to ask those questions so I tend to observe and follow the veterans’ lead on these things.

Look at this as a fresh start

Remember when a new semester would start and we’d say to ourselves, “I’m going to be awesome this semester?” We’d make promises to ourselves, no procrastinating, all A’s, Dean’s List, no partying,” and then we’d eventually fall off the wagon? Go into your new job with this exact attitude and actually execute! This isn’t school, it’s your well-being. It’s how you’ll continue your career, make a name for yourself in the industry and how you’ll take care of your household. Do everything to the best of your ability and use this to accelerate your career.

Good luck!

Borrow from the boys


-D.O. ❤


Life Is Hectic! Get Organized!

If your life is anything like mine, you have a TON of things to pencil into your weekly calendar. This can get super stressful and exhausting, resulting in a total meltdown. My best advice is to stop stressing and complaining, be optimistic and add more organization into your life. Here’s my new method of balancing all of my many responsibilities and obligations.


This one is easy because I have a set schedule and there’s no room for negotiation. I work 8:30am – 5:30pm, Monday through Friday. My position does not require me to take work home or be connected through email or company cell phone so no organization of my schedule is needed, I just need to stay on top of my workload during the day.

Economics Class

As some of my readers may know, I recently started a Microeconomics course which is needed as a prerequisite for the Master’s program I’ll be applying to soon. Now, because my work schedule is non-negotiable, I opted to take this course online as there were no classes available after my work shift or on weekends. Because I am taking the class online, I have to schedule time myself for studying and watching the course videos. This, in my opinion, is more difficult than attending a scheduled class because there’s a higher level of autonomy. I time out how many weeks I have until the next exam and divide that by the amount of chapters covered in that exam. That is how much I’ll read each week and I watch the videos whenever I have a moment. I even listen to them on my headphones at work as opposed to listening to music. I have to watch them again at home but the lessons sound familiar to me because I’ve heard them before. This method clearly works for me since I got nearly a perfect score on my first Econ exam *dusts shoulders off* 🙂 You don’t have to use my method but any organized schedule should work.

Family Time

I have a husband and child at home so I have to make sure I spend quality time with them. My husband is not my son’s biological father so my son spends a couple of days a week with his father. While, of course, I miss my little man, this actually helps me fit in time for studying, chores and working out. This also frees up some time to have date nights with my very busy husband. On the flip side, since I don’t have my son everyday, I make sure that we do something fun together every other weekend when he’s with me and in the evenings, I set aside time to look over his homework and make sure he’s organized for school, bathed and fed. We live in a bungalow so almost all of the rooms are on one floor so we are always in close proximity with one another and I love it for the sole purpose that I have my loves close to me at all times ❤

Working Out

I just started a gym schedule this week because summer is sneaking up on me pretty quickly. I’m really trying to live in a crop top all summer so gym time is essential :-p So this week, I woke up at 5:45am and hit the gym before work on Monday. My gym has classes so Tuesday, I went to Zumba in the evening. I took Wednesday off and went back to the gym on Thursday evening. I’m taking Friday off and going back for a class on Saturday. My schedule wont always look like this as I have to accommodate when I have someone to babysit for me. My plan is to know by Sunday what days I’ll be working out that week and actually writing it down in my planner. I luckily have my husband who will cook dinner for me when I go to the gym in the evenings so that is a HUGE help.


This has to be my least favorite because I hate cleaning!! But, I make sure that I thoroughly clean the house and do laundry either every Saturday or Sunday.Since I’m off work on those days, I have hours to dedicate to this project. Throughout the week, my husband and I alternate doing the dishes and straightening up. Nothing makes me happier than coming home from work and seeing that my husband already did this! I literally want to hug him immediately and worship him at his feet. This means I only have to shower and then go straight to studying! Score! It pays to have a partner.

Paying Bills

I swear all my bills are due on all random days. It’s so frustrating and hard to keep up with so I only pay bills on pay days. I pay whatever bill is due closest to each pay day. I even write the hard to remember ones in my planner. Bills are my least favorite part of pay days because I can’t get too excited about it when I know I’m also using that money to pay bills. Such a downer! Then I go to Target and cheer myself up with at least one thing! 🙂

Grocery Shopping

I try to shop on Sundays but I get a case of the lazies on Sundays so often times shop after work on Mondays. We don’t eat frozen foods, really, so we do have to shop weekly since fresher foods expire quickly. I need to push myself to shop on Sundays more so I can go straight home from work during the week but that’s easier said than done. 😦

Social Life

I don’t schedule social events because I think it’s fun when social outings are more spontaneous and plans don’t tend to work out the way you plan them for some reason anyway. I really only schedule birthday outings and weekly TGIT viewing parties with two of my best friends. If someone asks me to go somewhere or I have the urge to hit the town, I gauge what I have going on at the time, measure my level of tiredness and just make a decision to go or not. Whatever you do, make sure you pencil some fun into your weekly schedule or you’ll go nuts! I love date nights and girls nights!

It’s good to be busy but without organization, there’s room for error and a cause for going insane. Don’t be afraid to pick up extra hobbies, don’t talk yourself out of that degree you want to earn and don’t set aside family time for work. Simply come up with a plan and try your best to stick with it. Life is entirely too short to be stressed all the time! Happy scheduling, loves!

-D.O. ❤

21 Reasons Why I’m A Basic B and IDGAF :)

You can make fun of me if you want to but I’ll just be over here sipping my Pumpkin Spice Latte and living my life! 

Here’s why I’m basic AF! 

  1. Obvi, I love PSL or anything pumpkin for that matter. 
  2. I can eat avocados with anything. 
  3. I rock Hunter boots when it’s raining…or when it’s not. Whatevs. 
  4. Snap filters are my jam. 
  5. Brows are life. 
  6. Brunch? Yes please!
  7. Mimosas? Duh! 
  8. Did my Ipsy bag come yet ooorrrr?
  9. Scarves! All the scarves! 
  10. Because wine.
  11. I can quote Mean Girls all day! 
  12. I totes abrev like half of my sentences. 
  13. Lauren Conrad is my hero. Goals AF!
  14. Nail Day!!!! 
  15. Selfies on selfies!
  16. Fall is my favorite season. 
  17. I own a poodle mix. 
  18. I have to make it to coachella one year before I literally die! 
  19. Meet me at happy hour?
  20. Target is my happy place.
  21. Yaaaassss!

Embrace your basic, ladies! I certainly have! 
-D.O. ❤