Yesterday my daughter started her first real job.  She’s 21 and is in the final throes of her business degree.  For as long as I can remember, all she’s ever wanted to do is work in advertising.  She’s majoring in Advertising and Marketing.  She’s done ok.  She’s essentially been an ‘A’ student throughout her degree.

So yesterday she went off to her first day at her first real job.  She’s working for one of the teams in one of the big advertising agencies.  So far they haven’t put a foot wrong.  Here’s some of the things they’ve done with her.

1.  Buddy
A few days before she was due to start they sent her an email.  It answered all the preliminary questions she had started asking herself.

  • Where do I go on Monday?
  • What time do I need to be there?
  • I wonder what I will be doing on the first few days?

Most importantly, the email advised the name and job title of her “Buddy”, who she should ask for on arrival and who would be charged with showing her around.

So she’s immediately feeling welcome, and much of the “first day” anxiety is already gone.

2.  They’re ready for her.
Her buddy meets her enthusiastically at the office on Monday morning.  She shows her to her desk and her new computer, and then they go to get coffee before the Monday morning meeting starts.

3.  She’s part of it already.
At 9am she’s in the Company wide Monday Morning meeting.  Apparently it’s an entertaining affair, a bit haphazard, with lots of laughs and an update on all the things that are going on.

4.  She has real stuff to do.
By 11am, she’s been given real stuff to do.  She’s working on an email campaign for one of the Agency’s big clients. She’s not making coffee or collecting people’s dry cleaning.  She’s engaged and feels like she’s participating.

5.  They take her to lunch.
You know the story.  Day one, first job, lunchtime, everyone disappears and you don’t quite know what to do with yourself.  It’s the loneliest part of your day right?  Wrong.  Two of the team members drop by her workstation and take her to lunch.  It’s not over the top; just “We’re going up the road to get lunch.  Would you like to come?”

Needless to say, the afternoon flies by.  She’s feeling welcome, engaged, involved and is loving every minute.  She arrives home in the evening, still buzzing.  She tells us about her day and can’t wait for tomorrow.

For most people day one doesn’t always feel like this.  This Advertising Agency is doing the simple stuff that most employers miss.  And they are doing it really well.  As a result, she will be more valuable, more loyal and probably become a more productive member of the team earlier than she otherwise might have.  And it’s only day one.

I’m looking forward to how her second day goes.

This article first appeared in 2015. It has been updated and represented because I continue to be asked about this issue.