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New Associate Tips: How to Prepare for the First Day on the Job

'Let's do this! Let's do this!'

You gotta love the little guy's attitude in that Kia commercial, when he strides into the office like he's an NBA player walking onto the court. He reaches out to slap hands with his co-workers before he slaps the boss's butt.

So maybe that's a little over the top, but it's the attitude we love. It's not the size of the dog in the fight; it's the size of the fight in the dog. This is about getting ready for the big game -- your first day on the new job as a lawyer.

Physical Preparation

Like an athlete, you have to be physically prepared for your law job. It starts the night before.

Put down the celebratory beverage and get a good night's rest. The last thing you need is to feel like you're dragging yourself into the office on the first day of work.

Once you have wiped the sleep out of your eyes and maybe done some morning exercise, clean up and dress for the occasion. It's not your prom, but better over-dressed than under-dressed.

Mental Preparation

"Yes," you say to the magic mirror. "You can do this." But do not head out thinking you can "fake it till you make it" -- unless you are Magic Johnson and can fake a pass like nobody's business.

The old "fake it" expression is not good advice on the first day. If you don't know what you're doing, ask questions.

Better than faking, try getting your mind right. As you drive your Kia to the office, think about how you are going to do your job. And turn on some cool music for inspiration.

Get in the Game

Arrive fashionably early, just enough for a traffic cushion but not so much that you're standing outside a locked door waiting to get in. You don't want to loose your cool factor, looking like an MVP wanna-be.

Then get in there and get ready to rumble. Wash your hands, grab a cup of coffee or do whatever pre-game warm-up that suits you -- just don't slap the boss's butt.

With the right attitude, you can compete even with the big guys. Work hard and remember what the coach said: "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard."

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