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How to be Prepared for Your First Day on the Job Site

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We all remember what it was like to start your first real job. Nothing can prepare you for starting your career like having real-world experience on a job site or under the guidance of a mentor. Unfortunately, a lot of skilled workers are getting ready for their first day on the job site without knowing what to expect. Here at Trade Hounds, we have recognized the importance of supporting and nurturing the new generation of trade workers who have the technical knowledge to be a professional but lack the real-world experience you cannot learn in the classroom.

We asked our Trade Hounds Facebook community what is some of the most important tips an apprentice should know before starting their first day on the job site. Most of the responses followed a specific theme:

  1. Safety comes first
  2. Always ask questions
  3. Pay Attention
  4. Show up on time (aka 15 minutes early)
  5. Come equipped with the right equipment; if you borrow anything, you return it.
  6. Work hard

Here are some of the best responses we got:

First Day on the Job Site: Safety

“Rule #1: Don’t touch the shiny s#&t! [with your hands]” – Patrick T.

“Ask questions. Learn on your own if possible. Don’t die!” – Richy L.

First Day on the Job Site: Ask Questions

“Always Ask questions, learn how to properly use all tools, clean up after yourself, and most important pay attention.” – Justin C.

“Don’t come in acting like you know it all already. Ask as many questions as you can, a lot of people will be glad to help out someone who is determined to work hard and be better at their job.” – Brittany L.

First Day on the Job Site: Work Hard

“Come correct, show up 5 minutes early, inquire about what tools you need to provide for yourself, wear your f–king tool belt, and think on your feet so you don’t have to be told what to do.” – Sean L.

“Show up 15 minutes early…leave 10 minutes late.” – Charnjit S.

“Know your place. Show up on time, and ask for tasks; don’t stand around and wait for someone to tell you.” – Alex R.

“Don’t be a dip. Pay attention and ask questions if you don’t get it.” – James P.

“Don’t come in asking what time break is.” – Juan A.

First Day on the Job Site: Equipment

“Always have a pencil, tape, and a knife.” – Steven D.

“Know your tools, do what your Forman asks, be eager to learn.” – Russell O.

First Day on the Job Site: Attitude & Work Environment

“As almost being out of the apprenticeship stage, be the first to work and last to leave; work your ass off, and learn everything you can and retain it.” – Josh G.

“Show up with the correct attitude.” – Adam M.

“1. On-time is 15 minutes early. 2. Offer to buy the coffee, most the time boss buys, but offer. 3. Don’t over-sell yourself.” – Stephen D.

“Ask before touching a tool, and always put it back. Be prompt. Don’t get offended/upset over a little pranking/hazing. Expect it. And if you get a nickname, embrace it, no matter what. It means you’re liked.” – Christopher G.

This article is syndicated with permission from