So, you have your bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or PhD., you’ve passed all the required tests as well as the interview, and you are on your way to becoming a patent attorney or patent agent at one of the leading law firms.
However, it is your first day.
The first day working at a new job is an exciting yet often stressful experience. No matter what your job is, meeting new people and working at new tasks is certainly something that takes some getting used to.
This is especially true when beginning to prepare for the first day of your new job as a patent practitioner. This highly-skilled job often requires a fair bit of multi-tasking and conversing with various individuals. Though you may feel completely prepared for this experience there are still a few helpful tips that will make your first day a successful one.
This article will provide you with some very helpful ways to make your first day as a patent practitioner go smoothly.
Most people reading this article are probably well aware of what a patent practitioner is and what the job entails, but for those simply looking into this profession it’s best to quickly describe generally what a patent practitioner does.
Put simply, a patent practitioner represents individuals or groups before a patent office to discuss matters relating to patents. They submit patent applications and help with the prosecution of those applications. Obviously, this is a very succinct explanation and there is certainly much more to this job in regard to specifics, but this enough of a background for this article.
Make A Good Impression
With that highly generalized explanation of what a patent practitioner is, here are some great ways on how to prepare for your first day in this profession. First and foremost, it’s very important to make a good first impression with your bosses and co-workers. In order to accomplish this successfully make sure you are on time. Showing up late even by just a few minutes is absolutely unacceptable. In fact, it’s best to show up a few minutes early to show everyone you are professional and reliable.
A good way to make sure you aren’t late is to simply plan ahead. Have your driving route planned out and maybe even practice getting to the office a few times to ensure you understand exactly how long it takes. This may seem a bit excessive, but you only have one opportunity to make a good first impression. Knowing how you are going to get to the office on the first day is even more important if you live in a big city where you are required to travel by public transportation. This is where having a few “test runs” under your belt will really come in handy.
Dress the Part
Another very important preparation for your first day as a patent practitioner is to dress for the part. Often, you can wear the type of clothing you wore for your job interview. This highly-skilled job requires men to wear a smart suit and tie or at least a shirt and tie and for women to dress in business casual attire. Men typically have it rather easy in this regard as they don’t really have to worry about their attire.
Women, on the other hand, should give their clothing a fair bit of thought. Most experts agree that a woman should dress conservatively as opposed to wearing some sort of cutting-edge fashion attire. Women should wear dress pants or knee-length skirts that fit well. A nice fitted top that isn’t too flashy and closed-toes shoes are also recommended for women.
It’s possible that some offices will have more casual attire. Showing up on your first day over-dressed is a much smarter option than showing up under-dressed. Just go for a week or so before you decide to deviate from these attire tips. Make sure your office is really OK with casual clothing before you show up wearing slacks and a polo and stand out like a sore thumb.
Don’t be Afraid To Ask Questions
When preparing for your first day as a patent practitioner, come prepared to ask a lot of questions. It’s best practice to take some time and think over some of the more important questions that are inevitably going to be brought up during your first day on the job. Though some people refrain from asking questions as they don’t want to be singled out as not knowing what they are doing, this simply isn’t going to be beneficial. In fact, asking questions will without a doubt help you get through your first day up through your first month and will most likely impress your bosses and co-workers alike.
Know Your Surroundings
Familiarizing yourself with the company by visiting its website is another great way to prepare yourself for your first day as a patent practitioner. Most, if not all of these types of businesses, will have detailed websites where you can gain quite a bit of insight on how the company operates.
You’ll probably also be able to look up some of your bosses and co-workers and gain additional information on them and their background. This will certainly help you learn people’s names faster and even have a bit of small talk material to bring up. Obviously, you don’t want to be overbearing trying to figure out each person’s life story, but learning where they are from or went to school is something that can be good in order to build a rapport with your co-workers.
Be prepared. People will expect you to know how to conduct basic patent searches, how and when to take a retainer from a client and how agent-client confidentiality works. Make sure you feel confident with your knowledge in these domains.
Plan Social Time
You will also want to consider what you’re going to do for lunch. This can be a bit tricky because bringing your lunch from home will prevent you from going out to lunch with co-workers and getting to know them better. Of course, you can always bring your lunch and save it if the opportunity to go out arises. This is a personal preference, but something to think about nonetheless.
You should also be prepared to introduce yourself and shake hands with new acquaintances. Be sure to look people in the eyes and give them a firm handshake. You don’t have to introduce yourself to everybody on your first day, but try to make an effort to get to know as many people as you can.
There are certainly many other great ways to prepare yourself for your first day as a patent practitioner, but following the ones laid out in this article will undoubtedly get you well on your way to surviving this initial experience. Starting a new job isn’t an easy task and since you can only make one good first impression it’s very important to strive to do the best job possible presenting yourself to bosses and co-workers. Not everything will go according to plan, but having confidence in yourself will make the day go a bit smoother.