All of this BEFORE you sign an enlistment contract.
I did 10 years active, three years in a drilling reserve unit, and am now on Active Guard and Reserve status. That's the approach I took before joining my reserve unit, and it worked very well for me. Gave me some good insights. By the time the slot opened up for me to join, it was nearly six months between my initial contact, the subsequent visit and my first real 'paid' drill. I got to know quite abit about standards and expectations before I ever joined the unit.