From deciding what to wear to what you'll do on your first day of work, there's a lot to consider. Properly preparing for your first day helps ease nerves and ensures you live up to your new employer's expectations. In this article, we provide you with tips to help you prepare for your first day of work and list several things to bring for a more successful first day.
Related: Tips for Your First Day of Work
How should you prepare for your first day of work?
As a new employee, it's important to leave a good first impression on everyone you meet. Properly preparing for your first day can help you do just that. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your first day at work:
Plan your commute.
Before driving to your new workplace, make sure you know how to get there. Consider how long it'll take you to arrive and whether you might face traffic. Understanding the parking situation ahead of time can also help. Overall, planning your commute ensures you get to work on time and helps you leave a good impression with your new employer.
Review onboarding materials.
Before your first day, take the time to review any important information such as employment contracts or other paperwork explaining retirement plans, the company's vacation policy and its health insurance coverage. Not only does this show your new employer that you're prepared, but it also allows you to bring up relevant questions you may have thought of while reading through the paperwork.
Prepare an elevator pitch.
When you meet your new co-workers, they may ask about your work history or your new position with the company. Make sure to prepare a good answer that highlights your previous employment and what you'll be doing in your new position with the company. This helps establish a good working relationship with anyone you meet and gives them a greater idea of your experience and who you are.
Put your cellphone on silent.
While it's often OK to bring your cellphone to work, make sure you have it set to silent so it doesn't cause unnecessary distractions during your first day on the job. Having it go off in the middle of the day or during an important meeting shows your lack of professionalism.
What to bring to your first day of work
While you need to consider how to prepare for your first day of work, you also need to consider what to bring. Though you don't need to fill your purse or pockets with everything you can think of, it's helpful to bring certain items along to make your first day that much easier. Here are some things to bring with you for the first day:
While not a tangible thing, it's important to prepare questions for your employer or manager. Make sure to listen to everything your employer or manager says, but also ask questions when necessary to demonstrate your curiosity and eagerness to learn. Consider writing down a list of questions related to how you can be successful in your new position. Now that you've gone through the interview process, you're able to generate more in-depth questions regarding both the company and your new role.
As a new employee, make sure to show your excitement for your new position. Wear a smile on your first day of work and remember the importance of first impressions. Smile as you meet new people and make it clear how happy and eager you are to join the team. This can help you build strong relationships with your co-workers and manager.
Notepad and pen
During your first day, you'll be expected to retain a lot of information such as your co-worker's name or your computer login information. Having a notepad and pen on hand lets you write everything down as the day progresses. It also lets you remember important information and gives you something to refer back to at a later date or time.
When you meet new people throughout your first day, it's important to leave a good first impression. Bring along mints or breath freshener to avoid offensive breath that could distract anyone you meet.
Carry a compact mirror so you can check your teeth for food or unwanted lipstick. Just like with the mints, having clean teeth and a clean face can help you leave a good impression with everyone you meet.
Depending on your workplace, you may have the option of getting takeout or eating in your workplace's cafeteria. If you don't, it's important to bring a lunch from home. Even if you have the option of eating out, you can always bring a lunch and eat it with your co-workers to help you bond and establish strong working relationships from the start.
Your manager or new co-workers might invite you to lunch on your first day. To prepare for this, bring your wallet and enough cash to cover your lunch. Don't assume that they'll pay for you because they invited you.
A hair tie can help get your hair out of your face. Depending on your job and what position you find yourself in, having a hair tie ensures your hair doesn't get in the way while performing your new job duties.
ID or other identification
Your employer may require you to bring various forms of ID to ensure you're set up with payroll and other company systems. While your employer may offer suggestions on what types of identification to bring, consider bringing your passport, your driver's license, a proof of your address or your Social Security card.
Make sure to have all of your necessary banking information to help with payroll. Having your account numbers ensures you're properly set up with direct deposit should you choose to receive your paychecks that way.
Bring tissues in the event you catch a sudden cold or have a sneezing fit. They can also help you clean up if you spill anything, either on yourself or on your workspace, or if you need to freshen up your face.
While it's important to keep your mobile phone on silent, it's a helpful device to have throughout your workday. For example, your phone allows you to add to your schedule, lets you take any notes and gives you the ability to add your new coworkers' phone numbers to your contact list.
If your workplace doesn't allow mobile phones, bring a watch to help you keep track of the time. Having this accessory helps ensure you're never late and that you get to important meetings on time.
While it's normal to feel nervous for your first day of work, it helps to not smell or appear to be perspiring. Make sure to apply deodorant before heading to work, but also keep a small deodorant with you in case you need it throughout the day. This can help with perspiration anytime you feel stressed throughout your day.
In the event you have a headache or stomach ache, it's wise to bring painkillers. Having these on hand can help you avoid getting sent home on the first day and allows you to feel relief any time a sudden ache or pain occurs.
No matter your job, it helps to stay hydrated. While your employer may have a water supply or a water cooler for you to use, it's best to bring your own water bottle just in case. Staying hydrated can help you feel fresh and energized as you make your way through your first day on the job.
When you arrive to work, it's important to fit the culture and abide by the company's dress code policies. Determine whether your employer wants you to dress in business formal, business casual or casual attire. Then, create an outfit that reflects their dress code. This shows your respect and allows you to blend in with your coworkers.
While it's important to wear something that adheres to the company dress code, you also need to make sure it's a clean and fresh outfit to leave a good first impression. Make sure your clothes are washed and consider ironing or pressing your outfit before showing up on your first day to avoid unwanted wrinkles.
If you happen to spill food or a drink on your clothes during your first day, it helps to have a stain stick handy. This allows you to rub out unflattering stains and keeps you looking your best.
Some employers keep their workplaces on the colder side. If you tend to get cold easily, consider packing a sweater you can put on during the day. Make sure it's professional and that it matches the rest of your outfit.
If you anticipate being hungry before lunch or before your shift ends, bring along a healthy snack. This can help fend off any hunger and leave you satisfied for the time being. Opt for healthy snacks that can help you feel energized such as fruits or nuts.