3 Things You Should Always Do Before Your First Day on the Job

Day one on the job can be scary with a new environment, new responsibilities and new co-workers. But, you can do this. Use these three tips to eliminate first-day jitters.

1. Plan Ahead

After you are hired, you will probably a few days before you report to work. Rather than worrying and/or doing nothing, use this checklist to help things go as smoothly as possible.

  • Map Your Route
    As a new employee, arriving to work on time is an absolute must. Prepare for the unexpected by trying several different routes at the same time of day as your actual commute. This will give you a better idea of real-time traffic and potential delays.
  • Pack Your Bag
    Think about what you may need on the first day. Supplies may vary depending on the type of work. A notebook, pens and a water bottle are a good starting point. Many new workers are invited to go out to eat, so plan a simple lunch and/or a few snacks. Avoid anything than needs to be cooled or reheated until you have figured out the workplace kitchen rules.
  • Plan Outfits
    If you are unsure about dress code, check in with the HR department or the person who offered you the position. Try to put together five or six outfits using what you have, with a few additions if necessary. Resist the temptation to buy a whole new wardrobe. Sometimes dress code and reality don’t quite match, so spend at least a week or two on the job before making any significant clothing investment.
  • Complete All Paperwork
    Many companies send out paperwork beforehand to speed up the onboarding process (and make it less boring). If you have received documents early, read everything thoroughly and complete all requested tasks.

2. Do Your Research

Before your interview, you probably spent a good amount of time investigating both the company and the job. Now that you are an employee, deep dive into research so you can begin contributing as quickly as possible. Learn everything you can about your new organization as well as industry trends. And, don’t forget to take advantage of social media sites and the organization’s website for more of an insider’s look. Finally, if there is one available, use the online directory to give yourself a head start learning names and faces.

3. Prepare for Conversations

As the “new kid on the block,” everyone will want to find out more about you. Practice a brief introduction or elevator pitch. Keep this under 30 seconds, and focus on your experiences, skills and unique talents that will make you valuable to the company. In addition, keep up to date on recent news, sports, shows and events, so you can participate in small talk and engage with your new co-workers right out of the starting gate.

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