Although exciting, starting a new job in an unfamiliar space can also be daunting. Where do I eat lunch? What am I supposed to wear? How do I get to my new office? It’s easy to feel like a fish out of water on your first day, but, there’s no need to waste your energy feeling stressed. Instead, channel those jitters into productivity to make sure you’re as prepared as possible for your new position. If you just landed the job of your dreams, here are 15 things you should do ahead of time to ensure you have a great first week.
- Understand and sign any important documents: According to Christel Saha, HR Manager at Clique Brands, preparing any important documents that you’ve been sent before arriving for your first day on the job is critical. “For anyone starting their career, it’s important to show up with confidentiality agreements and any other documents in hand,” she says. Make sure that you sign your offer letter, understand what your job duties and salaries are, and know who you will be reporting to on a day-to-day basis.
- Bring your I.D.: Because your first day will most likely be all about setting you up with HR, make sure to bring any important documents of identification, like your driver’s license and/or your passport for tax and filing purposes. Although you might not need these items, it’s better to come with them just in case.
- Set personal goals: Is there anything at your last job you wish you had done? Is there something specific you wish to get out of this job? Who are some people you would like to meet with during your first week? Write these goals down in a notebook and keep it on your desk as a constant, motivational reminder.
- Make sure to have your first-day outfit planned ahead of time: To ensure that your morning routine runs smoothly and you get to the office on time, planning your outfit beforehand will keep your first-day jitters at bay.
- Pack your mini emergency bag: Include a Tide-to-Go pen, deodorant, hair ties, a tampon, a granola bar, perfume sample, and a pen. These are just some of the items you should keep in a small makeup bag at your desk to keep you worry-free.
- When it comes to desk décor, start small: On your first day, don’t bring in a ton of items to decorate your desk with. Keep it simple and bring in a couple of your favorite pieces one day at a time.
- Buy any office supplies that will motivate you and keep your prepared: From post-it notes to planners and pens, buy all of your favorite office things to decorate your desk with and keep you organized.
- Look out for an email from human resources before the big day: Saha also expressed that HR usually sends a follow up email with first-day and commuting logistics, so look out for this email and keep important arrival information at hand. Read through this information thoroughly and make sure to ask any questions you have before you start to ensure there’s no confusion when you show up.
- Map your route and practice your commute before your first day: A few days or so before you start your new job, take a few trial runs of your commute. You can even test out different routes to see which one will be the most time efficient, allowing you to arrive early and ready to impress.
- Get the gist of the neighborhood your office is in: Once you have figured out your daily commute, take time to explore the area around your office. By discovering new coffee shops and easy lunch spots, you can make an unfamiliar place feel a little bit more like home.
- Meal prep your breakfast: The morning of your first day should be easy breezy, so prepare your breakfast the night before. Prep your sustenance beforehand until you get the hang of your new routine and commute; that way you have one less thing to worry about.
- Get up-to-date on any computer programs that your office uses: Google Hangouts, Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Cloud, and Slack are just a few of the many applications companies use to create presentations, plan meetings, and communicate. If you’re not sure what your office is currently using the most, reach out to HR or your new boss to check—they’ll be impressed that you’re taking the initiative to get ahead.
- Remember a few conversation starters: Current events, news that pertains to your company, and your company’s values or origin story are all things you should skim through and understand before your first day. That way you won’t be caught off guard when your boss or colleague mentions something company-specific in a meeting.
- Make any social media accounts private: “After the first few days, you can definitely connect on Linkedin with your team members and managers, but be careful with your Facebook and Instagram accounts.” explains Saha. “Put those accounts as private. You can follow people on social media from the office that you really connect with, but make sure to be very selective.” Although it’s fun to make new friends in the office, keep things professional. Ask yourself if there is anything that you wouldn’t want your co-workers or HR to see. If so, then do some editing or make your social accounts private.
- Rest, relax, and take a deep breath: You’ll want to make sure that you are well-rested before your first day on the job, so light a few candles, have a cozy bubble bath, and go to bed at a time that will allow you to get at least eight hours of sleep.
Have any of these things saved you on your first day on the job? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured photo by @kindakaili.