Bridge Insights

Forgetting Something? Preparing for Your First Day at a New Job

Jul 21, 2020

Starting a new job can be exciting and nerve-racking at the same time! It is a chance to make an awesome first impression and kick off your new career with a bang! There are a few very important things you need to do beforehand to be prepared.

Below is a list of important items to complete prior to starting your first day at a new job.

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1. Gather All Necessary Documents

Ideally, your HR or hiring manager has already explained to you what documents you will need to bring in on your first day. If not, some important and common items to bring with you are:

  • Your photo ID or driver’s license
  • A social security card or passport
  • Any other paperwork you might have in regard to employment verification.

It is also a good idea to refresh yourself with how health insurance and 401k works. You may not necessarily know what your new company’s specific plans are, but the enrollment paperwork is usually due shortly after starting, so it is important to have an idea of what you are looking for.

2. Plan Out Your Commute

Double-check your start time and check on your GPS how long the commute is estimated to be. Remember, the time given on GPS is based on current traffic, so be sure to adjust the time to match when you need to be at work.

Until you get into a rhythm, I recommend arriving 15-20 minutes early. This will give you time once you are there to gather yourself, give yourself a pep-talk, and arrive early and confident.

Be sure to set your alarm and get plenty of rest the night before!

[blockquotes color=”blue” logo=”yes”] If you’re still feeling nervous after going through this checklist, take a deep breath and remember to just be yourself!
Your new employer hired you because they feel you are the best fit for this role! [/blockquotes]

3. Lay Out Your Clothing

You want to make an awesome first impression, so make sure your best outfit is ready to go so you are not scrambling the next morning. Neatly pressed clothes, clean shoes, and being freshly groomed go a long way in showing your level of professionalism.

If the corporate dress style is business casual, it never hurts to dress a step up from that on Day 1. Once you have a better understanding of what others are wearing you can adjust accordingly as well.

4. Prepare Your Bag the Night Before

It’s much easier to pack a bag with all your items the night before than it is to scramble the morning of, worrying if you’re forgetting anything. Preparing things the night before will also help you get a better night’s sleep; you’ll know everything is already set out and together, meaning you can rest easy –literally.

5. Have Questions Ready

A good way to impress your new boss or supervisor is to have performance-based questions ready to ask. Being engaged and asking questions shows that you are interested in being successful, and want to get an understanding of how leadership defines success.

Some questions you might ask could be:

  • What are your short-term goals?
  • What is the most important thing to your boss?
  • What can I do in my role to help you be more successful in yours?

Questions like these show you’re interested and engaged.

6. Prepare for Small Talk

On your first day, you will be meeting a lot of new people. Meeting a lot of new people means a lot of new conversations. Prepare yourself ahead of time by thinking of conversation topics and how you might respond to fill any awkward pauses or nervousness from first-day jitters.

Things as simple as what you like to do in your free time, the last movie you watched, any planned vacation, sports, etc. help to break the ice with your new coworkers.

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At the end of the day, the success of your first day boils down to confidence. If you’re still feeling a little nervous after going through this checklist, take a deep breath and remember to just be yourself!
Your new employer hired you because they feel you are the best fit for this role! What better confidence is there than that?

Your first day will be exciting, and it will go by fast. Be sure to take notes, absorb as much information as possible, and ask a lot of questions. If you follow the checklist above, you are already setting yourself up for success.