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Things to Consider Before Your First Day of Work

Starting a new job is an exciting time. Between finishing up at your old job, shopping for an updated wardrobe, and potentially relocating, you’ve probably got a few more items than normal on your to-do list. 

To help the transition to your new role go smoothly, we’ve compiled a checklist of things to ask your new employer about before you show up for your first day on the job.

What you need to know about your first day of work

1. What to expect

Ask for a rough idea of what you should plan for during your inaugural day. Your point of contact may be able to give you an agenda that will help you identify any special considerations. If there’s a tour of the campus, for example, you might bring along an umbrella on a rainy day or a pair of comfy walking shoes to swap out with your dress ones during the tour.

2. How to dress

It’s important to put your best foot forward on your first day of work since most people’s impressions of you will be formed within the first few seconds of meeting you. A big part of this is what you’re wearing. In general, it’s best to dress a bit more professionally than you might typically be required to. So, if people usually wear slacks and polos in the office, you might come dressed in a button-down shirt or shift dress.

3. Plans for lunch

Some companies make the first day lunch a big to-do, with catering or a team outing. Other workplaces have a cafeteria or break-room where employees take a lunch break. Finding out what to expect ahead of time will ensure your stomach isn’t growling during this important day.

Above all else, pack your positive attitude and a smile, and remember that new-job jitters are normal. After a few days of work you’ll be into the swing of things and able to focus on wowing your bosses in your new role.

4. What to bring

It’s a good idea to come prepared with a notebook, pen, bottle of water, some cash, gum or mints, a small snack and a stain pen for spills, which always seem to happen at the most inopportune times. Ask what identification or other documentation you’ll need, like a driver’s license, social security card, or banking info for direct deposit slips. 

5. When to arrive

Speaking of arrivals, ask exactly what time new hires should show up. Find out whether you’ll be expected to work fixed hours or if your arrival time (and break times!) are flexible.

6. Where you’re going

Some companies do new hire paperwork and orientation at a central location that’s different from where you’ll be working. If you’re in an onsite role, verify which building, office, or campus to go to. If the role is fully or partially remote, find out whether you’ll need to report in person to complete your new hire activities.

7. How to get there

If you’ll be working in a sprawling campus or a busy office building, find out the location specifics of where you’ll be going and the best way to get there. Be sure to allow enough time to navigate an unfamiliar place so you don’t start your first day off by arriving late.

8. Where to park

If the company has a specific parking lot or structure, there’s likely a designated place new hires should park. Find out where it’s located and if you need any kind of special marker for your vehicle.

9. Who to ask for upon arrival

To avoid looking like a lost puppy wandering the lobby, find out who your point of contact will be and where to meet or ask for them. 

10. When you can leave

Make sure you’ve finished everything you needed to get done for the day and spend some time preparing for the next. Your departure time will depend on whether your work schedule is fixed or on the more flexible side, but your point of contact will have a clear answer.

Consider before first day of work checklist preview