10 Essentials For Your First Day At Work

Thanks for your patience everyone! I'm back from my hiatus and back to writing again. I've been at my new job for about a month now, but it's always good to go over the first day essentials.

Everyone knows the mix of excitement and anxiousness for the first day of a new job, but maybe this list could help you out in the future. I packed my leather satchel and put on my big girl pants so that I could tackle my new job with as much power and confidence I could muster. Here's what I've got:

"Luck Is What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity.” 

― Seneca

1. Valid Identification

More likely than not, you'll probably need to sort out some paperwork with HR in terms of contracts, health benefits, retirement funds...you get the idea. Be prepared and make sure to bring a valid driver's license, passport, and/or vis if necessary in your case. Not will you feel great about getting it all out of the way, but HR will love you. 

2. Pen & Paper

Make sure to bring a journal/notebook/sketchbook whether it's blank, dotted, grided, or lined. Take notes on the important things you learn from your inductions and make sure to write down specific tasks even if you do "just remember." It makes you look responsible and attentive, and it also gives you a little space to write down names of people you interact with and should remember. 

3. A Water Bottle

It's incredible how little water I drank on my first day. I think being thrown into the induction meetings and technology seminars, my eyes glazed over and I was overwhelmed. I soon got my Voss bottle (because it's the cheapest, leak-free glass bottle I could find) and it has since served as my gentle reminder to keep hydrated.

4. Headphones

For some of us, it's hard to work all day without some background noise. Though you may not be at your desk on the first day at the office, it's always great to be prepared. There's nothing worse than trying to concentrate when you can hear someone bouncing their leg or eating crunchy things behind you. 

5. Lunch

My first job out of university was fantastic for newcomers and they gave each newbie a buddy so that you didn't have to have a lonely lunch. Some other places don't make the effort and sometimes don't even have many lunch options around. Pack a lunch just in case, and at the very worst, you can throw it in the fridge for the next day if you do get a lunch invite. 

Photo by Annie Spratt

Photo by Annie Spratt

6. A Sweater

Some offices are located in the pits of hell while others are somewhere in the arctic tundra. Hopefully, yours are somewhere in between, but nevertheless, wear layers and adjust accordingly.  

7. A Watch

My mom always said to wear a watch, because it looks professional and that it helps you be punctual. Maybe she knew, even at a young age, that it wasn't one of my strong suits. I do continue to go analog on my first day at the office and make sure that I'm at least 10 minutes early to wherever I'm going. 

8. A Pocket Mirror

I feel many of us have gone through the unfortunate situation where you're feeling great, making conversation, walking through the halls with your confidence at its peak, and then someone tells you that you've got a bit of spinach in your teeth...and it's been a few hours since lunch. I like having a real mirror (you can always just go to the bathroom I guess) and not just my phone to take a quick peek at my face, just in case. 

9. Sanitary Items

Ladies, you know what I'm talking about. It's not much fun having to ask around for a pad or a tampon especially when you don't know anyone. I like to keep my tiny pouch full of goods (including some ibuprofen & heartburn medication) in my purse at all times. Be prepared!

10. Makeup for Touch-ups

Whether it's smudged lipstick or runny mascara, make sure to bring something along to make a quick fix. Keeping chapstick and lotion around is always handy in a well air-conditioned office.