Starting a new job may cause some people to feel a little bit of anxiety and (hopefully) a lot of excitement. Below is a list of steps that might help you get prepared for your first day at the workplace, and might settle some of those nerves.
Start with the boring stuff – the documentation! This will ensure that your recruitment process can run as smoothly as possible, and that you can avoid any delays with starting (and getting paid) at work. Typically, you’ll need to bring things such as:
Your employer might also have specific things that they request from you in advance, such as a police clearance. You should also check whether they need certified copies of your identification documents to keep on file.
In a notebook, write down any questions that you have about your job. This might include things like:
You’ll be learning a lot of new things at work, so you may like to take notes during the conversation with your supervisor on your first day, and then for as long as you need. It is sometimes helpful to have information readily available for when you need it.
In the week before your first day, try practising the journey to work. Remember that it may take longer to get to your destination in peak hour traffic, so you’ll need to ensure that you give yourself enough travel time to get to work on time.
You can check out our Getting Around article for more information about transport.
Organise your work clothes well in advance. In some jobs, you might need to collect a specific uniform from your employer before starting your first day. In other jobs, you might have more freedom to choose something appropriate to wear from your own wardrobe. However, an ‘appropriate’ outfit will vary depending on the nature of the work – after all, what a person wears to clean out crates at an animal shelter is very different to what someone who works in a bank wears!
Try to decide on your work outfit at least one week before your first day on the job – this will ensure that you have enough time to ask for more help if needed. Make sure to choose clothes and shoes that you feel comfortable wearing for the whole time you are at work.
The day before you start work, pack a bag of your personal possessions, such as:
It’s best to avoid packing any non-essential valuables until you’ve scoped out your new workplace and confirmed where you can store your personal items securely.
The night before you start work, set aside enough downtime to relax before going to bed. Try not to go to bed too late so that you can be well-rested for the next day. Importantly, make sure you set an alarm (or multiple alarms), so you can be awake early enough to have plenty of time to have a sensible breakfast, get ready and arrive at work on time.