Are you about to start a new job and you want to make a great first impression? Are you unsure what to bring on your first day of work? Well, this article will give you a list of 22 essential items to bring to work on your first day at your new gig.
As a result, you were finally offered the job of your dreams. Now it’s time to get to work at your dream position but you want to hit the ground running on your first day.
What to Bring on Your First Day of Work – 22 Essential Items
1. License/Social Security Card
This might go without saying but you’ll definitely need to have your license and social security card with you for the on-boarding process with Human Resources. If you’re driving into work you’ll always have your license but you may not always have your social security card in your possession.
2. Bank Information
As part of the on-boarding process typically you will want to set up direct deposit so that your paycheck is automatically deposited into your bank account. Bring your checkbook with you and on your check will be your account number and routing number for your banking institution.
3. Proper Attire
Find out ahead of time what the dress code is at your new place of employment. You don’t want to walk in wearing a suit and tie or a dress when everyone else is dressed casually. Give your new boss or human resources a shout ahead of time and ask about what to wear on your first day.
Obviously you got some idea of how people dress from your job interviews but it is possible that there might be a different dress code on Fridays vs Mondays. It can’t hurt to just ask the question.
4. Your A-Game
You definitely want to bring your A-Game to the office on your first day at work and every day, for that matter. Listen, absorb, and be present in the moment for every introduction to others and any conversations you may have.
It’s important to put your cell phone on vibrate or turn off any notifications while you are being introduced and meeting with others. Exude enthusiasm about starting your new position. You only have one chance to make a first impression.
5. Questions Not Suggestions
You certainly want to start out on the right foot. So, the best thing you can do on your first day and maybe even in your first week or two is to ask questions. There is nothing more unnerving to existing workers than a new employee suggesting how to do things.
I’ve been there in a meeting on a new employee’s first day of work. He started making suggestions on what he felt was a better process not knowing that the process in question was arrived at through rigorous iterations. He didn’t know the back story and just started making his own suggestions.
Needless to say, he got off on the wrong foot and fortunately, he didn’t even last two weeks at the company.
6. A Smile
You want to make a great first impression and, if you bring with you a smile, that is certainly your best ally. Don’t forget that your new coworkers might also be a little nervous meeting you for the first time. If you disarm them with a warm smile it certainly will help you make a positive first impression.
Giving off the right vibe is extremely important especially on your first day of work. You’ll definitely want to bring a level of positivity to the office. Along with your smile, try to exude that feeling you got when you were told you got the job! With the right attitude you’ll start making friends on your first day at work.
8. Listening Skills
One of the most important skills you should bring with you on your first day is listening. You’ll want to garner as much information as you can about the following.
- Coworkers and what they do. Also, do your best to remember names by saying their name back to them after you meet a new coworker.
- Members of the management group. You’ll never know when you’ll meet up with them in the corridor or in a meeting.
- What is expected of you in the near future as far as on-boarding training and short-term goals.
- The various departments in the company and where are they located within the building.
9. A Lunch
Prepare a lunch the night before and bring it with you on your first day. You may not end up eating it if you are asked out to lunch but it’s great to have one available just in case.
And if you do end up eating the lunch you prepared, head over to the cafeteria and see if you can eat with a coworker who is probably someone you just met that day. It will give you a great start in warming up to your peers in a casual setting.
10. Notepad and Pen
I know it sounds elementary but you may end up being placed in a meeting with Human Resources once you get there. If you have a notepad and pen you can take notes instead of having to ask for paper and a pen from the H/R representative.
It’s a simple thing to pack and bring with you but it’s nice to be prepared.
If you don’t want to bring a bag lunch to work you’ll have to have money to buy lunch for yourself. Don’t expect your boss to buy you lunch on your first day.
You may want to be generous and invite your boss to lunch and offer to pay for it. Chances are your boss will be able to use the company credit card to pay for a business lunch with you and possibly a few close coworkers in your department.
Also, if the company has a vending machine you might want to get a snack later in the day if you didn’t bring your own.
12. Healthy Snacks
Even if you brought your lunch with you, you might want to add to your lunch a few healthy snacks that will help you get through the day. Fresh fruit, nuts, or vegetables like carrots and celery are great options for healthy snacks that will give you a boost of energy at work.
13. Toothbrush/Toothpaste/Dental Floss
Making a good impression is very important, especially on your first day. You should always have a toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss available either on your person or in your desk drawer.
Brushing and flossing after lunch will help keep your breath fresh and your smile gleaming for your next introduction.
14. Compact Mirror
If you keep a compact mirror in your desk drawer or purse you will ensure nothing is between your teeth prior to meeting new people at work. It’s just a nice precaution to take just to ensure your introductions are the best they can be.
15. Personal Framed Photos
There is nothing like being able to look at family pictures throughout the day either on your desktop or hanging on the walls of your cubicle or private office. If you are in an open office vs cubicle or private office you should be able to keep framed photos on the desk where you sit.
If you work within the confines of a cubicle there are various innovative cubicle hangers you can utilize to display photos on the fabric walls of your cubicle.
16. Personal Artifacts
Chances are you have some small knick-knacks or artifacts that you brought back from vacations you’ve taken over the years. Being able to display these little trinkets on your desktop or your office walls will help you warm up to your new surroundings.
17. Desk Calendar
If you are coming from a former job chances are you were able to bring your desk calendar with you when you left. Anyone who uses a desk calendar swears by them to help keep them on track throughout the work day.
18. Personal Coffee Mug
If you are a coffee snob chances are you have your own personal coffee mug you’ve always used at work. It’s just a nice personal touch to have a personal mug instead of using the generic paper cups the company provides.
You may eventually want to create your own office coffee corner so you can share coffee each day with your coworkers.
19. Water Bottle
If you are like me, you tend to hydrate throughout the day when you are at work, on the road, or at home. I never go too far without my personal water bottle.
On your first day, in particular, your nerves might lead to dry mouth. Your water bottle should help relieve dry mouth and keep you hydrated as well on your first day and going forward.
20. Sweater or Fleece Sweatshirt
You never know how the temperature within your new office digs is going to affect you. Bring with you either a light sweater or fleece sweatshirt. If you don’t need it at home you can simply leave it in the office and it’s always there when/if you need it.
21. Walking Shoes/Sneakers
Even on your first day it might be nice to take a work walk with one or two of your new friends and coworkers on one of your breaks or at lunch. There is nothing like getting out and walking to calm the nerves of your first day of work even if you end up going out on your own.
Even if you don’t end up using your sneakers on your first day you could leave them at work for another day assuming you have another pair at home for a home workout or walk.
22. Water-Tolerant Plant
There’s nothing like a little greenery on your desktop or hanging from your cubicle wall to brighten up the office. According to Preen.com the type of plant that you bring into your office will be dependent on the amount of light you have in your new workspace.
If you have very low light, a good choice for a plant would be one of the following: fern, philodendron, or a spider plant. If you are fortunate to have moderate or bright light you could bring in a Christmas cactus, aloe vera, or a jade plant.
There are also options for windowless office lighting that could aid in enhancing the growth of plants in a darker work environment. You should never underestimate the power of light even if the light isn’t from the sun.
What to Bring on Your First Day of Work – A Summary
Heading off to work on your first day can be a daunting exercise. It can be exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time. Bringing you’re A-Game, a smile, a positive attitude, listening skills, and questions not suggestions are all within your own control.
In addition to the above, the physical items mentioned can only add to making your first day a great start on your new working adventure.
What to Read Next:
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- How to Make the Workday go by Faster – 35 Top Tips
- Working in a Cubicle – Everything you Need to Know
- 15 Top Tips to Organize your Desk, Office, or Cubicle at Work
Bob has been blogging for over 20 years and has been an office and cubicle dweller for more than 40 years. He created the popular office website CubicleBliss in January 2011 and rebranded it as WorkspaceBliss in April 2020. Over the years, he has been a regular writer for popular blogs such as DailyBlogTips and WorkAwesome (can read his articles here).
In the office he’s been an IT Manager, Applications Engineer, Systems Analyst, Software Project leader, and Programmer Analyst in his long career. He’s a Certified Microsoft Professional and possesses a Masters of Science degree and two Bachelor of Science degrees, one of those in Informational Technology.