Your first day of work (especially if it’s your very first job) is, as you know, very important. You want to make a great first impression and appear at the top of your game even though you don’t know what to expect. Check these 11 tasks off your to-do list the night before the big day so that you’re completely prepared.
1. Research your company (and its people)
We’re sure you did at least light research in the application and interview process, but we’re telling you to take a deeper dive. Look at every employee bio you can get your hands on, stats about the company’s health and history (How long has it been around? Has the company ever had a layoff? Is it publicly traded? Are the stocks doing well?). Research your team members and your boss. You don’t have to go total stalk-mode, but simply refresh your memory and get acquainted with the details.
2. Have your bag packed with all necessary supplies
We’re talking notebooks, multiple pens, your laptop or any other supplies you could need on the job. If possible, ask your contact in advance what you should bring. Also consider taking your phone charger. Obviously, you won’t be on your phone all day (unless that’s your job), but if you have something going on after work and your phone battery is low, you don’t want to risk having to ask a coworker to borrow his or her’s on your first day. Talk about awkward.
3. Pack a basic brown bag lunch
You can’t be sure that your company has all the typical kitchen amenities like a refrigerator and microwave, though hopefully it does. Regardless, don’t chance it by bringing an elaborate meal. We suggest a simple sandwich with veggies or fruit — something that doesn’t need to be cooled or reheated. And even if your company takes you out for lunch to celebrate your first day, it’s not like you spent a ton of time making your brown bag meal.
4. Prepare your elevator pitch
Yes, you already got the job. But don’t forget that you’re still in first-impression mode with the majority of the people at your company (since you likely only met with a few people when you interviewed). Keep yourself poised when new colleagues ask you questions by having a flexible elevator pitch ready. Whether your CEO asks about your experience or a team member wants to know what kind of projects you like to work on, have brief, solid answers.
5. Do a dry-run of your route to work
There is nothing more mortifying than being late on your first day of work because you couldn’t find the damn entrance to your building. Don’t let it happen to you. The day before you start, do a dry run of your commute just to get the hang of the area. While you’re at it, check out the restaurants and shops around your new workplace. It always helps to know that there’s a drugstore around the corner in case you need something!
6. Have a water bottle ready
Again, we expect that your workplace has the basics, but to be safe, bring a water bottle with you. Even if your organization’s kitchen is incredible, you’ll thank yourself for bringing it when you’re almost there and you’re so nervous that your mouth feels like sandpaper.
7. Double-check all your paperwork
If you completed any paperwork before your first day, do a once-over just for peace of mind. It’s 99 percent likely that you did everything just right, but you’ll feel better knowing that you fulfilled any requests of your new company before heading in.
8. Pick out your outfit in advance, and make sure you have layers
Some people do this daily out of habit, but if you don’t, take a few minutes before bed to pick out your outfit. No matter what the weather is like or what season we’re currently in, make sure to have a few layers incorporated into what you’re wearing in case your office is cold (or hot). We don’t want to freak you out here, but it might even be a smart idea to bring an extra shirt if you’re super nervous (shaking hands = spilled coffee).
9. Set multiple alarms, just in case
We’ve all had that nightmare where we’re late to work because our alarms never went off. When it happens in real life, it feels like you’re actually living a nightmare. Set a handful of alarms a few minutes apart so that you’re guaranteed to wake up when you’re supposed to.
10. Have a warm-up conversation with someone you’re close with before bed
Those pre-first-day jitters can be serious! So to counteract any anxiety you’re experiencing, have a laid-back conversation with someone you love about nothing in particular before you go to sleep. The informal and casual feeling of the convo might help you better drift off to sleep.
We know, it’s easier said than done, but it’s going to be okay! You were chosen to work at your new company for a reason, and you clearly passed each step of the interview process with flying colors. You are a boss, and never forget it. Take a breath, superstar. You got this.