What to Bring on Your First Day of Work

what to bring on first day of work

Stepping into a new job comes with a mix of excitement and nerves. Knowing what to bring on your first day can ease some of that tension, providing a sense of preparedness and confidence. As you make your list, consider what items will help you maintain professionalism, facilitate your integration into the team, and ensure a smooth first day at the office.

Equally important to the items you pack is your understanding of workplace etiquette and logistics for the day ahead. Attire is a crucial aspect; you’ll want to dress appropriately for your new work environment. Familiarize yourself with the route to your office, the time you need to leave, and the details of your first-day schedule. Adequate preparation for these elements can set a positive tone for your tenure.

Key Takeaways

  • Packing for your first day should balance readiness with professionalism.
  • Dressing appropriately for the workplace culture is essential for a good first impression.
  • Understanding first-day logistics contributes to a confident and seamless start.

Before You Arrive

Before stepping into a new workplace, certain preparations are crucial. These include having the right documentation, verifying your identity, setting up financial logistics, and ensuring personal health and well-being.

A young female professional sitting at her home office, with documents like a Social Security Card, Birth Certificate, and other important papers neatly arranged on the desk. She is looking at these documents attentively, reflecting a sense of preparation and organization. Her expression is focused, demonstrating her commitment to getting everything in order for her first day.

Documentation to Bring

New employees should bring essential documents on their first day. These may include:

  • Social Security Card for tax and identity verification purposes.
  • Birth Certificate as a proof of age and identity.
  • Documents from the IRS such as tax forms that may be needed for employment records.

Personal Identification Verification

It is vital to verify one’s identity with proper identification. Employees should carry:

  • Passport or Driver’s License: Either serves as a government-issued photo ID.
  • A License can also indicate driving qualifications if relevant to the job.

Financial Preparations

To streamline the payroll process, employees should prepare the following financial details:

  • Banking Information for setting up Direct Deposit; this may include bank account and routing numbers.
  • Employees may also need to complete forms relating to benefit plans or retirement accounts.

Health and Wellbeing

To maintain good health and well-being from the first day onward, they should consider:

  • Adequate sleep the night before to ensure alertness and productivity.
  • Carrying a water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the day.

What to Wear

Selecting the appropriate attire for the first day of work establishes a professional impression. It is essential to conform to the company’s dress code while also ensuring personal comfort and style.

a young male professional, adjusting his tie or smoothing out his business casual attire. He should look confident and well-groomed, with a slight smile indicating satisfaction with his appearance. This photo conveys the importance of dressing appropriately and the confidence that comes with it.

Understanding the Dress Code

A thorough understanding of the company’s dress code is vital. If the workplace adheres to a business casual dress code, one might consider a button-up shirt partnered with slacks or a skirt. For a more formal business professional atmosphere, a suit and tie or a blazer and dress pants would be fitting. In contrast, if the environment is relaxed and promotes a casual attire policy, a sweater and jeans might be acceptable. One can typically find dress code guidelines in the employee handbook or by inquiring with HR prior to the first day.

  • Business Casual: Button-up shirt, slacks/skirt, closed-toe shoes
  • Business Professional: Suit and tie, blazer, dress shoes
  • Casual: Sweater, jeans, clean sneakers

Personal Effects and Accessories

Personal effects and accessories can complement one’s outfit and promote a polished image. Items such as a stain stick can be kept in a bag for emergency touch-ups to maintain a neat appearance. A compact mirror is also handy for quick checks to ensure an orderly look throughout the day.

  • For Maintenance: Stain stick for spills, compact mirror for appearance checks
  • Jewelry: Keep it minimal – a watch or a simple necklace can suffice
  • Bags: A professional-looking briefcase or tote to carry documents and personal items

What to Carry

When starting a new job, it’s important to arrive prepared with the day’s necessities. This includes the essential items for work, any technology you may need, and provisions to keep you energized throughout the day.

A young female professional's hands as she packs her work bag. Visible items include a notepad, pen, cell phone, and a healthy snack. Her expression is one of determination and readiness, as she carefully selects the essentials for her first day at work.

Work Essentials

One should always carry a notepad and pen to jot down important information, like instructions from colleagues or notes from meetings. It’s also wise to bring a checkbook in case there are forms to complete that require banking information.

  • Notepad: Essential for taking notes and keeping track of tasks
  • Pen: For filling out paperwork and making notes

Technology and Devices

In today’s digital age, one must not forget to bring their cell phone and computer, if the job requires. Ensure that all devices are charged and ready to use.

  • Cell phone: Keep it on silent or vibrate during work hours
  • Computer: If not provided by the employer, bring your own if necessary

Food and Snacks

Maintaining energy levels is crucial, so pack a lunch and some healthy snacks. Don’t forget a small pack of mints to freshen your breath after meals.

  • Lunch: A prepared meal to avoid the need to eat out
  • Healthy snacks: Fruits or nuts to snack on during breaks
  • Mints: To ensure fresh breath after lunch or coffee breaks

Professional Etiquette

Professional etiquette is essential on the first day of work as it lays the foundation for future interactions and shapes colleagues’ perceptions.

A young male professional practicing his elevator pitch in front of a mirror. He appears confident, with a warm smile, rehearsing his introduction to make a great first impression. This image should convey the importance of communication skills and personal presentation in a professional setting.

First Impressions

An individual’s entry into a new workplace is significantly marked by their first impressions. One should prepare an elevator pitch highlighting their background, skills, and enthusiasm for the role which can be concisely delivered when meeting new colleagues. Upon introduction, a firm handshake coupled with a genuine smile can set a warm and professional tone.

  • Elevator Pitch: Tailor a succinct self-introduction for chance encounters.
  • Smile: Ensure it’s welcoming but professional.

Communication and Interactions

Clear and respectful communication is crucial for day-to-day interactions. Engaging with colleagues should involve attentive listening and observing proper body language that conveys openness and interest. When addressing others, using their preferred names and maintaining eye contact are signs of courtesy and attentiveness.

When posing questions, they should be:

  • Relevant: Pertaining to the work, culture, or procedures of the workplace.
  • Clear: Avoiding ambiguity to enable straightforward responses.

First Day Logistics

When arriving for the first day at work, employees should acquaint themselves with company policies, office layout, and time management practices. These elements are pivotal for a smooth transition into the new work environment.

An image of a young female professional looking at her watch outside an office building, ready to enter. She looks focused, with a subtle smile, indicating her punctuality and eagerness to start her first day. The background includes elements of a typical office entrance to set the scene.

Understanding Company Policies

Employees should review the employee handbook thoroughly before the first day as it outlines essential policies and benefits. Knowing the dress code, work hours, and communication protocols is crucial. A list of questions regarding unclear policies can be valuable when meeting with human resources.

Office Navigation

Familiarizing oneself with the office layout can significantly reduce first-day anxiety. Upon arrival, employees might want to:

  • Locate their workspace.
  • Identify common areas such as the break room, restrooms, and meeting rooms.
  • Find out about parking facilities and any associated costs, to manage money requirements accordingly.

Time Management

Effective time management starts right from the first day. Employees should:

  • Plan to arrive early to accommodate for any unforeseen delays.
  • Keep a watch or a clock app handy to adhere to the schedule.
  • Prepare a structured first day at work, which can include a meeting with a supervisor or mentor to go over initial tasks and expectations.

Personal Readiness

Entering a new work environment calls for meticulous preparation, both in terms of tangible items and mental preparedness. A well-thought checklist for essentials ensures that a new hire won’t have to scramble on their first day, while fostering the right mindset paves the way for a positive work experience and future performance reviews.

A young male professional sitting at a small table in his home, going through a checklist of essentials. Items like a pen, notebook, and personal care products are visible. He appears thoughtful and meticulous, ensuring he is fully prepared for the day ahead.

Checklist for Essentials

  • Identification: Bring government-issued ID and any other identification required for employment verification.
  • Documents: Have copies of your resume, references, and any required paperwork filled out.
  • Office Supplies: A pen and notebook for taking notes, and if appropriate, personal tech items like chargers or earphones.
  • Personal Care: Pack tissues, hand sanitizer, and a small first-aid kit.
  • Contact Information: Store your HR contact and immediate supervisor’s details in your phone.

Mindset for New Beginnings

  • Openness to Learn: Approach each task with eagerness to acquire knowledge and adapt to new systems.
  • Professionalism: Demonstrate punctuality, attentiveness, and a willingness to engage with colleagues and the work environment.


To maximize success on their first day of work, one should carefully prepare the items they take with them. They must remember that these items portray their professionalism and readiness to become an active team member. Here’s a succinct list of what they should consider packing:

Professional Documents:

  • Resume copies
  • List of references
  • Work authorization documents

Personal Items:

  • A notepad and pen for notes
  • A water bottle to stay hydrated
  • A snack for energy


  • Necessary chargers
  • Any required access devices, like security badges or keys


  • Grooming essentials for a polished look
  • A spare shirt in case of spills or stains

Remembering these essentials can help mitigate first-day anxieties and allow one to focus on learning the ropes of the new role. Their preparation will demonstrate their enthusiasm and organizational skills, setting a positive tone for their future at the company.

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