3 Tips to Prepare for the First Day of Work

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Posted August 29, 2013 by Sarah Jarvis in On the Ladder
first-day-at-new-job

I consider myself an excellent planner, whether it means crafting endless to-do lists or preparing for an event. I love to know – make that desperately need to know – exactly what to wear and what to carry in my handbag to be ready for any occasion. Given my tendency to plan for the impossible, you would think I am always on time, and usually, I am. However, fate took over last week when I moved to Los Angeles and started a new internship

Even though I left an hour early to account for the horrific LA traffic, I mistakenly plugged in the suite number of the office as the street address into my GPS (I know, terrible planning on my part). As a result, I had to walk over a mile to the building where my internship is located. Once I arrived breathless and flustered, my boss quickly informed me this particular company takes tardiness very seriously.

Needless to say, I did not make a great impression on my first day.

Therefore, I hope I can help you not only avoid the embarrassment of showing up ten minutes late on your first day of work but look (and feel) your best. After all, once you ace the interview and accept the job offer, now you have to work!

Here are 3 tips to prepare you for your first day

  1. Know Your Route: At this point, you may not know where your new office is located. If you are like me with this particular internship, you went through a long-distance interview process with a series of phone interviews. You may have also interviewed off-site, but if you did in fact interview at the office, keep in mind what time of day you were there because traffic can be drastically different in rush hour. Consider testing your route the day before, so you know exactly how much time to dedicate to your commute.
  2. Plan Your Morning to a T: Give yourself more time to prepare for your first day of work than usual. I suggest waking up a half hour early in the morning in case you have any emergencies. However, there are a few things you can do the day before to ensure your morning goes smoothly. First and foremost, pack the bag or purse you plan on carrying – include notebooks, pens, a phone charger and any other tools you will need to do your job, such as an AP style book. You should always set multiple alarms in case you oversleep. Finally, lay out the clothes you plan on wearing along with cosmetics and styling products you will need. Taking this extra step will minimize the chances of you wasting time searching for your favorite lip-gloss in the morning.
  3. Dress for Success: Finding the perfect outfit to make a great impression on your boss and coworkers can be tricky. Chances are, your everyday wardrobe for work will not be as formal as what you wore to the interview. If you went to the office for your job interview, try to remember what your boss and other people in the office were wearing. If you only interviewed over the phone, try to determine what the office culture is like based off of your research about the company. If all else fails, you can not go wrong with dress slacks, flats or shoes with a low heal and a blazer or cardigan.

In closing, I hope following these pointers will prevent any extra stress that comes with starting a new job. Remember, accidents and mistakes can happen to anyone, and if you arrive a few minutes late or end up with a coffee stain on your blouse, there will be plenty of opportunities to overcome negative first impressions!


About the Author

Sarah Jarvis

Sarah Jarvis is a recent graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison with a double major in Journalism focusing on Strategic Communication and Sociology. She currently lives in Los Angeles attending the University of Southern California to earn her masters in Communication Management. She also works at Career Girl Network as a Marketing and Communications Specialist and generates social media content on a weekly basis for Rescue Desk – Virtual Assistant Services, which is based in Madison, Wis. In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with family and friends as well as attending concerts and movies.

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