Whether you’re starting your first ever job, a new-to-you job or just moving from working from home to working in an office, knowing what to bring to work on your first day can be surprisingly stressful. Especially if you’re as Type A as I am 🙂 So, today I’m sharing what to bring to work on your first day. (And for most things, I recommend leaving a lot of it at your desk, if you have storage space!)
A cardigan or jacket.
You just don’t know what sort of weather to expect in your office – but assume it’s probably going to be cold, if it’s like any other workplace in America. I recommend having a neutral cardigan that you leave at your desk no matter what, so you can resist the urge to leave other cardigans behind and end up with a full closet of sweaters at your desk by the end of a week. In the winter, I usually keep a wrap at the office instead of a cardigan – I can bundle up no matter where I’m cold!
Umbrella or rain jacket. Or both.
This is another one of those things that you may not need on your first day, but go ahead and leave it at your desk – because soon enough, you will. If you have to walk outdoors at all to get to your car, to another part of your office or to grab lunch or coffee, be prepared. I cannot tell you how often I get totally drenched because I don’t expect it to be raining when I leave work for the day.
A full water bottle.
On your first day of work, you’ll probably be scampering between HR, your manager’s office and beyond. You’ll also be doing a lot of talking, and you may not yet know where the break room or vending machines are if you really need something to drink. Go ahead and be prepared. Bonus if you leave a reusable bottle at your desk to refill every day!
I remember my first day at an internship. We were supposed to have a lunch break, and I was going to buy lunch somewhere, because I didn’t yet have a kitchen or places to store food. Well… I never actually asked about my lunch break, and because we were getting shuffled around so much, I didn’t actually get one! I ended up completely ravenous and never told a soul. A little zip-loc bag of almonds would’ve made that a little less painful.
You probably won’t spend a lot of time on your phone during your workday, especially your first day of work. But if you’re familiarizing yourself with a new commute, you’ll probably be using Google Maps which eats battery. I recommend bringing a charger to plug up during the workday, so you don’t have to go GPS-less in the evening on your way home. Again, buy one to leave at your desk!
I use my phone for work calls – long story – so my phone definitely does get pretty low every day. If I didn’t have a charger at my desk, I’d be lost!
Breath mints or gum.
There’s nothing worse than bad breath – except bad breath on your first day of work! This can also be a good icebreaker as you meet your new coworkers. Offer up a stick of gum and start a conversation.
Hair ties and clips.
There’s a certain degree of nerves that come with the first day of work, no matter who you are. When I’m nervous, I tend to get overheated. Having my hair hanging in my face while I’ m trying to talk or fill out paperwork will not help. Prepare for this and have a hair tie. You never know what you’ll be doing on your first day.
A notepad and pen.
Even you never anticipate taking notes again, you will want to write at least a few things down on your first day. It’s always better to have a pen and paper than to not! I’ve never regretted packing one, and have often ripped off a piece of paper for a fellow new employee or intern to share, too.
This goes back to nerves, but I feel like taking a moment to freshen up in the middle of your first day of work is a good idea 99 percent of the time. Especially if you’re starting your new job anywhere between the months of April and October! This is another thing that can be handy to leave at your desk.
Whether your new shoes are terribly uncomfortable or you’ve got a headache from the fluorescent lights, plan ahead and assume you’ll be in some sort of pain by the end of your workday. Get out ahead of it by bringing your preferred product along and leaving a bottle in your desk.