Top 5 Things You Should Do on Your First Day of Work

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Jun 13, 2019

Jun 13, 2019 • by Rebecca Smith

Did you know that, on average, people hold 10 different jobs before they turn 40? That's a lot of first days of work! If you're getting ready for your first day of work, whether you've landed your dream job, gotten a promotion, or finally gotten that first entry-level job after graduating from college, there are some things you'll want to do on your first day. 

Keep reading to learn what you should do on your first day of work to start off on the right foot. 

The First Day of Work

The night before the first day of work is a lot like the night before the first day of school, right? Jittery excitement, finding it hard to sleep, and worrying your alarm might not go off. 

Now that you've made it through the interview process, wowed your new employers, and passed the mouth swab drug test, it's time to meet your colleagues and dive right in. 

1. Wake Up Early and Arrive Early

We're not saying you need to arrive before sunrise, but you absolutely do not want to be late on your first day. Wake up a little earlier, take your time getting ready, and get to work a few minutes early.

It might take you a few extra minutes to find parking, get to your office, or your commute might be unfamiliar. The last thing you want to do is show up late, a frazzled, sweaty mess. 

2. Dress for Success

Even if your new employer didn't explicitly discuss the dress code with you, think about what your interviewers and other employees were wearing at your interview.

If it's a pair of jeans and sneakers type of office, you might look out of place showing up in a full suit. Likewise, if everyone is wearing a suit or dress, don't show up in torn jeans and Converse. 

If you're unsure, it's always better to be overdressed than underdressed.

3. Meet and Greet Your Coworkers

It might be tempting to sneak in and hide out at your desk or cubicle all day, but try to avoid this. You don't need to make the rounds to every office or cube, but try to meet a few of your new colleagues and greet them as you see them throughout the day. 

A good onboarding process will provide the opportunity for you to get a tour of the office and meet your colleagues, making this much less awkward for you.

4. Get a Feel for the Office Culture 

Are people chatty throughout the day? If there are offices with doors, do most people leave them open? Is there a casual conversation in the breakroom? Do people eat lunch at their desks, head to the cafeteria, or leave altogether? 

After a few days, you'll get an idea of the office culture and can adapt as necessary.

5. Say Goodbye to Your Boss 

On your first day, don't just pack up and shut down at the end of the day and hightail it out of there. Say goodbye to your boss, ask any questions you might still have, and let them know how your day went.

Final Thoughts on the First Day of Work

The most important thing to remember is that you got the job because of you! Whether that be your personality, skill set, expertise, or experience, your employer hired you, so be confident. Being nervous on your first day of work is a natural reaction, but always remember that they chose you (likely out of hundreds or even thousands of other applicants). 

When it comes time to start looking for that next job (remember how many jobs most people have before they turn 40?), come back to check out our career advice, resume writing tips, and job ads.