Five things to bring on your first day of work

Man holding briefcase prepares for his first day at a new job.

What you’ll wear isn’t the only thing to plan for on your first day. Make sure you’re also bringing these important items.

You just landed a new job and while celebrations are in order, it’s important to set time aside and prepare for your first day. What you’re required to bring on your first day will vary from job to job, but there are a few standard items you can plan for.

Gather and place them in your bag ahead of time, or set a reminder on your phone to ensure that you remember the essentials. You’ll be able get a good night’s sleep before your big day, knowing that you’re organized and prepared for anything that might come your way.

1. Identification

You’ll likely meet with Human Resources on your first day to square away any necessary paperwork, and you’ll need documents to establish both your identity and your right to be employed in the U.S. Plan to bring your driver’s license, state- or government-issued ID card, or passport, as well as your social security card or birth certificate. Non-U.S. citizens will need additional forms of identification — check with your Human Resources contact before your first day.

2. Banking information

Many employers either require or offer the option to have your take-home pay automatically deposited into your bank account. If you want to take advantage of this option, bring your checkbook on your first day so your account and routing numbers are easily accessible. You might also want to think about options such as having your employer deposit a certain percentage of each paycheck into your savings account.

3. Notepad and pen

Seems old school, but you’ll need this because even if you bring a computer or tablet, it may not connect to the network. You’ll receive an abundance of information on your first day, which could be a lot to remember. Pack a notepad and pen to help keep track of it all. Don’t be shy — ask questions if you need more information or clarification on anything. Take notes on important conversations you have and with whom, and make a list of items you may want or need to bring back for day two.

4. Lunch money

Pack some snacks the night before to save time in the morning and to fuel your first day at the new gig, but plan to use your lunch hour for socializing. Bring some cash to grab a bite to eat with your manager or a coworker. Asking about nearby lunch spots is also a great way to spark conversation with your new workmates, even if you plan to pack your lunches moving forward. These interactions can sometimes provide great insight about the work environment and social landscape.

5. Your A game

First impressions matter, so be sure to bring your A game. Set an early alarm and take extra time in the morning to dress nicely, polish your look, caffeinate, and arrive with time to spare before the workday begins. Set your cell phone to silent before you walk in the door and keep it tucked away until break time. Be present and give yourself a motivational pep talk to tackle this exciting day — you earned it!

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