How to prepare for your first day at your new job (in person)

Vaco Preparing for your first day at a new job graphic

Congratulations! After a strenuous job search, you’ve crushed each round of the interview process, from your first phone interview to your final virtual interview. You’ve officially landed the gig! The stress of the job search is over, and now it’s all excitement leading up to your first day. 

If you’ve been working from home for the past year, spending your first day in a new office can be a little intimidating. But don’t worry: there are few ways to make a good impression, showcase your skills, and start building connections with your new co-workers. Check out our tips for preparing for your first day of a new job (in person).

Plan your morning commute

If you were interviewed at your new job’s physical office space, great! You know exactly where it is and how to get there. Even so, it can be helpful to practice your commute before your first day in the office. Try practicing your route at the time of your new commute so you know what to expect from traffic. 

If all of your job interviews were virtual, it’s even more important to plan ahead. Check Waze or your favorite traffic app the morning of your first day so you know how early to leave your house. Plan to arrive at least fifteen minutes early on your first day. Just don’t enter the building until the time you were asked to arrive—there is such a thing as too early!

Prepare the night before

To ensure a streamlined morning and seamless commute, lay out your work essentials the night before. Check your new office’s dress code, and pick a power outfit to nail those first impressions with your new team members. Pre-pack your backpack or purse with daily must-haves (wallet, reusable water bottle, Chapstick), and place your keys in an easy-to-find spot. Double-check your alarm to make sure it’s set, and get to bed early so you can be well-rested for the big day.

Give yourself a confidence boost

It’s natural to feel intimidated when you’re starting a new job, in a new environment, with new people. But don’t let your nerves shake your confidence. Remind yourself that you were hired because of the unique qualities you bring to the table and remember: your new company is excited to have you on board! Try reading through the job description to remind yourself of how capable you are of performing your new job. You can even try a power pose (feet shoulders-width apart, hands on hips, chest out) in the mirror. It may feel silly, but it’s proven to help you feel more capable and ready to tackle the day.

Be ready to smile, listen, and ask questions

If there are two things that are true on the first day of a new job, it’s that you’re guaranteed to meet new people and have a ton of new information thrown your way. A smile goes a long way, so be open and friendly and try to absorb as much as you can. If you forget a name or need help with the coffee station, don’t be afraid to ask someone! Asking for help can open a door to new interactions with co-workers and help you become more acclimated to the office space.  Being proactive also showcases your hardworking energy, so don’t be afraid to hit the ground running.

The first day of a new job can be overwhelming, but when you prepare, arrive on time, and have a friendly, positive attitude, you’ll set yourself up for success for all the days to follow.

Carrie Sims is Operations Administrative Assistant at Vaco in Nashville. 

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