How Should I Prepare for Starting a New Job?

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  • Written By: K. Wittkamper
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 27 February 2020
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Get your new job off to a great start by identifying exactly what landed you the offer in the first place. Throughout the interview process, there were probably clues as to what made you the candidate of choice. Make sure to demonstrate the same characteristics and skills that prompted the employer to hire you for your new job.

Do your homework and make sure you understand exactly what is expected of you for your first day of a new job. If you’re unsure, contact your new supervisor a day or two before you are scheduled to begin. That way, you can check on details such as where or to whom you are to report upon arrival. In some organizations, you report on the first workday at a different time and location than you will afterward.

Also, make sure to dress appropriately. You may have noticed how other employees were dressed when you visited the workplace for interviews. However, it’s better to avoid making assumptions and ask for specific advice or directions. This is particularly true if you will be working in an environment that requires any type of safety or sanitation precautions.


Are you required to wear a uniform? If so, find out whether it will be issued in advance or whether it is to be issued after your first day. You’ll also want to know if you are expected to buy the uniform or if the employer provides it. If such items are required for your new job, you may also want to ask about related gear such as gloves, steel-toed safety shoes, hard hats, hairnets, and so on. And, while not particularly common, some employers require individuals to provide their own tools and equipment as well.

The first day on a new job usually means participation in some type of orientation, which may be conducted by a representative from the personnel department or by your immediate supervisor. While orientation varies from one organization to another, there are a number of key components usually covered. Among them are the mission and structure of the organization, key individuals, payroll information, benefits and services information, and policies and practices.

A new job also means providing certain documents on or before your first day. Federal law requires employers to demonstrate that all workers are legally entitled to work in the United States. You must have proof of citizenship or an immigrant work authorization permit. Make sure to find out what documents you need. Clarify whether or not copies are acceptable – some originals may be required. Necessary documents may include your birth certificate, Social Security card, any work permit or authorization, driver’s license, occupational licenses, and health forms.

Once orientation and the necessary paperwork have been completed, you are likely to be given a tour of the site or work area for your new job. You may be shown where to access additional supplies and equipment, how to use the phone and computer systems, and where to find amenities such as rest rooms and break rooms. You may also be introduced to a number of your co-workers who, along with your supervisor, may demonstrate particular tasks you will be performing.

Starting a new job can be exciting, but often a bit overwhelming. Remember, no one expects you to learn everything at once, nor will you be expected to do everything perfectly the first time. Ask for assistance when you need it; watch closely and listen carefully so that you know what’s expected of you. Thorough preparation and a positive attitude can make your new job your best job yet.


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Discuss this Article

Post 3

This is a great article. Many people trying to get into the sales world rely too heavily on their cover letters and resume when they should really prepare to sell themselves.

Post 2

Comfyshoes- I agree with you. But I like the writer’s suggestion of focusing on what got you hired in the first place.

This can also relax you and make you feel more comfortable. A little bit of self-confidence goes a long way.

Post 1

Great article- I just want to add that preparation for the first day of work is essential because nerves generally set in.

A couple of things that make this transition easier are to arrive early and mentally rehearse your day. Arriving earlier allows you to time to relax before you enter the building.

Visualize how your day should go and take deep breaths as you perform the exercise. Mentally preparing for the first day makes the transition seamless. By mentally rehearsing your day, you feel more relaxed and comfortable.

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