Person pouring a cup of coffee in front of a laptop

What To Prepare For Your First Day Of Work

Ah, the start of the working life. A new job and a new you, being all adult and professional. Pat yourself on the back for surviving life thus far, because the real fun begins now. If you think I’m being sarcastic, well yes and no. Working life teaches you a lot about patience and boundaries. If you choose to not see the fun of it, you’re just going to stress yourself out. So, we might as well ride out the uncertainty with some joy. Trust me, it helps!


Like in any new beginning, it’s always good to be prepared. No one ever complained about being prepared. The only comment you might receive is that you’re overly prepared – which is completely fine! It shows that you’re enthusiastic and that always makes a good first impression when you’re first starting out.


Wondering what to prepare for your first day at work? Here are a few things to take note of, especially if you are reporting to the office in person!


1. Know your route.

Person holding a phone with a GPS

Regardless if you’re driving to work or taking public transport, you must know your route to work. Always take a drive to know where and how your office building looks like beforehand to avoid getting lost on the morning of your first day. Even if you’re familiar with the route, it helps to double confirm the location so that you know your alternative routes to take if something happens. Also, you’ll avoid stressing about parking when you know your parking options beforehand. This is one of the most basic things to prepare for our first day at work. After all, you can’t get to work if you don’t know where your office is, right?


2. Save your PIC’s contact.

It’s best to have your person-in-charge (PIC)’s contact number ready and saved on your phone. This is so you can contact them when you reach the office if you need any help. If you don’t have their number, then request it beforehand or ask where to go or who to report to when you reach your office. Otherwise, you might end up aimlessly wandering into the wrong place or sitting in the designated lost and found place until they find you. You wouldn’t want to scramble for their email on your first day, only to realise that they did not provide you with their contact number, and you’ve got to send them an email to inform them about your arrival.


3. Prepare your outfit, stationery, and other documents.

Girl holding up some clothes

Do you remember back in those schooling days on the night before school reopens? You had your books in your bag, your uniform ironed out and your shoes polished. The same concept applies here too. Get your essentials sorted out: from the right bag to the right shoes and even your clothes. Also, do pack some stationaries, relevant documents and other necessities you may need. If you’re still unsure about what you need to prepare for your first day at work, it doesn’t hurt to check with your PIC to see what is needed. Make sure to double-check on the office dress code too. It’s okay to show up formal to a casual workplace, but the opposite could damage the first-day impression.


Once you’ve sorted all of that, get some sleep. Even if you can’t sleep due to nerves, just try to get some shut-eye. It’s better to start your day rested than to hit the snooze button until you’re late.


4. Set your alarm or get help to wake up early.

Better safe than sorry! Arriving late to work does not look good on the first day unless something really bad and unavoidable happened (like an accident). However, it’s always good to be early at work so that you can get familiar with the place. Being early helps you get the right parking spot or the right seats on the train, and you wouldn’t be worried about rushing and being late. Also, being early gives you some time to check out the office with fewer people checking out the newbie so you would know where the exits, pantry, washroom and everything else that you need to know are.


So, don’t forget to set your alarm! If it takes an army to wake you up, then get a friend to give you a wake-up call. Otherwise, the best solution is getting your parents to wake you up earlier than required.


5. Get in the right headspace.

Girl sitting in bed and reading a book

If you’re not in the right headspace before work, all the external preparation is a waste. Give yourself a pep talk and tell yourself that you’re starting a new journey tomorrow and it’s going to be fresh and exciting. Hype yourself up and be ready when you show up to work. Because depending on your luck and the current season of the workplace, you could either be walking into a crazy or steady start; but so long as you’re ready, you’ll still be able to handle it.



Now for those of you who are starting this new journey and job from home, I got you. Here’s what to prepare for your first day at work if you are working from home:


1. Set up your workspace somewhere good & comfortable.

It’s important to have a separate working space for your work so that there’s a clear boundary between your work and personal life. This will help you easily leave work without feeling like work is still going on and you’ve got to get to it. Get a bright, airy space so that you’ll look presentable and camera-ready for your first meeting, too. Sitting in a comfortable chair and preparing some notebooks, stationery, and a water bottle near you also helps. Prepare your space like how you would in a typical workplace so that you don’t miss anything out.


2. Download your work programmes and test them beforehand.

While your employers may cut you some slack for starting your first day of work at home, don’t take it for granted. Ask them about all the necessary programmes that they use for work and make sure you download them and give them a test run so that you get familiar with them before starting work. By doing this, it shows your enthusiasm and your initiative to learn. Also, you can overcome any issues with ease and can navigate through those programmes easily during work if you’ve had some preparations beforehand.


3. Have a feasible timetable.

Person pouring a cup of tea in front of a laptop

It’s easy to get carried away working when you’re working from home because there isn’t much movement and distraction. However, from time to time, do take a break by having a work schedule. Think of it as your work timetable. In the office, it’s easy for us to take breaks when we go for lunch, coffee breaks or just need a walk to clear our heads. Do the same at home by scheduling short 15 minutes breaks from time to time. Analyse your workflow and workload and fit a break where necessary so you can refocus your thoughts then get back to work. A little break helps to keep you focused on your work. All work and no breaks in between causes you to stress and burnout easily.



With everything said and done, don’t forget to have fun. It’s an exciting start and despite the preparation; it all comes down to how you choose to experience the day. So remember to be early by knowing your routes and contact your PIC when you’re there. Do ensure you have all your essentials with you and if you don’t, it’s okay. They’ll understand first day nerves. With that, all the best and happy working!

Once upon a time, I feared writing but I'm glad I no longer feel that way. An avid reader of books especially fiction, but I probably have better luck with romance in the fictional world than in real life.

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