What to Bring to Work on your First Day
Virginia Morrow
What to Bring to Work on your First Day

Starting a new job is exciting. After you applied, got the call back, made it through multiple rounds of interviews, and finally signed an offer letter, the only thing left to do is wow them on your first day in the office. This is easier said than done. On top of being your wonderful self, it is important to make a good first impression and be prepared. To do that, there are some essentials you should bring. 

An appropriate outfit

It matters to make a good first impression on your first day. Even if everyone in the office wears a T-shirt and cargo shorts, take your first day as an opportunity to dress to impress. If you really want to be on top of it, you can even lay out your outfit the night before. After the first day, you can make more effort to blend in, but you want to make it clear that you are a professional and you are here to take the job seriously.

A good attitude

But not too seriously! The first day is a great time to have some fun and show your new coworkers what you are all about. This is a day to set expectations. If you have a good sense of humor, crack a few jokes around the office. You do not need to overdo it, but studies show that people associate humor with smarts. On top of bringing the fun, your attitude matters more than usual in this moment because of the fresh start effect. This effect is named for the tendency of people to make changes on the precipice of change. If we fall into routines, it is harder to upset the schedule with new, desirable habits or behaviors, but when one thing changes, we are more likely to multiply that effect in different areas of life. Starting a new job would be a great time to add the gym into your routine, or start making your own lunch everyday.

Your stuff, but less

When you are establishing yourself in a new space, bringing your own things and decorating to make it feel like home is a great first step. However, neatness takes priority. If you show up with a box full of plants, books, and trinkets, you will cause a stir and your desk will become a cluttered space. Neatness is one of the best ways that you can make your office more comfortable, and it helps project an image of sanity for the rest of your coworkers.


Whether you bring one snack everyday or a box of treats to dip into over time, having a bite to eat at your desk is an underrated way to help you through the day. Sometimes you will unexpectedly end up in a meeting that runs late, or schedule lunch too late in the day. Preventing hangryness is a valuable investment in the office, which is why snacks are listed on Indeed’s list of first-day essentials.


The first few days will likely require you to submit a lot of information into databases. Things like Social Security cards, birth certificates, work documentation, and IDs could all be requested from you. Do not be the person who forgets and ends up out of the system before the work even begins. Tuck your paperwork into your bag before you leave in the morning, and enjoy being prepared for whatever HR unexpectedly asks of you. Pro tip: bring a pen! In case of emergency contact forms, signatures, or anything of the like, it is better to bank on needing your own pen, and you can impress everyone with your preparedness.

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