Career Advice Workplace

What You Need to Know for Your First Day on The Job

By: Emily Dawson
Sep 24, 2020 • 7 min read

What you need to know for your first day on the job

Congrats, you’ve done the hard part! Now it’s time to get acclimated to the new normal, your job. There are various things you have to figure out that pertain to work now that you have landed a job. This guide should help you isolate and check off items on that list. Here is how to nail your first day on the job!

first day on the job

Your Commute

The first thing you have to do is figure out what mode of transportation you are using to get to work. You’ll want to pick one that is the least time consuming and the most cost-effective. This could mean taking the metro, a bus, or driving your car. Whichever you choose, make sure you know the route you will take every day. Get to know the bus route before your first day or use your GPS on the way to work. The last thing you want is to be running late and also not knowing where you are going.

Work Hours

What time are you expected to be at work, and what time are you expected to leave? This can vary from place to place and job to job. You could be working on a shift basis, which means you will have different times you come into work week to week. Or you could be working a regular nine to five office job which you will come in and leave during those times. Find out what time you need to be at work so that you can be early the first day, showing you are eager to get started.

Security

Are there specific security measures that your company takes? Due to the responsibility of your company to keep you and all of their merchandise safe, they may have a system you have to go through to get into the building. This could mean you may need a pass or authorization card to be cleared into work. Ask if you need one and how to retrieve it. You wouldn’t want to be locked out of the building.

first day on the job

Schedule

You’ll want to figure out what your schedule will look like on a day to day basis. When you come in to start working Monday morning to when you leave Friday evening, know what you are doing. There might be a calendar that you can have access to see when you have meetings and deadlines. If there isn’t one, make one for yourself to stay organized and never miss anything important.

Dress Code

Some workplaces have more casual dress codes, and some have formal ones. The best bet is that you dress business casual on the first day, which is generally what most workplaces call for. However, you can also go a day or so early to your work and scope out what everyone is wearing. Sometimes it is also listed in your contract what the dress code is so you can also find it there.

first day on the job

Lunch Breaks

Most companies give you a lunch break in the middle of the day. Lunch might be scheduled for you, or you may be given an hour or so every day of your choice to eat lunch. This is something you should ask your supervisor. Also, figure out what you will do for lunch each day. This could be scoping out the lunch spots near the office, where your collogues go every Friday or bringing lunch to work. Either way, you will need to prepare to eat and be replenished for the rest of the workday.

Vacation Time

Ask how vacation time will work. Will it be earned, or are there a set number of vacation days you are given? You’ll also want to know what holidays you have off and for how long. Say you have Christmas Day off work until New Year’s Day or three days for Thanksgiving. These are things you’ll want to know so you can plan your time off accordingly.

Chain of Command

Who do you directly report to? Who are you going to be working alongside? Find out who these people are and how the workplace is run so that you can go through the right channels. You’ll want to create good relationships with these people, go out of your way to say hello and introduce yourself on the first day. Make a good impression so that everyone knows they can count on you. Start from your first day on the job!

first day on the job

Communication

Some companies have their own systems with how they communicate with each other. They may use google hangout, slack, or Microsoft teams. Some companies might just correspond through email. Whichever they choose, make sure that you have set up the program they have set in place for you to communicate with everyone at work.

Paychecks

If you weren’t told this already, you’ll want to know when you will get your paycheck and through what outlet. This is a question that you can ask the person that you directly report to. They might give you an answer like, biweekly through a check in the mail, through PayPal every week, etc. They should have also laid out for you whether you are getting a salary, contractual pay, or commission.

first day on the job

Overview

There are many questions you may have on the first day on the job. Hopefully, these can give you a head start on what you need to know when coming to work. Remember that no question is a stupid question, and everyone there is there to help you in any way that they can. These people want you to be there, which is why they hired you, and they need you for their business to thrive.

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