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How to Prepare for Your First Day of Work

You've successfully changed jobs; now it's your first day at work! It is essential to prepare in advance to help combat first-day anxiety. 
This article will brief you on what to bring and how/what to prepare so you feel confident, prepared and excited to start your new position! 

1. Clothing and physical appearance:

You may be wondering what to wear on your first day at work. Depending on the industry and type of job, the company's dress code can range from business formal to casual. However, in either case, it is safer to dress in minimalistic, subdued tones rather than wear statement pieces that "show off your personality." Even if you are instructed to dress casually before your first day, at the very least, wear a jacket to avoid dressing too casually. In principle, a clean, professional appearance gives a better impression than displaying individuality and style.
Use the following checklist to prepare when dressing for your first day on the job.

  • Are your clothes appropriate? Are there any stains or pills on your clothes? Does your clothing size match your body shape? 

  • (For women) Is your makeup, nail polish, or hair color too flashy? Are you wearing accessories that make noise when they shake? 

  • (For men) Are there any wrinkles or shine on your suit? Is your shirt collar and cuffs discolored? Are your fingernails and beard clean? Is your hair clean and nicely styled?

  • Are your shoes and bag clean? Are the heels of your shoes worn out? 

  • Is your watch too flashy? 

  • Did you take a shower and apply deodorant so you don’t smell? On the other hand, are you wearing too much perfume? 

2. Preparation of personal belongings:

Your supervisor should inform you beforehand what to bring on your first day at work. Double-check to make sure you bring what they have asked. Leave luxury brands, flashy items and items with characters at home. Consider bringing the following items on your first day:

  • Personal belongings such as a seal (inkan), ID card, and documents designated for the new employee procedure

  • Stationary (notepad & pen)

  • A4 size clear file (for storing documents)

  • Tote or briefcase (for storing documents)

  • Watch

  • Mobile phone (make sure it is charged)

  • Handkerchief, pocket tissue

  • Water bottle 

  • Mask (and a replacement, just in case) 

  • (for women) Change of stockings and sanitary products

3. Confirm your start time and the office address:

It is crucial to arrive on time or early for your first work day. Arriving late leaves a bad first impression on your supervisor and coworkers. So, ensure you have sufficient time to commute to the office and double-check the location to avoid mishaps. Also, make sure to add your supervisor's name and contact information to your phone contacts in case you run late due to train delays. Moreover, we recommend you arrive early at the nearest train station and eat a good nutritious breakfast while visualizing the upcoming day's events.

4. Prepare a written greeting:

You should consider your greeting and self-introduction on the first day of your new job. Assuming that you will be asked to address the company twice, once at a general meeting and once at a team meeting, it is a good idea to prepare two versions of your speech: 

(1) a 30-second to one-minute version, and 

(2) a slightly more extended version, lasting up to three minutes.

So, what should you say? Start by asking yourself the following question: "What do you want someone who knows little about you to know about you?" Of course, you can mention your hobbies, special skills or fun facts, but this could disappoint managers if that is all you discuss. However, if you prepare an inspirational speech that motivates your subordinates, who might be in a state of mixed expectation and nervousness, you will be off to a great start. 

For the manager's greeting, it is appropriate to include 

  • Your career achievements

  • Your reason for wanting the position 

  • Your goals and objectives for the team

  • Your enthusiasm for achieving those goals

  • Your impressions of the company and team 

However, it should not be an opportunity to boast or brag about yourself more than necessary. Remember that you are new to the company, so be humble and ask questions. Asking questions like, "please tell me what you are doing?" shows interest and is effective in learning about your teammates and their tasks/duties.

5. Review company information:

You will likely have time after accepting a position before joining the company. Therefore, we recommend asking your recruitment agent or HR representative about things you should check or study before you start working for the company. It is also a good idea to review the company's work rules, website, press releases, social media, etc., for information about the company, its products, organization, and the latest news. You may also use the time to further your knowledge of your industry or occupation. 

On your first day at the company, you will likely spend a lot of time greeting new employees, touring the company, setting up your PC, etc., but you should also be prepared to start working on the first day. Therefore, gathering information and reviewing beforehand will help with the initial workload.

6. Behavior on the day of the meeting:

On the first day, be extra cautious of your nonverbal communication. Always remember to smile, be courteous, cheerful, and open, not only during greetings but also in other situations, as this is the day when you will be the center of attention. 

To integrate yourself into the workplace as quickly and seamlessly as possible, actively communicating with others and remembering their names. Also, make sure to remember where your desk is and the people working in the desks surrounding you.

It is important to display a "positive attitude." Even in handover work, instead of waiting for instructions, you should ask questions and try to quickly solve what you don't understand. Always carry a pen and notepad and take notes when possible.

However, no matter how important it is to have a positive attitude, it is premature to make suggestions or ask questions about the work if you feel that the way things are done is unreasonable, such as "this is the way it is done," or "In my previous workplace," etc. Remember that you are a newcomer, so your first priority should be to blend in at your new workplace, and you will be able to express your opinions more smoothly if you have established a certain level of trust and a track record. 

Key Takeaways

  • Have a clean and presentable appearance

  • Prepare what you’ll bring beforehand

  • Know where the office is located and what time to arrive

  • Have a positive attitude

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