5 Tips for a Smooth First Day at a New Job

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No matter where you stand on the corporate ladder, the first day at a new job is sure to be stressful. As you make the transition to your new position, you may be faced with a new environment, new co-workers, new rules, or a new company culture. The best way to proceed is to be prepared. Use these tips to avoid first day jitters.

Take a breather. A few days off between jobs will help make the transition easier. You’ll have a chance to decompress and can use the extra time to prepare for your new position.


Look it up. Use your time off to learn more about your new employer and coworkers. Study the company website and the social media channels of key employees. This will give you a sense of the corporate culture and you’ll likely find things you can talk about on your first day.

Prepare your pitch. Spend some of your downtime between jobs preparing your personal elevator pitch. Since you’ll need to repeat it to co-workers in a variety of seniority levels, it helps to have a multiple versions. Think about stories and scenarios that illustrate the value you bring to the table but be careful not to come on too strong.

Be prepared. Pack an essentials kit for your first day. Include a pen, notepad, phone charger, and cash for lunch in case you get invited out or included in a group take-out order. If your position requires special tools or equipment, find out ahead of time if they’re company provided, or you need to supply your own.

Manage expectations. There is no such thing as a “normal” first day on the job. Often, the first day is comprised of meetings with team members, mangers, and human resources. It may be several days before you are able to devote time and attention to the job for which you were hired. Use the interim to get acquainted with office layout and culture.