So you've just landed a job. Congrats! It’s always such a relief and a joy to find out the news that after the interview rounds, you've been selected as the right person for the role. You can kiss your days of unemployment goodbye and look forward to a new stage in your life.

But as reassuring as routine and an income may sound, the nerve-wracking experience of applying for jobs is now replaced by the anxiety-inducing prospect of starting a new job. Everyone gets nerves on their first day. It’s completely normal. You’ll be learning the ropes, meeting your new co-workers and getting used to new surroundings.

So here are some tips on how you can prepare for your first day and help make your transition to the world of work as smooth as possible.

Sort out your sleeping pattern

When you’re unemployed, your sleeping pattern can be all over the place. Unless you’re highly disciplined and have been living a 9 to 5 kind of lifestyle while looking for work, you may be waking up late and sleeping late.

So the week before you’re due to start your new job, get used to waking up at working hours and getting a good night’s sleep. You don’t want to start your new job sleep deprived and grumpy.

Man asleep


Give yourself plenty of time in the morning

Have you ever been late to your first day at a new job? If you haven’t, you don’t want to find out how stressful it can be. Give yourself enough time in the morning so that you arrive to work early.

Getting there early can also help ease you into the work environment. It can sometimes be a bit daunting to walk into a busy office full of new people.

Make sure you have the right attire

If your job requires formal attire, do you have enough suits or smart clothing in your wardrobe? If the dress code is smart-casual, make sure you have appropriate clothing – think back to how people were dressed when you went in for your interview.

Man tying his tie


Smart-casual doesn't mean you can just dress casually and hope that other employees do the same. Standing out on your first day because of your clothing will be unnecessarily awkward.

Likewise, if the dress code is casual and you can wear whatever you want, then there’s no need to wear formal attire to try and make a good impression. You’ll also look completely out of place.

Take everything you might need

Since it’s your first day at your new job, you’ll want to take notes. It will be helpful to write down passwords and any other crucial details that your line manager tells you.

Of course, you will get comfortable with your responsibilities as time goes on, but in order to make the learning process as stress-free as possible, it helps to jot down new information, so that it’s more easily remembered.

Your office will no doubt have a stationery supply, but in case no one has provided you with a notepad and pen, bring your own!

Also, bring a packed lunch, even if you don’t end up eating it. Some co-workers will go out for lunch together and some will bring their own lunch in. Having a packed lunch at least gives you the option to stay at the office for lunch if a co-worker invites you to join them.

You don’t need to prepare a presentation, like what to say or how to behave (besides obviously being polite and friendly). Do whatever you need to do to help you relax and be authentic. Starting a new job can be scary, but with a little preparation and a certain outlook, it can be made a whole lot easier.

Sam Woolfe writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and graduate jobs

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