Here is a list of things to consider doing before starting your new job. You might not have time to do all of these things before you begin work, particularly if you are asked to begin right away. However, you can go through this list and select the most essential tasks to complete first, and then accomplish the other tasks in the first couple weeks of work.
Plan Your Commute
Make sure you know exactly how to get to your new office, and how long it will take. If you are taking public transportation, make sure you know any and all stops and transfers you will need to take.
Practice going to work one or two times before work starts so you will know how long the commute is (be sure to leave around the time you plan to leave for work, so you can account for any traffic). You might want to come up with a backup route too, just in case traffic is particularly bad one day. On your first day, leave 10 minutes earlier than you think you need to – just in case.
Plan Your Outfit
Choose your outfit for the first day of work a few days in advance. This will give you time to wash, iron, dry-clean, or hem any clothing items. If you are unsure of how you should dress on the first day, you can call your company’s human resources representative for advice.
Remember, it is best to dress on the conservative side for the first couple weeks of work. Once you get a feel for the office culture, you can begin to dress somewhat more casually, if that is what your officemates do.
Make Any Appointments
If you can help it, you don’t want to be asking for time off from work to go to doctors’ appointments in the first couple weeks of work. Therefore, you should try to schedule any upcoming doctors’ appointments for before your new job begins. If you already have an appointment scheduled that falls within the first couple weeks of work, you might want to call and see if they can fit you in earlier.
If your insurance provider is going to change with your new job, now would also be the time to make sure your current doctors will take your new insurance. Otherwise you will have to either start looking for new doctors, or see if you have out-of-network coverage on your new insurance.
Also think of any other appointments you want to make to ensure you look and feel your best on your first day. Consider making an appointment with a hairdresser if you haven’t had a haircut in a while. You might even consider getting a manicure or pedicure (no bright colors or crazy patterns) if you like painting your nails – anything that will make you feel confident on day one!
Get Plenty of Sleep
If you’ve had a slightly irregular sleep schedule during your job-searching period, now is the time to get back into a regular sleep pattern. Start going to bed and waking up at the times you plan to do so for work. Ideally, you should begin getting into this pattern two weeks before you begin your job. However, if you don’t have that much time, just start as soon as you can. You’ll feel much more rested on that first day of work, and you’ll be less worried about sleeping through your alarm!
Get Your Materials Together
Make sure you have all the materials you will need for day one. Get a notepad and pen to bring the first week, so you can take notes on all the introductory information you will likely receive (or, if you prefer taking notes on your smartphone, you can do so instead).
Bring all the information you need to complete new hire paperwork, if you haven't done it prior to starting the job.
If you are unsure about whether people tend to buy or bring their lunch, pack a lunch for day one, just in case. If there is anything else that your boss or human resources representative told you to bring to work, be sure you have it. Also make sure you have a professional-looking bag or briefcase for all your things.
Research the Company
With all the little practical tasks you have to do before your first day, it’s easy to forget about what you can do to prepare for the job itself. Before the first day, spend a little time refreshing yourself on the organization and its mission. This task can be as simple as skimming over the company’s website one more time.
If you have a friend who knows someone at the company, you might also consider asking your friend to set up a coffee date for you and your future coworker. This way, you can get to know at least one friendly face at work before your first day.