The first day of a new job is just like the first day of going to school. It’s a day filled with nervousness and excitement. You want to make the right impression and look prepared, from the clothes you wear to what you have packed in your bag. While most companies will tell you what to bring, limited staffing and over-worked managers may forget to tell you the essentials of what to bring on your first day. Here is a list of items to make sure you have with you on your first day of work.
Identification Card – A Driver’s License is the preferred form of identification, but if you don’t have it – make sure you do have some sort of government issued form of picture identification.
Social Security Card – All employers are required to have new employees fill out an I-9 Form for proof of citizenship. The I-9 Form has a list of what is considered to be acceptable forms of identification, but some employers will still require a Social Security card for payroll purposes. If you don’t have a card, the time to head down to the Social Security Office is before your first day of work. Most employers will accept the SSA letter indicating that you have applied for a new card. You will, however, need to bring the card to them once you receive it.
Keep in mind that the majority of companies will not, and should not, start you if you don’t have the above documents. There are others, however, that are also important.
Bank Documentation – If your new employer offers Direct Deposit, be sure you bring the bank documents with you on the first day. This will prevent any “problems” with your first check. Acceptable documentation includes a voided check or a bank specification sheet. Savings slips are generally not acceptable because they don’t always have the required numbers on the bottom of the slip.
Writing supplies – The first day is usually crammed with important information. Be sure to be professional and have supplies on hand. Supplies include two pens (one always fails to write when you need it) a small to medium sized notebook and a folder to hold important documents.
Mints – Nothing like starting off on a fresh foot. You will spend most of the day meeting new people, shaking hands and being up close and personal with a lot of new people. Gum chewing is unprofessional so err on the safe side and have a couple of mints to tame the aroma of anything that you’ve eaten or a nervous stomach.
Small snacks– While this may sound silly, you never know when you may get to eat lunch. Nothing is more embarrassing then sitting at someone’s desk and having your stomach talking for you. If you’re hungry before lunch, you can find a quiet corner to take a couple of quick bites to hold you until lunch.
Cash or bank card - Finally, have at least $10 - $20 dollars in cash or on a bank card. This may be hard if you’ve been out of employed for a while. If you get invited out to lunch, your new employer may be paying, but they can also be expecting you to pay for your own. Having a few dollars in cash will save an embarrassing situation. Of course, you can always just say “no-thanks!”
The first day is bound to cause jitters. Being prepared with just a few items will help to make sure the day goes well.