Dress for the Part
Do your best to fit into the office with how you dress. This is not a time to impress people with your wardrobe. People will have very little on which to base their impression of you that first day. How you dress is the first thing they see. The more your attire fits into the rest of the office, the more at ease the people around you will be.
New Job, New Shoes
No matter what position you accepted, on your first day, you are the new person. Depending on your field, you may be the one asked to run out and get coffee, run the report over to building number 12 or get the overnight package to the post office before it closes. By the end of the day, you will either appreciate or curse the shoes you wore. On your first day, week or month, choose comfort over style.
Backpack or Briefcase?
Real Men Real Style lists their number 15 style sin as wearing a backpack over a suit. This applies to women, too, who wear a suit or dress. It’s time to leave your heavy metal- or anime-emblazoned backpack at home, and upgrade your bag. A nice briefcase is a good start. Even a messenger-style bag will give you that professional look, if it’s the right design. Just make sure the bag fits your personality. If the all-leather attache looks too stuffy, try out something in nylon with plastic clip closures.
Laptop or Tablet
More companies are supporting the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) concept. They allow you to use your personal smartphone, laptop or tablet in your job. Before you run out and buy something new, find out what devices are supported. This is going to be a tool you will use for a long time in your job. A cool tablet that streams funny cat videos quickly may not serve you well at work.
Get the Right Software
While you’re shopping for your laptop or tablet, make sure you have access to software like newer tablets have and can run. This will get you up to speed on the latest office automation, task management, time management and other productivity tools. Your company will have other products you may use. But if you are prepared with the latest generation of software tools, you be ready to cover any gaps the company has in its software.
Low-Tech Tools for the First Day
Paper and pencil still have a place in an office full of computers. Make sure to take a couple of pens, pencils and a notepad with you on your first day. People will fire off instructions, company policies, names and phone numbers and coffee orders to you. They don’t want to wait for you to pull out your tablet or smartphone and bring up some kind of note-taking app. You will want to scribble notes down quickly throughout your day. At the end of the day, you may want to transcribe your notes into digital form.
Create a Long Career
Start out your first day right, and the days after that will become easier. Be over-prepared, and you’ll soon discover your niche. Remember you won’t be a newbie forever. Soon, more new people will start, and you’ll be making your own judgments by the clothes they wore on their first day.
Albert Lester – Al teaches economics and business at his local high school. He blogs about business, finance, teaching and the economy in his spare time.
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