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What should I take to work with me on my first day?

What should I take to work with me on my first day?

Your first day at work is like your first day at school, but instead of a brand new pencil case you might have a shiny new briefcase.

You'll be seeing and meeting people you've never seen before and first impressions count. Despite having met a few people within the company,, you still want to repeat some of the steps which got you through the job interview such as getting your attire right and turning up on time.

Packing your bag for your first day can be a difficult task. You want to be prepared, but you don't want to have to take a suitcase to cover every possible opportunity.

As well as your knowledge and a smile, there are a few important items you should pack.

Documents
A portion of your first day will probably be spent filling in a few necessary forms to get you into the company system so you can be paid and will receive all the benefits that are due to you. You probably won't need all of these, but you should aim to have:

  • Your passport
  • Your National Insurance card
  • Your driving license
  • Proof of your address (eg. electricity bill)
  • Your UK visa (if appropriate)
  • P45

If you don't have these to hand, don't spend too long searching through your house to find them as you can always bring them in later.

It might be worth emailing your new employer a couple of days before you begin to check if there is anything that will need to be produced. Read through your offer of employment letter to make sure they haven't already asked for something.

Equipment
Chances are that your new employer will give you everything you need to do your job, but there's no harm in being prepared with:

  • A pen (or two)
  • A notepad

And that's it. Staplers, scissors, hole punches and all the other items that feature regularly on desks can be gained over time - don't be tempted to weigh yourself down with unnecessary stationary.

A light, smart folder is also a handy thing to have with you. You're likely to be given something to read through and a copy of your contract and rather than shoving it in your bag, putting it neatly into a folder will mark you out as someone who likes to take care of things. 

If you're expected to wear high heels or uncomfortable shoes to work and you're not used to it, a pair of something more sensible might also come in handy at the end of the day when you're in agony.

The essentials
Don't forget your wallet and some money. A nice employer might treat you to lunch on your first day, but that isn't something that should be expected. You might also be invited for a drink to welcome you to the team, and you should at least offer to get in the first round.

Your mobile phone should be with you at all times, but keep it switched off or on silent for your first day so you can concentrate on the job, rather than a text from your mate.

And finally, remember your house keys - with so many things going through your head when you're going for a new job it may be the last thing on your mind. The last thing you want to do is have to turn up for the second day at work wearing the same outfit after a night sleeping on your doorstep.

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