Preparing for your first job

Clothing sorted ready for the following day

If you are getting ready to leave school and enter the world of work, it can be quite daunting. Preparation is vital for a smooth transition. Here are our top tips on preparing for your first full-time job.


Research the company

Hopefully, you had already done a little research on the company you will be working for when you prepared for your interview at the recruitment stage. However, take some time to refresh your memory and learn about the company ethos and its brand values. Look at what kind of work they do and start getting familiar with any jargon that might be relevant to the industry you will be working in. Your employer will probably provide more context once you start employment with them but having a small amount of knowledge can be beneficial to feeling more comfortable with everything you will be learning to do.


Know the dress code

It is essential to know what the dress code is for the role you will be working in. If you are going to be a plumber’s mate, there will be different considerations for your workwear than if you are taking on an office based role doing administration.

You may have been able to pick up on what style of work clothing was appropriate at the interview, especially if you were able to walk through the office. However, if you are unsure contact your new employer to confirm what is expected.

Give yourself time to purchase the correct clothing, don’t leave it until the day before to find out and then worry because you don’t have a plain tie, for example. Lay your clothes out the night before and make sure your shoes are clean and tidy – it will make that first morning run a little more smoothly.


Get sufficient rest

Don’t go all out partying the weekend before your first Monday in a new job. You want to feel alert and well rested on your first day. There will be a lot of information to take in, and it can feel quite draining, you want to be on top form to cope with this new challenge.

Get an early night the day before and set an alarm that gives you enough time to get ready the next day. If you are struggling to sleep because you are feeling anxious, then try meditation to help relax and slow down your brain.


Know what is expected of you

Ahead of starting your job, speak to either your line manager or HR to understand what will be expected of you in this new role. What kind of tasks will you be carrying out, do you need to bring anything, will you be working in a specific team – get as much information as you can.

This will help you to feel more at ease going into the experience as you will have some idea of how the days will go.


Practice the commute

Don’t let the first time you travel to your workplace be on the morning you start there full time. That can be a recipe for disaster as it’s easy to get lost or underestimate how long it will take.

If you can, travel to the office or wherever you will need to be on your first day well in advance and at a similar time of day. That way if your journey is affected by traffic or you have to wait for 3 tubes to pass to get on one at 8am, you will know to allow additional time when you’re doing it for real.

You may need to scope out parking or a walking route, and if the building is really tricky to find, then having visited it beforehand is crucial.


Bring stationery supplies

While your employer will no doubt provide stationery, it is always a good idea to have the basics. You may find yourself in an ice breaker group on your first day with other new recruits and so won’t be at your actual desk.

Bring a pen and paper at the very least. You might want to take your own notes in the beginning that you can then take home and read up on, so having a notebook can be useful.


Practice introducing yourself

There are going to be a lot of introductions in the first week. Practice shaking hands and introducing yourself. You will also be asked about yourself such as, did you have to travel far, what were you doing previously, what kind of work have you done before. It may seem silly but consider having these conversations with friends or family beforehand, mimicking the interactions you are likely to have.

This way, you will be less likely to get tongue-tied when it comes to those first few conversations with people at work. Plus you can get advice on what to say and what not to say. It’s essential to understand what is appropriate to share about yourself in a workplace and what is best left for outside of work with people who know you well. If in doubt, get advice from a parent or teacher.


Take lunch

If you get invited out to lunch with colleagues, then, by all means, go. But just in case take a packed lunch with you as a backup.  You don’t want to be worrying about finding somewhere to buy food and then having enough time to eat it on your first day.


Enjoy your new job

You have applied for this job because you really wanted it. If it wasn’t the actual work that excited you, then it will be the fact that you are earning your own money – or maybe it’s both. Face the fear of this new chapter in your life and embrace the challenge. Try to enjoy your new job and not overly worry about getting things wrong. Remember your employer and colleagues all want to see you succeed and are there to support you to be the best you can be within your role.

Breathe, smile, be enthusiastic, put your best foot forward and get ready to smash it!


MRA help individuals, businesses and families achieve the best quality of life they can with the resources they have. MRA specialise in corporate solutions, cash-flow analysis, taxation, debt management, savings and investments, lifestyle planning and much more.

Business Consultants based in East Sussex we service clients across the South East, Sussex and Kent, including smaller towns such as Ashford, Battle, Bexhill, Bodiam, Brighton & Hove, Cranbrook, Crowborough, Eastbourne, Hailsham, Hastings, Heathfield, Herstmonceux, Lewes, Mayfield, Newhaven, Rye, Seaford, Sevenoaks, Tenterden, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells.