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Your first day at work: what to expect

03 Jan
Your first day at work will be one of the most memorable, hopefully exciting and possibly stressful moments of your career. You’ll be meeting new people, discovering information about the business you have joined, learning new terminology, getting to grips with your new role, all whilst trying to make a good impression.

Don’t stress, though: there are some steps that you can take to ease the process and go a long way to surviving, and thriving, in your new job.

Here’s what to expect, and how to prepare.

Before you arrive

Before you get to your new job, you should look the part. Though you might already have prepared for this beforehand, find out what the dress code of your workplace is before you start, and dress accordingly. It doesn’t have to be a suit, but make sure you look neat, tidy and professional: wearing some nice trousers or a skirt and a shirt is always a good way to make a good first impression. Remember, that your first impression may also be what represents you for some time to come, if your photo is taken on your first day for an ID pass.

In addition to this, make sure you get your timings right. Arriving late for your first day at work is never a good way to start at a new company, so set off half an hour in advance, to get a good idea of how long it’ll take you on average to get to work, and get into the office five minutes before you’re due to start. You might have to wait a little before you actually enter the building, but it’s a good way to reduce stress and appear prepared and enthusiastic on the day.

Prepare in advance

Your first day at work will likely involve a lot of paperwork and inductions, as the HR/ Training team introduce you to the company, run through some safety procedures and tackle things like your pension scheme. You may be required to fill out some starter forms, so you will also likely need to take some official paperwork with you as proof of identity. Be prepared: bring your NI number, driving licence and passport with you. If you’ve previously had a job, then take your P45 too. After all, it never hurts to be prepared, and it’ll mean you can hit the ground running that much faster.

Be sociable

68% of UK professionals consider their colleagues to be their friends, and for good reason: your workmates are the people that you’ll be spending most of your day with, for as long as you’re in that job. Start your relationship with them the right way, by being personable, and making the effort to get involved and socialise with them. Everybody will be friendly and interested in getting to know you, and while you don’t have to go to the pub with them after work, sitting down with your team for lunch is a great way to make introductions and settle in.


Don’t worry about not being able to remember everything! Starting any new job will involve lots of inductions, onboarding sessions, introductions to colleagues and getting to grips with your role; it’s natural that you’ll forget some things, and people won’t be angry if you have to ask them again for clarification. Bring a notepad and pen with you, so you can note down important points to refer back to later, but most importantly, relax and smile- and enjoy your first day at your new workplace!

Take your first steps into the workplace with DST Careers

We’re passionate about connecting talented young workers with the opportunities they need to thrive and grow. Start your journey with us today: browse our blog for more insights into starting your career, or why not take a look at our apprenticeships and early careers opportunities here?
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