22 Things to Bring on Your First Day of Work (Checklist)

From deciding what to wear on your first day of work to how to introduction yourself at work. Getting prepared early and know what to bring on your first day of work can help ease nerves.


You want to make great first impression!

Here we’ll provide you with a list of items to bring for a more successful first day.

  1. The Essential ‘Stuff’
  2. The Common Things
  3. Man’s Work Bag Essentials
  4. Women’s Work Essentials

Do you know what to wear for your first day at work? Formal or causal, lets find out.

Things to Bring to Work on your first day

The Essential “Stuff”

1. Smile

You might be nervous on your first day of work, but remember to bring a smile. As a new employee, don’t forget to show your excitement for your new job and meeting new colleagues.

“A nice genuine smile can make wonders when giving a good first impression.”

Give a genuine smile when meeting all you new colleagues, even when you are having your onboarding virtually.

A big smile shows that you are happy to be part of the big family.

Why smile works?

  • Shows that you are easy going.
  • Shows that you are not a threat.
  • Eases tension and nervousness around you.
  • Tells your subconscious mind that you are “ok”.
  • Most importantly, it is great for your own mental health.

A simple smile not only eases your nerves but can help you build strong lasting relationships with your colleagues and manager.

2. Small Talk Topics

This will be your first time meeting new people in the company. You’re going to be doing a lot of small talk as you start mingling with your new colleagues.

If you’re the shy type or an introvert. Preparing some small talk topics may save you from the awkward silence, or blurting out inappropriate comments on your first day.

Topics you can talk about of your first day:

  • What do you do during your free time?
  • Where did you go over the last weekend?
  • What are your vacation plans over the next summer?
  • What TV shows you are currently watching?
  • Do you own a pet?

3. Questions to Ask

It is perfectly fine for a newbie in the company to ask questions. Even when you don’t know what to expect, being proactive and coming prepared with a few questions about the company, or ideas on project for your role can really impress your manager.

Here’s a few to get you started:

  1. “What can I do to make you more successful today (or week, month, quarter, or year)?”
  2. “What are some of the key objective we want to focus in our department?”
  3. “What is the thing I can do differently to excel in this position?”
  4. “What should I know about your work and management style?”
  5. “What is the short term and long term goal of our department?”
  6. “How can I receive feedback from you so I can perform in a way which I can exceed your expectation?” 

4. Prepare your elevator pitch

Congratulations! You’ve got your dream job. But don’t forget it’s still your first day, and you are still making your first impression to everyone in the company. (Apart from a few colleague and your hiring manager, this will be their first time meeting you!)

Similar to preparing a “small talk topic”, have a flexible elevator pitch ready is important as well. Your new colleague may just drop by to say “hi”. Often you will meet some team members from the next department who wants to know what projects will you be handling.

Getting prepared is always recommended.

Tips on elevator pitch:

  • Speak slowly: You should not speak too fast or it will confuse your audience.
  • Be positive: Don’t start complaining. No one likes to talk to someone who only likes to complain.
  • Be Brief: A good elevator pitch should not be longer than 30 seconds.

Example of Elevator Pitch

“Hi, nice to meet you. My name is [Your Name], and I’m a software developer here. I will be working on [Project Name].

I will be doing [Your Role] and I am really excited to join this company.

It’s my pleasure to get to know you. I hope to have the opportunity to work with you someday.

Can I have your contact details so that we can catch up over a cup of coffee?

See you around!”

5. Reason Why You Want This Job

Probably the reason is very personnel and you might not want to discuss with anyone. But that reason you have when you take this job is going to be what’s going to support you.

“When things aren’t what you’ve been expecting, you can always fall back to the reason why you are in this job.”

This will help you in overcoming any difficulties and excel in your work.

Reasons why you want this job can be one of these (but not limited to):

  • Money: Probably the main reason why you are getting the job anyway.
  • Passion: Doing what you like and interested in.
  • Power: Having the status and ability to drive results.

But when the reason is no longer align with what you are doing in the job, it may mean, it’s time for you to make some changes in your career.

The Common Things to Bring on first day of work

6. Notepad and Pen

During your first day of work, you’ll expect to be quite lost as you are being overwhelmed by information. A notepad and pen can help you to take note of the important information.

  • Colleagues’ names and departments.
  • Computer login information.
  • Things to take note.

Equip with a notepad and pen will probably help you remember every important information as the day progresses.

PS. Yes, you can also do this with your phone, but a notepad and a pen will probably give a better impression.

7. ID and Paperwork

Your first day of work (or during pre-boarding) will probably be the day when you will need to run around getting your documentation done.

Prepare your ID and all necessary paperwork to ensure you’re setup with the company’s systems.

Your employer may suggest a few items to bring over, but here are some of the common types of identification:

  • Passport
  • Driver’s License
  • Identity Card / Social Security Card
  • Proof of residence

8. Banking Information

If you don’t have a bank account, it might be a good idea to open a bank account prior to your first day of work.

Prepare all necessary banking information to help with setting up your payroll.

Your employer may suggest you to provide them with your bank account number. But here is something you may want to bring as well.

  • Bank Statement

PS. Check with your bank which account type will give the highest benefits when crediting your salary.

9. Money

Your manager or colleagues may invite you for lunch on your first day. It is one of the most common way of welcoming new colleagues.

Remember to bring some extra cash to cover your lunch.

PS. Don’t assume that they will pay for you even though they may have invited you for lunch.

10. Mobile Phone

Though some companies may not allow you to use your mobile phone during your working hours, it’s still a handy device for you to record down your new colleagues’ phone number and schedule task for the week.


  • Bring a charger or power bank so you will not run out of power for your handphone.
  • Set your handphone to silent to prevent obstructing your work, or disturb your colleagues.

11. Tissues

This is the little white piece of paper which you won’t know you’ll need it until you can’t live without it.

Bring at least a pack of tissue in your pocket. It can be pretty useful when you have a sneeze fit or spill anything.

“You need to freshen up your face for a good first impression!”

12. Water Bottle/ Cup with Cover

Staying hydrated will prevent you from falling sick. While your employer might have a water cooler or a nice pantry, it’s still best to bring your own water bottle or cups with cover.

“Staying hydrated can keep you energized through your day!”

Drinking water also have the effect of soothing your nerves.

13. Pain Killers

Probably this is the last thing you will think of bringing, but this can be a life saver.

In the event of a sudden headache or stomach ache, it’s wise to be prepared and have some pain killers ready.

Having this can prevent you from having the need to take a MC on your first day of work. This is probably the worst way to make a good first impression.

14. Mints

Do you like to talk with someone with a bad breath?

No, I don’t either.

When you are meeting someone on your first day, it’s important to leave a good lasting impression.

Simply bring along some mints to ensure you have a breath that attracts, not repel.

A gentle reminder, bring only mints, and not chewing gum.

Having a fresh breath is good, but chewing some gums while talking can be pretty rude.

15. Snacks

Bring some snacks if you think you might get hungry before lunch or before the end of your shift.


  • Healthy snacks such as fruits.
  • Small pack of nuts.

Ps. Don’t bring a whole mountain of snacks to work, or you might look like you are on vacation.

16. Bring your own lunch

No all companies have a canteen or near to eateries. Some companies are located at the far end of the map and may required a bit of effort when trying to find your own meal.

If that’s the case, it will be wise to bring your own lunch. It don’t need to be an elaborated meal, a simple homemade sandwich with veggie or fruits will be sufficient.

Ps. Not all companies have a microwave or refrigerator, we suggest bring something that doesn’t requires reheating.

17. Stain Stick

A stain stick can be a life saver if you happen to spill any drinks or sauce on your clothes. This handy little item can help you rub out unsightly stains and help you in looking your best on your first day of work.


  • Avoid eating food with sauce that tents to get onto your cloths, ie. meatball spaghetti, curry.
  • You can refer to our article on what to wear on your first day for “Men” and “Women” for guidance.

Man’s Work Bag Essentials

18. Deodorant

Least of what you may have expected, but how you smell do impact how others view you. While you may feel nervous on your first day, it helps not to smell like it.

You may want to apply some deodorant before heading to work, allow yourself to smell fresh and approachable.

Keep a small bottle of deodorant with you, this can help with the smell of sweat anytime when you need it.

Things to take note:

  • Don’t apply strong deodorant as some people are allergy to strong smell.
  • Apply only at the underside of your clothing as some deodorant will leave a mark on your clothes.

Women’s Work Essentials

19. Hair Tie

Hair tie can be a handy item to have if your work requires you to do a lot of physical activities. Depending on your job, having a hair tie can help to ensure your hair won’t get into the way of your work.

Tips on selecting hair tie:

  • Go for plain looking hair tie.
  • Black or dark grey will be preferred.
  • Avoid shiny or overly fanciful hair tie.

20. Compact Mirror

“Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all.”

Although you are not running for beauty pageant, you don’t want to be known as the woman who turned up for work with bread crumbs on your cheek.

On your first day of work, people might be too polite to bring these to your attention. So it might be hours later before you catch yourself staring at the mirror wondering, how long had these crumbs been on your face.

Although this may not spell the end of your career, but keeping a compact mirror can keep you from stressing out about these minor issues.

21. Makeup Bag

Smudged mascara and lipstick marks can be difficult to fix without makeup products. Borrowing makeup products from your colleagues on your first day won’t be a great idea either.

If that’s the case, it will be great if you pack a small makeup bag filled with your makeup essentials.

This way, you will look fresh all day.

22. Sanitary Items

First day of work is already stress enough, you don’t need any more stress. Pack some tampons and pads in your bag.

Although most will be willing, but it will still be quite awkward to ask your new female colleagues if you can borrow theirs on your first day.


What do you think about these essential items to bring on your first day?

Is there any other items, you may want to bring on your first day?

Let us know in the comments below!

One thought on “22 Things to Bring on Your First Day of Work (Checklist)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.