Starting a new job can often be quite daunting … new people, new place, new drive to work and this is only the start, not for mentioning the great mass of information you will be given on your first day – new systems, policies, processes your new role and what’s expected of you.  Remembering the way to the toilet and back can often be a mission!

This doesn’t even include trying to remember each individual’s name you meet, let alone how your team likes their tea and coffee! With all this in mind here are some hopefully useful and practical first day tips…

Plan your outfit

Sounds silly I know, but knowing what you’re going to wear for your first day in your new role can certainly lead to a much more stress free morning,   Choose your outfit, if unsure on the dress code always air on the side of smarter – you can always dress it down a little the following day but it will certainly make a better impression than getting it wrong.  Get it out, ironed and hanging ready to go the night before, this will certainly save time and stress the following morning, you may even have time for an extra cup of coffee or even breakfast!

Plan your route

Fairy standard but particularly if you are travelling a fair bit with your new role or moving around a few sites pre plan your route – never take for granted how busy the roads can be particularly around school drop off times! Another big tip is remember if its school half term your journey will be amazing, take half the time and in essence be a breeze!


I always think this can be a bit hit or miss.  If your new place of work has a canteen – lucky you! (Lucky me too as our canteen is actually pretty good here at XPO head office – roast Wednesdays are pretty fabulous in fact)! If it doesn’t have a canteen or you’re just a little unsure on what everyone does take an “easy” lunch for your first day until you know.  There was a reason mums and dads packed you up with sandwiches when you were young – they keep well in a box until lunchtime if there’s no fridge! Salads may well wilt and soups are too risky… there may well not be a microwave!

Keep your evenings free

Starting a new job can be exhausting. There’s so much to learn - your brain will be in overdrive soaking up all the new information and come 5pm will most likely feel like mush.

Prep your other half or anyone that may have the “pleasure” of your company particularly that first evening you most likely will not be able to hold much of a conversation.  A bit like the tip for lunch have something quick, easy and ready to eat for dinner … the last thing you want to be doing is to be cooking for an hour or so after your first day!  You’ll probably be surprised at how tired you find yourself in your first week or so of a new job. Bear this in mind and try not to book out your evenings. There’s no need to stop your social life, but make sure you leave time to chill and rest. No one needs to be burnt out within the first month.


Everyone knows everyone. You may only know your new manager and possibly the recruiter or HR (who, unless you’re joining recruitment or HR, you’re probably not going to see on a daily basis).

It can be pretty intimidating so just remember keep smiling… you won’t be the newbie for too long!

Natalie Tompkins, May 13th 2021