First Day of Work Advice From Women Who Have Your Dream Job

Take notes!

White Office

photography by @EVERLANE


The first day of a new job is kind of like the first day of a new school year. You’re a solid mix and of nervous and excited, filled with great anticipation of what’s to come. You want to wear an outfit that will set the tone for your year—or in this case, your new position—and make new friends (co-workers) while also impressing your teacher (your new boss!). You’d think by now we’d have this whole “first day” thing perfected, but it’s easy to forget! Keep reading for first day tips and reminders from four girl bosses (literally, CEOs and founders!) who have jobs we really, really want. You’re going to want to bookmark this if you want to land your dream job.

White Portrait

photography by CAIO FERRIERA VIA @NICOLEGIBBONSSTYLE


Nicole Gibbons,
INTERIOR DESIGNER & TV PERSONALITY

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU THINK A NEW EMPLOYEE SHOULD ARRIVE PREPARED WITH ON THEIR FIRST DAY?
Be prepared with lots of questions. It shows that you are eager to learn and want to take initiative.

WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND BRINGING TO THE OFFICE ON YOUR FIRST DAY?
An open mind! Be up for anything.

DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT FIRST DAY OF WORK OUTFIT!
In a creative business such as design, I think it’s important to showcase your personal style in a way that comes across as professional without being too conservative. A stylish pair of black skinny pants or a pencil skirt paired with a chic blouse in a fun color or pattern always looks fab!

Blue and Wood Entryway

photography by @NICOLEGIBBONSSTYLE


WHAT IS ON YOUR LIST OF THINGS NOT TO DO?
Do not show up late! That’s definitely not the way to get off to a good start on your first day.

AND THEN ALSO, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO ON YOUR FIRST DAY?!
Related to my earlier comment, show up early! You’ll be able to start work feeling calm and collected. Also—start building relationships! Get to know your coworkers and help them get to know you. Having great working relationships and being a great collaborator will only enhance your job performance.

Black and Taupe Portrait

photography by INSPIRE ME HOME DECOR


Farah Merhi,
FOUNDER OF INSPIRE ME HOME DECOR

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU THINK A NEW EMPLOYEE SHOULD ARRIVE PREPARED WITH ON THEIR FIRST DAY?
Every new employee should come in with an open mind and prepared to learn. Those are the best tools for a successful job. The first day of work, and the next few weeks, are a learning experience and a sneak peek into what your job will be like. Absorb as much information as possible, learn what the expectations are, reach out to coworkers and ask questions. Stay professional and friendly.

DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT FIRST DAY OF WORK OUTFIT!
Your first day outfit will leave an impression as you begin your career and meet your coworkers for the first time. You want to come off as a professional yet approachable. A knee length dress topped with a blazer can do the trick. Not a fan of dresses? No worries, pick out pants that compliment your body type, a fun print shirt topped with a blazer and a statement necklace will do the trick!

Black and White Office

photography by @INSPIRE_ME_HOME_DECOR


WHAT IS ON YOUR LIST OF THINGS NOT TO DO?
Don't wear something you are uncomfortable in, especially your shoes. On your first day you will likely get toured around the office and escorted around the office to meet your new coworkers. The last thing you want is to be uncomfortable in your shoes or appearance.Don't overdo your office decor! Bring a piece or two on your first day to make your desk or office feel like your own. Over the next few months you have time to make your office feel more homey with more decor items.Don't be afraid to say hello! Being friendly on your first day sets a precedent moving forward, it also could be your key to scoring an invitation to lunch or a happy hour with your new coworkers. Having a few friendly faces in the office will help your feel more comfortable during your first few weeks.

ANY OTHER GENERAL ADVICE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE!
Enjoy your job as much as possible and let your passion and creativity shine through. There will be ups and downs, focus on the ups. Your extra effort will not go unnoticed. Generally, when you are working in a field you are passionate about, your job will not feel like work anymore. Always push yourself out of your comfort zone. Learn from your mistakes, do not let your mistakes define you, instead, it should push you to work harder and motivate you to reevaluate yourself and the direction you are going in.

Blue and Purple Portrait

photography by @305FITNESS


Sadie Kurzban,
FOUNDER AND CEO OF 305 FITNESS

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU THINK A NEW EMPLOYEE SHOULD HAVE PREPARED ON HIS/HER FIRST DAY OF WORK?
Because we are a start-up and are running at 100 miles/hour, the ideal new employee should come fully prepared with their own laptop (just in case!), and a notepad filled with ideas. If we don't have time to spend the entire day onboarding you, I'm expecting you to come with your own projects, ready to go! We value independence and a self-starter mentality, so someone with their own to-do list (before we ask anything of you) would be a gem!

WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND BRINGING TO THE OFFICE ON YOUR FIRST DAY?
Yes, chocolate. It's sure to win over our team :)

DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT FIRST DAY OUTFIT!
We're a fitness start-up so anything goes. One of the perks of this job is that you can literally wear your leggings to work. Sneaker wedges are a plus!

Blue Staircase

photography by @305FITNESS


WHAT IS ON YOUR LIST OF THINGS NOT TO DO?
Don't sit around waiting for direction. Shadow someone. Write down a list of questions as you come across things. Ask for access to our files so you can start reading on your own. Since we're a start-up, we're looking for you to be independent and a go-getter! The more time you spend asking us questions that can be answered later, the more you'll slow us down. Speed is paramount in a fast-growing company like ours, so while questions are good, only smart questions are encouraged. We want to see you are resourceful and attempt to solve the problem on your own before coming to us.

AND THEN ALSO, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO ON YOUR FIRST DAY?
Arrive early. Bring coffee. Don't be fake. I know you want to impress the boss, but we value authenticity. Come as your flawed, quirky self. Be patient. You may not always have something to do. If you're bored or feel useless, grab some towels and start folding. There is always something in our studios that needs cleaning or a client that needs tending to.

ANY OTHER GENERAL ADVICE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE!
If you're looking to work at a fast-growing company like ours, the most important attribute I look for is good judgement and self-sufficiency. I don't like when new hires ask a lot of questions without first taking the time to understand it on their own. A good entrepreneur figures things out on their own, and only asks for help when they need it. I want to see that same resourcefulness in you, because it tells me you "get" it and will be a good fit for our culture. Smell the beast, pet the beast, walk the beast...that's how you'll understand the beast!

Black and White Fashion

photography by @AEMILIAFAY


Aemilia Madden,
EDITOR AT WHO WHAT WEAR

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU THINK A NEW EMPLOYEE SHOULD ARRIVE PREPARED WITH ON THEIR FIRST DAY OF WORK?
I think the best thing you can do is to come ready for anything. Make sure to do your research before, know who you'll be reporting to, have all of your paperwork ready, and a basic sense of what your training will be.

WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND BRINGING TO THE OFFICE ON YOUR FIRST DAY?
I like to plan my outfit out the night before so I know I have that out of the way. Wear nice shoes, but make sure they're comfortable too. Also, bring along a pen and notebook just in case.

DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT FIRST DAY OF WORK OUTFIT!
For me, the best first day outfit is professional, but still has personality. For me, it would probably be a structured top, culottes or skinny trousers, a leather jacket, and a low block heel.

White and Wood Shop interior

photography by @AEMILIAFAY


WHAT IS ON YOUR LIST OF THINGS NOT TO DO?
Arrive late! When you start a new job, it's important to make a good first impression and being tardy can kick things off on the wrong foot.

AND THEN ALSO, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO ON YOUR FIRST DAY?!
The first day is hectic and overwhelming, so just absorb as much as you can. Take notes, it will help you remember details that are easily lost when you're trying to keep track of a million different things.

ANY OTHER GENERAL ADVICE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE!
The first day can be nerve wracking, but try and channel that into excitement. Also, know that you'll make mistakes, use them as a chance to learn!

Published on June 30, 2016 - 6:00am EDT

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