Pre-planning for a Low Stress First Day

by Veda Darby Soberman, Head Editor, INALJ Hawaii

Pre-planning for a Low Stress First Day

veda.darby.soberman“You’ve got the job!” is what we all hope to hear eventually.  After your job search journey ends with a new position, you are likely to be a bundle of excitement and nervous energy on your first day.  The last thing you want is to let the stress overwhelm you and affect your performance.  Here are five things you can do ahead of time to help get a handle on things and feel a bit more relaxed for your first day.

  1. Do some homework.  First, do a careful reading of your job description.  Then, review your MLIS coursework, and/or workshops, pertaining to the position.  It may have been a while since you left school, and you may rediscover some useful information that will help with your work.  This is especially important if you are entering a position which is not in your field of concentration.  While you likely will have done a bit of a review of this information before your job interview, now that you are hired, you really want to do some in-depth studying.  Create a notebook with a few cheat sheets (this notebook will also be handy for jotting down any new information to remember while at work).
  2. Prepare your work attire for the whole week.  This first week’s wardrobe should err on the conservative side and can relax a bit more if appropriate in subsequent weeks.  Knowing what you will wear ahead of time will save much time and alleviate one possible source of stress when getting ready to go off to work.  Be sure that all of your items are clean, in good repair and pressed before the work week.  Laying out your outfits ahead of time will also allow you to see whether it is necessary to pick up a few professional wardrobe essentials.
  3. Plan your commute.  If you have the opportunity, actually do a few test trips, from your home to work at the time of day when you will be commuting in order to determine the best route and travel time.  Take this calculated time from your home to work and add ten to fifteen minutes to best ensure that you will arrive early the first day.
  4. Gather supplies, tools and equipment you will need on your first day.  At minimum you will want to bring a notebook and pen.  If you will be completing employment paperwork also bring a photo ID and social security card.  You may also want to set aside your lunch and snacks for the day as well.
  5. Get lots of sleep in the days leading up to your first day of work.  Get into a sleep rhythm which coincides with your new work schedule.  It may take a couple of weeks to shift your sleep patterns.  So, start adjusting as soon as you know what your work schedule will be.  Establishing your sleep pattern will help you to be clear-eyed, alert, and ready to tackle work on your first day.

Good luck!


Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list (formerly I Need a Library Job) and former CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of, a crowdfunding platform focused on African patrimony, heritage and cultural projects. INALJ was founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard. Its social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ. INALJ has had over 21 Million page hits and helped many, many thousands of librarians find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in one month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this with many new jobs published daily. She has also written for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 LexisNexis Government Info Pro and many other publications in the past decade. She presents whenever she can, including serving on three panels at the American Library Association's Annual Conference in Las Vegas; as breakout presenter at OCLC EMEA in Cape Town, South Africa; as a keynote speaker at the Virginia Library Association annual meeting; at the National Press Club in Washington DC; McGill University in Montreal, Canada; the University of the Emirates, Dubai, MLIS program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and has been living and working in Budapest, Hungary and Western New York State. She spent years running her husband’s moving labor website, fixed and sold old houses and assisted her husband cooking delicious Pakistani food. She is preparing to re-enter the workforce and is job hunting. Her husband is now the co-editor of INALJ, a true support!  She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay.