6

I am starting a new job tomorrow, and got to thinking - should I bring my bookbag with my things? ie. Laptop, notebook, pens

Never really thought about it at my previous job, since I knew my manager personally. Does it make a difference what I use?

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    Cons: if you need a backpack, your workspace is not optimal; a backpack is not quite compatible with your business suit; bags tend to fill with useless cruft; sometimes bags are a security issue. Pros: the only healthy way of carrying heavy things. Again, having a locker/adequate storage space at work is much much better than the added weight being carried to and fro. – Deer Hunter Mar 25 '13 at 3:07
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    It depends a lot on job type, business type, and location. Generally speaking, if you meet customers, a backpack may put someone off, and should be avoided. If you work in law, finance, banking, or another stuffy industry, you may want to avoid it. If you are worried about the backpack, you may want to consider investing in a Soft Briefcase of some sort that has a shoulder strap (to make it easier to carry), but that can be removed to look more professional for a business meeting, etc. – jmac Mar 25 '13 at 5:08
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    Downvoted - not enough background information. If you are going to work in an Austin Texas USA software company with less than 100 employees then nobody will even notice. If you are going to work for Proctor and Gamble or Samsung Corporate HQ in Seoul then it very well might be an issue. As stated an answer is not possible. – Jim In Texas Mar 25 '13 at 16:39
  • @DeerHunter - The book bag would be to carry items to and from work. That has nothing to do with how the storage space / work location setup is. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Mar 25 '13 at 17:11
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When I started my first job, I carried a leather briefcase to work. Nothing was in it, as I didn't have to take much to or from work other than myself, so after a few weeks, I stopped carrying it altogether.

Today, I have a company laptop that I carry with me to and from work, and when I first received it, my motorcycle was sort of my daily driver, so I carried the laptop in a backpack.

The backpack sort of stuck, even though I have a car or take the bus, and it's not something I really thought much about. Our company culture is really laid back. We wear t-shirts and jeans, our leadership drives ten year old cars, and even when big clients visit, we display our culture with pride. We leave our dust-covered suits, ties, and briefcases at home.

You interviewed with the company, so you likely saw some of the corporate culture. Take into consideration what you saw. Did you see suits, ties, briefcases? Or did you see young millenials and Gen-Yers wearing casual clothes? Did the environment feel like a formal financial establishment, or did it feel more like a hip college campus or startup?

If you observed the former, and tomorrow morning you'll be wearing a suit and tie to work, then you may want to invest in a conservative, affordable briefcase, something that looks professional. Just make sure it fits your budget; it's not unprofessional to say no to debt. :)

However, if you didn't see a lot of briefcases, then bringing a backpack may turn out to be just fine. If you're not sure, then you may feel more comfortable erring on the side of caution and either bringing a briefcase, or only bring the necessities you can carry without it being awkward.

Today, the definition of what is and isn't professional is a bit subjective; it depends on your environment. The answer is found in observing what others are doing; do what they do until you feel more comfortable doing otherwise.

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    I would share this opinion. It really depends on your industry and your work environment. The first day at a new job, however, I would err on the side of taking in just what you may actually need for day 1. You can, during that first day, check what your close peers are using and thus have a better idea what you need. I've been know to bring extra equipment but leave most in the car so I don't have to lug it about until I know if I need it that first week. – Maura van der Linden Mar 25 '13 at 5:52

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