How to Deal With Your Nerves and Anxiety When Starting a New Job

What To Do When You’re Nervous About Your New Job

In addition to doing the work itself, you have to learn about a whole new office ecosystem — the physical space itself, the personal connections within it, the routines that have been created without you in mind — and figure out how you fit into everything.

Introverts out there are certainly imploding on sight at the question in the title of this section, but there are some people out there who truly don’t see what the big deal is when it comes to working someplace new.

People like this — extroverts, typically — love the chance to put themselves in new situations, challenge themselves, meet new people, and explore their own capabilities by utilizing those skills in the context of a different job or company.

Thankfully, most people out there experience at least some trepidation when it comes to a new work situation, so odds are you’ll meet at least one person out there who can sympathize with your nervousness.

The fact is that a new job always comes with a host of new variables that can make any sense of comfort feel incredibly remote. All that stuff you either learned at your last job or have been slowly putting together in theory during your time at school?

And in the event that your new job functions relatively (or even completely) similarly to your last one, you’re still in a brand new company with brand new people, and it’s essential that you (quickly) figure out how things work here.

What to Do to Calm Down Before Going Into Your New Job

Get a good night’s sleep. Not technically a morning thing, but make sure you got some sleep the night before. Take a sleep aid if you’re having trouble getting sleep on your own, or if you know you have trouble falling asleep normally. It’s critical that you be as rested as possible on your first day.

Wake up early. If you’re stressed and are having trouble sleeping, this might be a decision your body makes on your behalf, but either way it’s good to have some extra time in the morning before you go in for your first day.

Wear something nice on your first day. It’s ok if you’re a little overdressed compared to the rest of the office. For one thing, it’s better to err on the side of caution when it comes to office dress codes (you can always dress more casually later on), and for another, you’re more likely to feel confident in yourself during the rest of the day if you’re dressed in a way that makes you feel good about yourself.

Eat breakfast. Do it, nerd. We know you “don’t normally eat breakfast.” We know you “just don’t feel hungry when you wake up.” We know you might be “too nervous.” Just eat. It is scientifically better for you to eat breakfast than to not.

Prepare as much as possible. Look into your new responsibilities or a new way of completing duties you’re familiar with. If you can talk to your manager about what’s expected of you before your first day, you can start to brush up on your skills and knowledge.

Manage your expectations. You may want to jump into your new job and immediately start adding value — that’s a great attitude, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself to start off as an expert. The first couple of weeks are a learning experience, so keep that in mind and relax, even if you don’t know everything.

Express your anxiety. Often, the best way to dispel anxiety is to simply talk about it with a trusted confidante. They can remind you of how awesome you are and why you earned the job in the first place.

If there’s nobody around to talk to, try journaling about your feelings. Your anxieties may feel a little less unresolvable once you put them down on paper and look at them objectively.

Plan something nice for yourself. Hey, your first day might be stressful, but be kind to yourself and plan something fun or relaxing after your first day at the new job. This will provide motivation throughout the day and help you realize that work isn’t everything.

7 Tips to Overcome New Job Nerves and Anxiety

You have exciting new opportunities before you as you prepare to begin your new career. To help you overcome your anxiety and move confidently into your new position, there are a few strategies you can employ. Here are the top seven we recommend.

When your employer offered you this new position, they selected you from all the other candidates. In other words, after examining your skills and experience, they decided that you were the right person for the job. From your resume to your job interview, you made a good first impression. Now, remember that this was also the right impression. Put that imposter syndrome aside and remind yourself that you can do this.

It can be a challenge to keep this simple piece of advice in mind, especially when you’re nervous, as confidence in your ability can quickly fly out the window. However, some find it helpful to write a positive mantra on a piece of paper and put it somewhere they can see it on their way to work.

You Won’t Know Everything — and That’s OK

As you walk into work for the first time, remember that it’s OK not to absorb everything in the first few days. New hires have a learning curve as they begin to master new business systems and operations. Any logical co-worker or new boss will know that you’re still learning and be willing to help you when you need it.

However, as you go through the onboarding process, take the time to ask questions and make sure you fully understand what they’re training you to do. This will help make a great first impression, as you show your dedication to understanding and doing the best job possible. It will also help you uncover important information that allows you to adapt faster. Let your job jitters inspire you to be particularly conscientious as you adjust.

Don’t freak out if mistakes happen, though. Just make sure to admit to your mistakes as early as possible. The faster mistakes are addressed, the easier it will be to correct any problems, helping you continue learning and growing in your new position.

Stay positive and set realistic expectations

Train your mind to focus on the wins and to see failures as learning experiences. Even the most experienced employee is bound to fall short of a goal now and then. And as a new employee, it’s going to take time to learn the ropes and best practices of your new workplace. Give yourself the chance to learn during this transitional period and use your missteps as a way to become a more efficient and knowledgeable employee.

Try not to clutter your daily to-do list with an excessive number of tasks. When starting out at a new job, it’s important to take things slow and celebrate every accomplishment and step forward. If you assign yourself too many tasks, you will become overwhelmed and won’t be able to get to them, and that will only add to your stress. Focus on your top few priorities each day. You will feel much more accomplished when you’re able to clear your to-do list on a daily basis.

Get enough sleep

Everyone says it for a reason: You need an adequate amount of sleep to be able to do your best work. Countless studies have consistently shown that adults need seven to eight hours of restful sleep each night in order to function at a high level the next morning. And at a new job, having a ready-to-go attitude is even more important as you are still working to make positive first impressions.

Simply do whatever you need to do to get a good night’s sleep. If you wake often during the night (or of the day, if you work overnights) and need to improve your sleep quality, try using blackout curtains, earplugs, a sleep mask, or essential oils to aid your sleep. If you have regular shift hours, try downloading a sleep pattern app to help you decide when exactly you should go to sleep each night in order to get an adequate amount of rest.

Whatever you do, don’t show up to work without having had enough sleep. Not only will you show up in a bad mood, but you’ll also be less productive during your shift, adding to your stress levels and making co-workers question why you were hired.

To conclude, new job anxiety and stress can be reduced by putting your mental health and wellbeing first: Exercise, sleep well, and make time for your family and hobbies. If you are feeling healthy and productive when you walk into work, you’ll start your first day off on a good foot. Train your mind to focus on the positives, set achievable goals, and learn from your mistakes. Manage your time wisely at work and avoid unnecessary negative interaction with co-workers by steering clear of workplace drama. By implementing these practical tips, you can thrive at your new job without being weighed down by unnecessary stress.


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