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Feeling nervous about starting a new job? Here's how to overcome your anxiety

Feeling nervous about starting a new job? Here's how to overcome your anxiety

  • 6 Great strategies to help overcome anxiety when starting a new job
  • 1. Adopt a positive mindset
  • 2. Be prepared
  • 3. Cultivate relationships
  • 4. Use stress-management techniques
  • 5. Demonstrate your commitment
  • 6. Display patience
  • Key takeaways

Receiving a job offer is an exhilarating feeling, but the nerves can quickly take over when your new job is about to start. The good news is that with the right strategies you can channel this nervous energy to ensure a strong start. Read our expert guide to overcoming your anxiety and acing your first day at work.

When the exhilaration of landing a new job subsides, the next phase kicks in of actually starting your brand new job. As your first day at work approaches, you’re bound to feel a bit nervous. What will be expected of you in these early days? Will your coworkers be nice? What sort of working environment will you be walking into? Where should you even park? 

While it’s totally normal to be nervous about starting a new job, you don’t want the nerves to take over and negatively impact your performance. Having the right strategies in place will help you overcome anxiety and ensure you glide into your new job with a great first impression. 

In this blog, we provide our top six strategies to overcoming new job anxiety, including:

  • Adopting a positive mindset

  • Being prepared

  • Cultivating relationships

  • Applying stress management techniques

  • Demonstrating your commitment

  • Displaying patience

Statistical Insight

When you're about to start a new job, avoid falling into the trap of self doubt. Imposter syndrome is pretty common in professional populations, with up to 82 percent of people having the sense that they haven’t earned what they’ve achieved and are a fraud.

6 Great strategies to help overcome anxiety when starting a new job

You should not have to sleep badly the night before starting a new job. Here’s our top six strategies to help tackle your nerves:

1. Adopt a positive mindset

Reassure yourself that you can do this! You got the job because your employer thought you were the perfect choice among many other suitably qualified candidates. Add to that the onboarding and training you will be offered on starting your new job, and you’ll be fully prepared. Your new employer wants you to succeed too, so be reassured that you are the right person for the job and you will be supported.

2. Be prepared

This helps alleviate the doubt plaguing your mind. Plan what you’re going to wear, work out the best route to get to work, review your interview notes, and check in with your new boss to see if there is anything else you can prepare ahead of the first day. These may seem like minor things, but they will all contribute to making you feel less nervous.

3. Cultivate relationships

Your friends, family, mentors, and close network contacts are all great people to check in with if you’re feeling nervous about starting a new job. These are the people who you can share your worries and concerns with, and who will probably give you some great advice and reassurance.

Focus on building and nurturing relationships with your new colleagues as this will help eliminate those new job jitters. Learn what your colleagues do, interact with them in meetings or over coffee, and attend team-building events. Get to know your co-workers professionally so you feel more at home in your new workplace. 

Expert Tip

If you’re working remotely, it can be trickier to build relationships with coworkers. If you can go into the office from time to time, then make the most of these opportunities to meet people in-person. Virtual meetings or online coffee catch-ups also offer the chance to connect.

4. Use stress-management techniques

If you start to feel anxious during your first week, you may want to stretch, take deep breaths, and visualize something that calms you. Other activities such as meditation, journaling, yoga, music, and reading can help regulate your feelings and restore your equilibrium, banishing the anxious feelings that a new job can create. 

  • Take notes during onboarding and training. This will help you avoid asking the same questions twice as you learn the ropes.
  • Start each day with a healthy routine. Eat breakfast, do a quick burst of exercise, listen to music, and maintain a calm atmosphere that you can carry into work.
  • Compare yourself to your more experienced colleagues in the early days. You can’t be expected to know everything all at once.
  • Make judgments and offer opinions too early on in your new job. At first, just listen and learn, then offer your suggestions at a later date.

5. Demonstrate your commitment

Focus on asking lots of questions, learning from others, and observing company culture. Take time over your onboarding process and embrace any support offered or newly assigned tasks. If an employer can see you’re giving 100% to the role and really gelling with the team, you will quickly be recognized as a valued employee and your anxiety will soon become a distant memory. 

6. Display patience

Whether it takes a week, a month, or more to settle into your new job, it’s important to allow yourself this time to adjust and adapt to your new work environment and the tasks you are being given. Every new hire and new job is different, so don’t be too hard on yourself if it takes a bit longer than expected to acclimatize.  

If you’re looking to maximize your potential in your new job, check out Career.io’s First 90-Days Plan which provides a roadmap to maximizing your potential in the first 90 days of your new role.  

Key takeaways

  1. If you feel anxiety rising before starting a new job, remind yourself that the hiring manager chose you over other candidates and you are worthy of your new position.

  2. Adopting a positive and proactive mindset, nurturing relationships, using stress management techniques, and fully committing to your new role will help you quell the jitters and make a great first impression.

  3. Feeling nervous is totally normal and shows that you really care about your new job. Look forward to the future as that anxiety will subside.

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