Top 7 Ways To Combat New Job Anxiety
Are you struggling with anxiety at your new job? Convinced you’ll make a bad first impression?
Read our top 7 ways to beat the stress that comes with a new role!
Combating New Job Anxiety
It is your first day at your new job. After the initial job search, application and nerve-wracking interview process, your persistence and hard work has paid off; you have your new role secured. You think that you can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Instead, you find yourself crippled with anxiety and have nervously sweat your way through the armpits of two different shirts before you’ve even left the house.
Starting a new job can be an exciting yet scary time. Making a good first impression is at the forefront of your mind – it feels like everything rests on starting on the right foot. Reaffirming your boss’ decision that you are good enough for the job, being liked by your coworkers, proving that you have what it takes to work there.
Statistics show that first impressions are determined by:
The way you dress, body language and walk
How you speak
What you actually say
At such a time of big changes in your career, starting a brand-new job surrounded by new people, new responsibilities, daunted by a big new building and new situation, severe anxiety is the last thing you want in your life. Why do we even get anxious if all it seems to do is impair our abilities? Well, believe it or not, anxiety was originally an evolutionary advantage built to aid the hunter-gatherer’s fight or flight response. Anxiety is made up of several symptoms, including palpitations, shortness of breath, and sweating, that culminate into a feeling of fear or distress. Once directed primarily in the face of immediate danger or a threat such as a predator, it is now more commonly brought on by school, trauma, performance or work-related stress.
Feeling anxious is completely normal and a natural part of life, a little of it can give you motivation towards meeting important deadlines, or that extra bit of adrenaline needed to catch the last bus. However, the last thing you want is for your anxious or negative thoughts to get in the way of making a good first impression in your new role. To combat the new job jitters, here are 7 tips that will be sure to save you from being overwhelmed by the daunting first few days or weeks at a new job:
Over 50% of first impressions
1. Dress To Impress
If there is a dress code or uniform, make sure you adhere to it. Wear something that you feel both confident and comfortable in. The last thing you want on your first day at the office is the added stress of a dress code mishap; wearing something too tight, too revealing or just not appropriate. Although you might not realise it, confidence in your appearance can subconsciously affect your confidence in how you present yourself, interacting with new coworkers and tasks.
2. Don't Be Afraid Of Asking Questions
Everyone was new once! You’re not expected to know everything from day one. Don’t stress. It’s a learning process and your new employer and fellow employees will understand that. Build up a collaborative, good relationship with your coworkers. If you mess up, don’t try to hide it – use the experience to improve, and who knows, your initial mishaps may make great stories one day. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
3. Don't Try To Deal With It Alone
Talk to someone if you are having a hard time. Ask for career advice, coping advice, whether it be a family member, a friend or partner. No doubt they have all experienced a similar feeling of new job anxiety. A support system and community of the best people backing you up is essential for good mental health and overall wellbeing.
4. Make Time For 'Me Time'
Take the time to sit back, have a break from stress and relax. Meditate, do hot yoga, go on a hike, eat a block of chocolate, have a luxurious bubble bath. Clear your mind and come back to dealing with the pressure to perform well and to be likeable among your new colleagues at your new position with a fresh perspective.
5. Be Honest
If you are having trouble coping, have a chat to your boss, HR or colleagues. A mental health professional if you need. Be able to admit to yourself that you are finding adapting to the new job and work environment difficult, or the work load or expectations. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help and don’t struggle in silence.
6. Don't Overthink It
Whether you’re doing a mental run through of all the worst case scenarios and ‘what ifs’, ruminating over some awkward small talk you made with your manager in the break room or are having self-doubt about your abilities due to a small mistake you made on the job, don’t dwell on it! Even though it is hard to stop worrying, try to step back from the situation, take a deep breath, and don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill.
7. Most Importantly: Have Fun!
Embrace being new. Enjoy learning new things, challenging yourself and being excited about your brand new job and all the new experiences you will have and interesting people you will meet. If you are still in the clutches of new job anxiety, the most important thing is to just give it time, embrace the unknown and accept that you can’t be perfect immediately.
Hopefully these tips helped you in some way – whether you are still applying for a new job, struggling to think positive things in your new workplace, or anywhere in between.
Remember not to stress about being stressed or anxious – it’s a part of life!