If you’ve recently been successful in finding a new job, whether you are moving on from your current one or you have been unemployed for a while and are starting fresh, then you’ll probably be feeling a wide range of mixed emotions. It’s a positive thing, of course; a new job is always cause for celebration, but when you add the pride and happiness you feel with excitement, nervousness, fear, and other more negative emotions, it can be hard to know what to do.
A little anxiety is usual when you start a new job; it’s to be expected. However, too much anxiety can make the new job into something you dislike right from the start, before you even give it a chance. Feeling overwhelmed at the beginning is something that will be hard to overcome. With that in mind, read on for some ways to reduce that new job anxiety so you can truly make the most of your position and gain the recognition you deserve.
Trace the Source
If you can possibly determine what exactly is causing your anxiety, it will be much easier to deal with it. There is often a specific trigger that is the root of everything, and once you understand what that is you’ll know how to deal with it. If you can remove this issue, then everything else will feel much more comfortable and your anxiety will greatly reduce. Here are some examples of triggers and how to deal with them:
- You are worried you won’t wear the right clothes. In that case, think about what the other employees were wearing when you went to the office or building for your interview. If you didn’t see anyone or the interview was via Zoom or a similar video tool, send an email to your new employer or the HR department ask what the dress code is.
- You are worried you won’t know what to say to your new co-workers. This is natural; meeting new people is always something that people want to get right since the first impression someone has of you is important. If this is your concern, come up with an introduction ahead of time that you can use.
- You are worried that you’re not up to the job – you have imposter syndrome. Remember that you were interviewed, your resume and qualifications such as TWU’s FNP degree you studied for were checked, and you were awarded the job. That means the employer has faith in you. They wouldn’t have given you the job if they didn’t think you were up to it, so keep this in mind and focus on your strengths.
You won’t be able to control every aspect of your job, and anticipatory anxiety can be a problem, but the more prepared you can be, the less of an issue it will feel, and the more you’ll be able to put into your first day.
Practice Your Routine
The newer and more different something is, the more anxious it can make people, so if your new job will require a completely different routine to the one you have now, especially if you’ve been unemployed or working from home and now you have to go to an office every day, then that new routine is going to feel entirely alien to you. It’s this that can be most concerning of all, so it’s this that you should practice ahead of time. Once you’ve practiced your new routine two or three times and you’ve prepared what you need to prepare, it won’t feel quite so scary anymore.
To begin with, it’s important to think about your travel times. If you’re going to be driving, when will you leave the house and what will the traffic be like? Are there different routes to the office? If so, try each one and see which you prefer. If you have pets and you’re worried that your absence is going to upset them, you can start by leaving them for longer periods each day until they adjust to the new routine. Perhaps you’re unsure where to go for lunch because you know you won’t want to eat it at your desk. In that case, travel to the office and then explore the local area. Are there any parks you can enjoy a packed lunch in, or cafes to grab a bite that won’t break the bank?
Try Some Mindfulness
If you’ve never heard of mindfulness before, or you have heard of it but never thought it would actually work, it’s time to readjust your thinking because mindfulness has been shown to be highly effective when it comes to anxiety of any kind, not just that relating to starting a new job.
When you are highly anxious, it can be hard to think of anything other than the problem you are having to deal with. This can lead you to continue to analyze your issue and make it into a much more substantial problem than it really is. Trying to come up with solutions to these feelings could make you feel even worse because the thing you’re worried about will become the only thing on your mind and you won’t be able to focus on anything else.
When you are able to become more mindful, you can lower your anxiety considerably. Mindfulness techniques are those that allow you to be entirely in the present moment rather than being anxious about the future or regretful (or anything else) about the past. Rather than trying to analyze your concerns, you can acknowledge that they exist and then clear your mind by concentrating on the present. This can be done through meditation, yoga, listening to music, enjoying a hobby, and many other mindful activities. Once you have finished what you’re doing, you will, inevitably, start thinking about whatever it is that’s causing you anxiety again, but this time, because you are more relaxed and less stressed, you can be more objective and understand that it’s natural to be nervous and that any other concerns are all created by you, and are not real.
Talk About It
Anxiety about starting a new job is extremely common; it’s far more unusual for someone not to feel nervous about starting something new, no matter what the circumstances might be. This means that, if you feel talking about your worries will help you – and it often will – there are sure to be plenty of people in your friendship group or your family who understand exactly what you’re going through.
Being an adult means a number of things that are the same for everyone, no matter what likes or dislikes you have, no matter what personality you have, no matter what qualifications you have or what career you want to follow. One of these things is that, if you want to live a comfortable, productive life, you’ll need a job. Whether that’s full time or part time, remote or on-site, self-employed or employed, is down to you, but it’s an important part of adult life.
This means that there are sure to be people in your circle who have jobs and they will all have had to have a first day at some point. They’ll understand exactly how you are feeling and why, and even if they don’t have any advice other than the fact that you’re going to have to try it out and see what happens, talking to someone who has been where you are and having them listen to your concerns is often enough.
Do Some Shopping
Of course, it’s never a good idea to spend all your money just before you start a new job – or at any time, come to that – and ‘retail therapy’ can sometimes do more harm than good. However, there are certain things that you are sure to need for your new position, such as clothing, perhaps a bag, maybe some containers for your lunch and a Thermos for your drink. You might need to purchase a planner or calendar, and if you are to work from home then you’ll need office equipment such as an ergonomic chair.
By purchasing these things, you’ll feel much more in control of the situation. Plus, this kind of shopping is often something people enjoy; there’s just something about new stationery and office equipment that is fun but practical, and this combination is a good one. When you have all the items you’ll need to ensure you can get straight to work on your first day, you’ll feel much calmer and happier about heading into the office.
Decorating your workspace doesn’t have to cost any money, of course. Depending on the rules of the company, you might want to bring a framed photo or two from home, or a pot plant you currently have in your living room and you think it would do more good on your desk. These little touches from home will make you feel more comfortable, and provide a link between your new surroundings and your familiar ones, so it can be a good idea. Plus it helps your co-workers form an impression of who you are before they speak to you, and this could help with those potentially awkward first introductions (especially if you can look at their desks and form an impression of them in return).