When you end a job search and score a great offer, you are all excited to see your new working place. However, when the moment arrives, a shrinking fear overtakes your mind. You are not acquainted with the workplace, staff, and the culture of the organization. You are conscious of whom to report, when to talk, what to do, and how things are done. It somehow stirs deep feelings of apprehension. All this makes it difficult to handle new job anxiety and feel confident about your new role.
From our study, it’s quite natural to experience these fleeting emotions of stress, confusion, and nervousness. It’s common and most of us feel unsure & anxious before starting a new job. But the good news is, our brains are hard-wired to manage anxiety. All we must do is decode our feelings by learning about the root cause and then assessing solutions to beat all stressful thoughts. So before moving forward with the ways to deal with new job anxiety, let’s understand the probable causes.
What Causes New Job Anxiety?
You can understand the general awkwardness we all go through in an unfamiliar environment. We are on alert the moment we meet new people and our minds are hard-wired to respond the way we do.
Keith Rollag is an associate professor of organizational behavior at Babson College and the author of What to Do When You’re New: How to Be Confident, Comfortable, and Successful in New Situations. She says,
“During the hunter-gatherer days, encountering a stranger usually occurred when you were moving into another tribe’s territory, and that was stressful and potentially dangerous.”
“Humans had to quickly decide whether the stranger was a friend or foe and take appropriate action.” She further adds, “We are out of our element from an evolutionary standpoint, and our minds and cognitive abilities are still catching up.”
So, when you step into a new job you will meet new people which can therefore make you anxious. Apart from this, you will find many reasons that cause new job anxiety. Here are some that make it difficult to handle new job anxiety, let’s have a look:
- Unfamiliar environment
- Being surrounded by strangers
- Facing work conflicts on the first day of the job
- Having a demanding boss can make you anxious
- Lack of direction on tasks
- Lack of control over the current environment
- Discomfort and difficulty in adjusting
- Self-doubts and hesitation
- Confusion and doubts related to the working process
- Worried while communicating with new colleagues and office mates
So, now that you know the probable reasons for new job anxiety, it will help you cope with it quickly.
How to Handle New Job Anxiety?
1 – Remember why they hired you
When you are new, you are all excited that often makes you forget or confused about what you were doing in the first place. At your one mistake, all that excitement gets replaced with fear and trepidation. This impacts your confidence and leaves you in self-doubt.
Whenever such a situation arises always remember why they hired you. Have confidence in your abilities and remember that you have cleared your interview that’s why you are here. It is enough to realize that your employers have faith in your abilities. This is the reason that you have surpassed dozens of candidates and secured a job role in the organization to grow and flourish.
Also, remind yourself that you landed this job due to the panel seeing value in you; so, you should focus on your tasks, growth opportunities, value addition, or the difference you get to make.
2- Everyone was once new too
You should remember that everyone who is surrounding you today, be it your boss, your colleagues, other staff were once in the same position.
If your fear gets out of control, remember this shall pass too. Reassure yourself that you’ve tackled the biggest hurdle, which is the recruitment process. If you have got through that you shall go through this smoothly.
Give yourself some time and everything will settle in a short time. Gradually, you’ll understand your colleagues’ likes and dislikes and you will quickly adjust according to it. Always think of the bigger picture and wait for the best to come.
3- Communicate how you feel
Stepping into a new workplace could be stressful for you. You may feel a kind of vacuum where you may struggle to release your emotions about how you feel for something. We will recommend you seek support and ask your friend, a professional therapist, or a career coach. It will surely help you get through your anxiety.
Be honest with what you communicate, and it can only make your experience healthy and fruitful. However, it could be an acute bout of anxiety with a new job, which will get better as the days pass. Well, if you struggle with chronic anxiety, you must book an appointment with a therapist. Later on, you can bring these concerns before your boss, co-workers, friends, or family.
4- Make use of internal company training
One of the best ways to deal with anxiety in your new job is to focus on growth opportunities in the organization. It will help you to learn new things and develop your skills. Put these apprehensions on halt and adopt a positive, purposeful, and forward-looking attitude. Invest your time into new work projects and make time for your passion. Make a to-do list , stick to it and celebrate each accomplishment at a time.
5- Stop thinking about what-ifs
Stop doubting yourself; instead, train your mind to focus on the wins. If you fail, take it as a learning experience and quickly move forward with the next thing. Remember, even the most experienced employee was a beginner. Give yourself time and gradually you will learn the ropes and best practices of your new workplace. Work on becoming the most efficient and knowledgeable employee of the organization.
Concentrate on your priorities and don’t take up too many responsibilities. It will give you clarity and direction, and thus, you will feel more confident with what to do and what not.
6- Stop worrying about how your colleagues will perceive you
Nobody is perfect. Further, an all or nothing attitude puts too many unrealistic expectations. This stiff attitude towards your work and unrealistic expectation can contribute to increased feelings of anxiety. So, you should resist the temptation of impressing everyone around and being perfect on the very first day.
Moreover, it is not at all beneficial for you in the long run. Everybody works at their own speed and you should accept it. Even the organization for which you are hired is not expecting you to be a super employee from the first day. They also understand that it is part of the process and you will catch up in some time.
So, stop worrying about how your colleagues will judge you, and focus on how you can add value and put your best foot forward!
7 – Stay positive and enjoy the moment
You should stay relaxed and positive.
Go through the office premises, make new friends, and enjoy yourself. Take an office tour and get acquainted with the restrooms, canteen, the stairs, and elevators. Locate the place where you will have your lunch and when you can take breaks. Also, seek out any other amenities that the workplace offers. If you didn’t go, consider asking a colleague for one.
Be in the moment and you will love the process. Figure out how you will commute, finding the right times to leave home. Explore different routes to your office and various transportation methods; so, you will know which one is the fastest. These things will be a positive distraction and save you from feeling jittery about your new job.
We know that people get anxious being new and it is ok – the problem arises when it becomes chronic. We hope these tips to handle new job anxiety will help you kiss goodbye to nervousness and embrace your job role with grace and confidence! All the best!
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