After getting past the excitement of starting a new job, so many people have to deal with the challenge of the nervousness and anxiety that comes with it. It is the same feeling that comes with starting a new project or going into unfamiliar terrain like working in a new office environment and with new colleagues.
In the case of a career switch which will require you to learn on the job as you navigate the tasks assigned to you, you may face the fear of not being able to deliver within the set deadlines. All these can be a bit overwhelming but there are ways to cope with them.
What is New Job Anxiety?
New job anxiety is the feeling or set of feelings that surface when you are on the verge of starting a new job. It consists of a number of emotional dispositions which could range from fear, nervousness, and anxiety to physical effects such as loss of appetite, headaches, nausea and so on. It is normal to face new job anxiety as you deal with the stress and fear of starting a new job. However, there are coping mechanisms you can use to overcome new job anxiety.
How to Cope with New Job Anxiety
New job anxiety usually fades away with time but while it is present, tit can be effectively managed. To cope with new job anxiety, you have to:
- Share your fears
As the saying goes, a problem shared is a problem half solved. Sharing your fears with a trusted friend or mentor can help you to overcome them. When you do this, you’ll identify core issues that are making you nervous and be able to focus your thoughts on the positive side. Your friend may also provide you with useful tips and the encouragement that you’ll find helpful.
- Prepare for your first day
Anxiety greatly diminishes when you feel prepared enough to take on the new challenge in front of you. Before the D-Day of resumption at your new place of work, take out time to figure out what you’ll wear, what route you’ll follow and how long it’ll take to get there and so on. You do not want to start off on the wrong foot with lateness or arrive at the office looking hassled and breathless.
- Ask questions and take notes
You must understand that you cannot possibly get a hang of everything going on at the organisation on the first day. So, be willing and ready to ask questions. This will save you the stress of overthinking or panicking over unnecessary things. Also, take note of the answers you are given so that you can refer to them whenever necessary.
In our First 100 Days in Comms Guide, you’ll find more tips on what you need to do hit the ground running when you start a new role. This will put you in a better position to deliver on the job and overcome feelings of anxiety. You can download the Guide here.
- Consciously maintain a positive mental state
Regardless of how you are feeling, you must remember that you were selected for the job because the company thought you were the best fit. You cannot afford to let your anxiety rob you of the opportunity to confirm the management’s belief in your abilities. As you go through the first few days and even weeks at your new job, be deliberate about thinking positively. And even if you make a mistake, don’t dwell on it for too long. Learn from it and keep going.
- Be patient with yourself
Every new job comes with the opportunity to improve on old skills and learn new ones. The pressure of wanting to get everything right from the start largely contributes to new job anxiety and creates a negative thought pattern.
Understand that you are there to give value and to gain experience, a process that cannot be completed in a day. It is a continuous process that will culminate in attaining a higher level of expertise in your skills. So, be patient with yourself.
On the brighter side, having a little bit of anxiety helps you to stay focused and prevents you from becoming overconfident. But you must not let anxiety consume you to the point of not delivering what is expected of you.
New job anxiety does not last forever and will ease off as the days go by. With time, you’ll get more comfortable with your job and the people around you.