Overcoming Anxiety about Starting a New Job

I’m starting a new job next week. I’d say I’m about 90% excited and 10% nervous at the moment. The balance has been shifting every day for the last week and I’m sure it will keep shifting until I’m settled.

Isn’t it crazy how your brain chooses to focus on all the things that could go wrong – instead of all the things that could go right?! When you’re about to start a new job – this feeling can intensify so much that it can affect your sleep, your behaviour and ability to concentrate as normal.

It’s totally normal to feel a bit anxious about walking into a brand new environment. Especially if you don’t know anyone.

I’ve put together some tips for easing and overcoming the anxieties that come with starting a new job (before you start, on your first day and beyond!)

Before You Start

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Prep Yourself with Information

If you’re the kind of person who likes to have as much information about something before it happens – do some research on the company and the work they do. Explore their website. It might not be information that you’ll need on your first day (or ever!) but it will settle your mind.

Do a Trial-Run of Your Journey To Work

I’m a real stickler for time. I’m always worried about being late and will probably have recurring nightmares about being late for my first day until it’s over.

A good way to conquer this fear is to do a Trial-run of your journey to work on a free evening or weekend. Plan how you’re going to get there, whether that’s walking, driving or taking public transport. I like to set a timer on my Trial-run so I know roughly how long it’s going to take me to get from my flat to work. Then I add a few minutes on either end to allow for emergencies.

This might sound a bit over-the-top but I find that having things planned out to precision really helps me to manage my anxiety.

Make Time for Self-Care the Night Before You Start

The night before you start your new job is probably going to be the time when you’re experiencing the highest level of anxiety. Self-Care is crucial in managing anxiety and stress. I’ve written a whole post about self-care tips and ideas which should help you get started.

Related Post: Self-Care Tips for Managing Stress and Anxiety

Choose Your Outfit the Night Before

This might sound like a bit of a silly suggestion – but it will be one less thing to worry about in the morning.

If you’re not sure of the dress code in your new workplace – opt for something smart on your first day. After that, you will have an idea of what other people are wearing. Then tailor your work wardrobe accordingly.

Get Plenty of Sleep

The night before you start your new job, it’s important to try and keep as calm as possible and get as much sleep as you can. Once again, I know this is easier said than done. This way you can make sure that you’re fully awake and alert to start this exciting new chapter in your life.

Related Posts: 5 Ways to End Anxious Sleepless Nights

On Your First Day

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Be Patient With Yourself

Remember: no-one will expect you to know everything on day 1. You’ve already passed the hardest test in getting the job in the first place!

Luckily I already have experience in the role that I’m starting. With that being said, it doesn’t matter how well-versed you are in the job role itself, every office/workplace is different. Learning how things are done in your new work environment (and the office politics!) is going to take time, and that’s ok.

No-one expects you to be perfect on your first day, or even your first few weeks. If they’re a good company, full training will be provided. You might even have been assigned a “buddy” who can help you with any questions or worries you might have.

Don’t forget, you won’t be the new person forever!

Show Open Body Language

I know this is one I tend to struggle with if I’m feeling nervous. Avoid folding your arms as this creates the impression that you’re “closed off”. Showing a relaxed exterior and a warm smile will make you seem more friendly and approachable to your new colleagues. It’s so much easier to enjoy your job when you get along with the people you work with.

Write Things Down

Chances are, you’ll be bombarded with a lot of information on your first day alone. It will be an impossible feat to fit it all in your head at once.

Whether its your computer login details, a to-do-list or a step-by-step guide of how to do something – it’s really handy to have a notepad and a pen to hand to write key information down as and when you hear it.

Plus, if you’re like me and hate the idea of asking someone a question you’ve already been given the answer too, this will help to minimise the risk of this happening! WIN!

Remember Why You’re There

This one is super-important. Remind yourself that you’re at your new workplace because you were selected as the best person for the job. Your were chosen over every other candidate who applied because your employers believe in you. You nailed your application/interview on your own merits. YOU CAN DO THIS.

After Your First Day

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Take Stock of Your First Day and Praise Yourself

When you get home, take some time out to think about everything that you’ve learned and accomplished that day. It doesn’t have to be anything huge. You’ve learnt a few names, you know where to find your desk, where the good coffee is, where people go for lunch.

Set Some Goals

After you’ve taken stock of everything you’ve already learned, set some targets for the end of your first week. This could be something like knowing the names of everyone in your department, or submitting your first task to your supervisor. Once again, it doesn’t have to be something massive but once you’ve achieved it – it’ll give you a real confidence boost.



Do you have any tips for starting a new job? Leave me a comment below or send me a tweet!

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