How to Cope with New Job Anxiety

Posted by: Jannike Post Date: 4th September 2017

How long it takes to feel at home in your new role depends on lots of factors, from what your colleagues are like to how much is piled on your plate from day one. That’s not to mention the nerves that many people experience in a new job, which can make it harder to settle in right away.

But never fear – there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Whatever your situation, here are some ways to cope with the anxiety that can weigh you down in the first days, weeks and months of your new job.

Understand your role

It’s hard to do a good job when you’re not sure what you’re working towards. Before you get going, you need a really good understanding of the purpose of your role within the team, and within the whole organisation.

How to cope with new job anxiety

Work with your line manager to get to grips with what’s expected of you and how you’ll be measured. You could even take another look at the job description to remind yourself of your key areas of responsibility.

By doing all of this, you can judge how well you’re doing as you go along, and there shouldn’t be any surprises come your next (or first!) one to one.

Get organised

Running late? Forgotten something important? No idea what you should be doing? We’ve all been there… but these moments of panic can be avoided through proper preparation.

Take 15 minutes the night before to prepare lunch, find and iron your outfit and put anything else you need together, and you can save yourself running around like a headless chicken when it’s time to head to work. This is especially helpful if you’re prone to “where are my keys?” or “I can’t find my trousers” scenarios.

You should also prepare yourself for what to do once you get to work. Of course, every job is different; you might be completely in control of your own time, or you might have a clear process to follow. Either way, make sure you have a plan to follow.

This might involve spending your first few days researching, analysing and planning for the weeks and months ahead, or it could mean asking your line manager to share as much as possible about what you’ll be working on.

It helps to schedule your work, whether it’s by hour, day or week. This way, you’ll know exactly what to do when you arrive each morning, avoiding time spent figuring out where to start.

Keep on moving

Being good at your job doesn’t mean getting to the point where you’re comfortable and staying there. There’s no such thing as perfect in any role, and you should always be pushing yourself to be better than you were yesterday.

It’s important to discuss professional development with your line manager, from new activities you could be involved with to qualifications you could achieve. Don’t be afraid to broach this subject early on, as any good employer will be enthusiastic to develop your abilities further; after all, it’s for their benefit as well as your own.

If you’d like some advice on how you or your colleagues could develop through relevant and prestigious qualifications, get in touch below.

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Look after yourself

When you start a new job, things can quickly become overwhelming, and if you’re not careful this could have an adverse effect on your wellbeing.

Here are some of the things to keep on top of:

Getting plenty of sleep: while 8 hours is the recommended amount, you’ll know how much you need to feel bright and refreshed throughout the day.

Eating well: you might find yourself in a rush, but make sure you get a good breakfast, have at least three nutritious meals, and don’t rely on junk food like chocolate and crisps to get through the day.

Exercising: getting your heart rate soaring regularly (and not through nerves!) has tremendous benefits, not just to your body but to your mind. As well as feeling happy and relaxed straight afterwards, you’ll benefit from things like reduced anxiety, improved memory and more energy in the long term.

Relaxing: no matter how hectic your new job, keep some time aside each day for doing the things you love. Even if you’ve got lots to do, learn and prove, letting work eat through your personal time is not a sustainable option. Rather than getting more done, you’ll become tired, grouchy, and generally less productive.

Ask for help

Most of us struggle with asking for help. It means you have to accept there’s something you either don’t know or can’t do, and this is especially hard when you’re trying to make a great impression.

Instead, it might seem easier to struggle on and try to figure things out yourself; then you might be able to keep your secret safe forever!

Just think of it this way: when you first start a new job, you can’t reasonably be expected to know how to do everything, and your new colleagues will understand that. In fact, many people love the opportunity to showcase their expertise, so you might be doing someone a favour by asking.

The best approach to take, then, is just to ask for help if you’ve tried and failed to work it out yourself. Once you do, you’ll be much more comfortable in your role, and could have started a friendship in the process.

Enjoy it

As terrifying as it might seem now, you’ll look back on starting your new job as a great experience. Chances are it’ll all turn out fine, but even if things don’t go exactly as you imagined, you’ll learn from negative experiences and use them to make wiser decisions in the future.

Also remember that in 5 years’ time, you won’t even remember the time you got lost or forgot someone’s name!

So no matter what the job, take the time in your first few days to get to know your new colleagues, take stock of a fresh environment, and open yourself up to brand new opportunities.

From accounting to leadership and management, and property to customer service, we can help you advance in your role. With options including flexible courses and apprenticeship programmes, we’d love to speak to you about your route to professional success, so get in touch below.

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