9 tips to ease new job nerves | Main region

9 tips to ease new job nerves

Are you about to start a new job? If so, congratulations! This is a significant step forward for you and your career. But while you’re feeling excited about your new role, after a few days some of this initial excitement can wear off and be replaced with feelings of anxiety or nervousness.

If this describes you, rest assured you’re not alone. Even the most confident of people find the prospect of starting a new job nerve-wracking. After all, nerves are the body’s natural response to change and feeling a sense of nervous anticipation before any pivotal change in our lives is completely normal.

Furthermore, your new job anxiety and nerves can be put to good use. In the case of starting a new job, a controllable sense of nervousness can help you perform at your best and ensure you make a positive first impression in your job from day one. It’s when those nerves become uncontrollable, however, that they start to damage your efforts to get yourself off to the smoothest possible start in your new job.

9 tips to keep your new job nerves in check

So, if you’re worried your new-job nerves are starting to take over, here are a few tips to help ease your new job anxiety in the days and weeks leading up to your start date:

1. Understand your nerves are temporary

Remember that your nerves are a temporary feeling and after a few days in your new job you’ll probably be wondering why you were so worried. So, instead of fretting or letting your new job anxiety take over, try to remember all the things that motivated you to take this new job in the first place, including the chance to embark on a new chapter of your life, meet new people and the opportunity to work in a different place and for a new and interesting company. This is a time in your life to be excited, so try not to dread your first day or let your temporary feelings of worry and nervousness get in the way of a positive start to your new job.

2. Stop worrying what new colleagues think of you

Try to resist the temptation to put huge pressure on yourself to be perfect and know everything from day one in your new workplace. You may feel anxious to impress your new team members, but instant perfection is not expected of anyone. This kind of all-or-nothing thinking is unrealistic and can harm your mental health. It will only add to your stress and certainly won’t help you perform any better in your job in the long run.

Instead, understand that it’ll take you a few weeks and months to get up to speed in your new role – and no one expects otherwise. While it's easier said than done, try to stop worrying about how your new colleagues will judge you and focus your mind on making the best possible first impression you can.

3. Adopt a growth mindset

A person with a growth mindset will see a new job as an opportunity to learn new things and develop their career, rather than something to fear and feel anxious about. So, call a halt to any negative voices in your head and instead tell yourself that even if your new job is difficult to begin with, over time you will learn and figure it out.

Remember, you’ve worked hard and deserve this exciting new career opportunity. You’ve also tackled and overcome change in your life many times before. You’ve had lots of ‘first days’, so there’s a strong chance that you’ll come through this particular first day, and the weeks that follow, just as successfully. Adopting a positive, purposeful and forward-looking attitude is central to your efforts to develop a growth mindset and keep your nerves and feelings of stress at bay.

4. Keep your imposter syndrome in check

Dispelling the gloomy voices in your head is key to controlling your nerves and anxiety. Try to silence those voices that tell you ‘you’re not good enough’, because that’s simply not true. Instead, reaffirm to yourself that you deserve this opportunity.

It may help to remind yourself that you, and you alone, were chosen for this job over many others because your skills and experience are valued by your new employer. In other words, your new boss wants you to be there. It’s very easy to lose sight of this when you’re nervous or under stress.

So, try to stop worrying that you’re not as good as you’ve said you are in interviews, or that you’re less capable than your new colleagues. Instead, practise positive affirmations and remember how excited you were when you were offered the job with this company – bring that memory and positive mindset into your new workplace.

5. Keep your new job in perspective

Is your mind constantly worrying about a million and one ‘what ifs’ related to your new job? For instance, perhaps you are anxious about your new commute, your new colleagues or whether you will be able to get to grips with the role.

If so, remember that while starting a new job is important, this is just another chapter in your life. In fact, your life will have many different chapters, all of which will bring their own challenges. But you will overcome all of them in time and then move on to the next. So, try to keep your new job in perspective – this is just another change in your life and you will soon acclimatise. When you do, your mind will move on and focus on something else.

6. Contact your new manager

If you are feeling particularly worried, reaching out to your new manager can help calm your nerves. Proactively start to build a connection and relationship with your boss. For example, why not send them an email or meet for a coffee? This allows you to reiterate how much you’re looking forward to starting your new role, ask questions and get to know them outside the office. After all, becoming acquainted with the person who you’ll be accountable to in your new position could greatly help to lessen your nerves and fear of the unknown.

7. Plan a fun activity before your first day

Having something to look forward to the day before you start your new job can also help calm your nerves and anxious thoughts. It doesn’t have to be a whole day activity, but even a few hours of enjoyable downtime can improve your stress levels and overall frame of mind. Whether it’s meeting your friends for lunch, going for a bike ride or watching a film, the idea is to distract your mind from solely focusing on, and worrying about, the fact that you’re starting your new job the next day.

Exercise can help to manage your nerves and stress, too. All in all, do something that makes you feel confident and content, and you’ll likely feel much calmer and readier to take on your first day in your new job.

8. Talk to friends and family

If you’re still feeling nervous, talk to your friends and family about how you’re feeling. They will be able to give you useful advice and help you keep things in perspective. This, in turn, will help you feel less trapped inside your own head.

9. Prepare for your first day

Thinking ahead and preparing for your first week in a new job will help make the transition much easier. Feeling as prepared as possible will also lessen your nerves and boost your confidence. So, while it might sound obvious, before your first day make sure you plan your outfit, map out your route and ask your new boss if there’s any reading you could do to prepare.

10. Seek professional advice

Finally, if you still feel an overwhelming sense of anxiety and your mental health is suffering, before you start with the company you may want to consider talking to a therapist, support service or medical professional. First day jitters are normal, but if they become uncontrollable or you feel you need additional support, please do take time to search out professional assistance, such as by calling a helpline or visiting your GP. After all, a mental health expert can not only help you calm and control your worries, but the helpful support they offer can aid you well beyond your first day and week.

Quell your new job anxiety

Rather than denying that you are nervous at all, knowing that nerves are perfectly normal and taking some steps to manage them will help you make a good impression on day one and deliver your very best work. We hope the above tips help you to do just that, so you start this new chapter of your career on the right foot.

If you would like further advice on caring for your mental health and wellbeing once you are in your new job, these 11 tips to take care of your mental health at work can help.

Good luck