Let’s first state what should be obvious. Everyone feels some jitters when they start a new job. Whether you’re flipping burgers or getting the corner office, it’s a change and changes are a big deal. You want to make a strong first impression and it’s important to fit in. But what about all the uncertainty? You wonder what your boss will be like. Will you get along with co-workers? How tough is the workload?
Fear of uncertainty can result in performance anxiety. You wonder if you’re up to the task and boom, the jitters increase. Fortunately, the worry can be lessened — allowing you to thrive.
What Causes New Job Jitters?
Studies show these to be some of the top concerns for professionals about to start in a new work position:
- 28 percent of responders worried they actually were not qualified
- Not getting along with co-workers (32 percent)
- Will not like the new job (42 percent)
- Will not succeed in the long term (48 percent)
- Unable to be good in the new position quickly enough to satisfy themselves and their bosses (55 percent)
You’re not alone. So, accept the nervousness and take active steps to ensure you get things off in the best possible way.
A Few Ways To Lessen Your New Job Jitters
Cultivate Some Grounding Exercises
You’re likely to feel some stress on Day One. A helpful skill for that is grounding. For example, when you feel overwhelmed, take a few minutes to identify items in your workplace or office. Categorize them as what you can see, hear, touch, smell, and taste. Another hack is to splash some cold water on your face to stave off anxiety.
Talk Back to That Negative Inner Voice
Imposter syndrome may rear its ugly head as your first day nears. Never forget that anxiety is a skilled liar. There is no reason to believe what it tells you. Talk back. Challenge it. Demand evidence. Keeping yourself that they would not have hired you if they didn’t view you as fully qualified.
- Do a practice run of the commute
- Find out what food options exist in the area
- Learn about dress codes and other particular workplace rules
- Prepare your outfit the night before
- Get to bed extra early
- Set your alarm to allow for maximum prep time
- If you bring lunch, make it in advance
- Reach out to your boss or supervisor to find out if they have any Day One suggestions for you
Embrace a Big-Picture Perspective
It’s just a job. Sure, there are many serious factors involved but your life will encompass many changes. So, treat this experience with respect but keeps things in perspective. Part of that can be okay with not knowing what to do right away. Things will happen in their own time and before you know it, the gig will be second nature. Remember:
- Nervousness is temporary
- As you settle in, you’ll make friends
- Again: They would not have hired you if they didn’t view you as fully qualified
New Job Jitters Could Be Connected to an Anxiety Disorder
While it’s very possible to overcome new job jitters, this is not a call to ignore what you feel. Anxiety is a diagnosable disorder that may worsen in times of stress — like switching jobs. If you feel that anxious thoughts are preventing you from accomplishing basic daily tasks, it can be useful to talk to a professional.
Working with a therapist not only smoothes a process like starting a new gig. It empowers you to identify underlying causes for counterproductive patterns in your life. From there, you can create new methods for living your life in the healthiest possible way.