New Job Anxiety - Helpful tips to overcoming your nerves

9 May 2024
Starting a new job is exciting, but can also be anxiety inducing. But that’s okay, it’s more common than you think. In fact, 87% of workers admitted that they’ve experienced ‘new job jitters’. Taking on a new role can give you a mix of emotions, but once you have the tools needed to deal with it you may find that you settle into your job a little easier.  

What is new job anxiety? 

New job anxiety is sometimes referred to as ‘the new job jitters’. Anxiety often occurs when we experience new changes or situations.  

Starting a new job brings new environments, new commuting routes and new colleagues which can cause anxiety and worry. However, acknowledging that you're experiencing these feelings allows you to make positive changes to manage your anxiety levels.  

Feeling worried about starting a new job is normal and often disappears once you settle into the role. However, it can last for different periods of time depending on the individual.  

Symptoms of new job anxiety 

Anxiety symptoms can be felt both physically and mentally. Some common symptoms include: 
Even though anxiety can be expected, it doesn’t mean you have to suffer in silence. There are plenty of places that offer help that can enable you to better manage your anxiety. 

For example, Able Futures delivers the Access to Work Mental Health Support Services across England, Scotland and Wales. We support employees, apprentices, self-employed people, employers and apprenticeship providers and give them advice and guidance on dealing with mental health at work. Discover more about how Able Futures can help you and/or your staff better manage their mental health. 

How to calm new job anxiety

Learn how to cope with new job anxiety with these top tips. 

1. Try and connect with people 

Making new friends or professional relationships can help you ease your anxieties. Having people to talk to, eat lunch with and ask questions can make your day-to-day work life easier and more enjoyable. Just making one or two connections can help melt your stresses and worries away.  

2. Create a good morning routine 

Having a good morning routine makes all the difference. This could include taking the time to wake up earlier, have a good breakfast, fit in some exercise or relaxing with your pets. 

It’s also a good idea to practice your commute to work in advance to help you avoid feeling stressed on your first couple of days.  

3. Take the time to unwind after work 

Being a new hire can bring tremendous pressure to performing well, which can make it difficult to disconnect work life and home life. It’s important to make time for yourself to ensure you properly wind down from work. You should try and spend time daily doing something you enjoy, which will help reduce stress and improve wellbeing.  

4. Celebrate your achievements 

Celebrate milestones of your first couple of weeks or months in your new role. Adapting to a new role takes time and it is important to focus on small wins.   

You can also celebrate your achievements by practising self-care, enjoying a delicious meal or practising mindful meditation. 

5. Adopt a positive attitude and growth mindset 

While it can be easy to worry that you’re not up to the job or don’t have the right skills set, you should remember that you did get the job. Getting the role means your employer clearly believed in you and your skills.  

Read more about how to manage imposter syndrome here

6. Talk to someone about how you feel 

Talking about your worries can often help you feel better, lighten the load and ease some of your nerves. Talk to friends or family members about how you feel. This can help you explore the source of your anxiety, allowing you to find ways to better manage your feelings and mental wellbeing.  

7. Take the time to prepare for your new role 

Preparing for your new job can make settling in much easier. Before your first day, prepare what you can to build your confidence such as planning in advance your work outfit, refresh your knowledge about the business and your role.  

8. Ask questions 

You’re not expected to know everything right away so don’t be afraid to ask questions. It helps you learn more about your job requirements and the business. You can prepare a list of questions ahead of time if that makes you feel more comfortable.  

9. Find a mentor   

Even if your company doesn’t offer a formal mentoring programme, you can still look for support from someone in the business. Ask for a buddy or mentor to help you with what you want to achieve.  

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