Career Advice

Four Tips To Overcome Fear And Anxiety In Your New Job

After searching for a job and finally getting the new position you really wanted, your friends and family, who have been so supportive, think you should be on cloud nine, right?  After all, the market is tough and you got a JOB. Whoo hoo!

So how come your hands are still clammy and you can’t sleep at night?  Why are your thoughts racing with worry about your day to day performance?  You should be happy, not worried, right?

There are a number of reasons why you may feel fearful before you start in your new position.  If you have been out of work due to a layoff or some other reason, worry and self doubt might be overshadowing your positive feelings about finally getting that new role. Maybe your skills are a little rusty or you are beginning to second guess your performance. Maybe you feel you are off your ‘social game’.

According to a recent online survey conducted for the American Psychological Association, 36 percent of workers reported frequent work related stress and nearly half said they stressed over a lack of adequate salary.  If you are reentering the workplace after a short or prolonged absence at reduced compensation this could be adding to your anxiety as well.

Whatever the reasons, here are a few strategies for overcoming anxiety related to your job:

  1. If you had to accept a reduced salary or forego some other benefit that you once had, or if you took a role that is not quite aligned with your ultimate career aspirations, consider the upside of the situation. The employment will help you get back in the game, meet new people, expand your network, and possibly develop a new skill that you did not have before. Identify things you can do to improve your situation over the medium- and long-term. Can you take an online course to advance your skills further? Do industry related research to make sure that you are well informed about the latest trends.
  2. Be sure to take care of yourself.  Eating 3 donuts and 2 gigantic cups of coffee before you go to work will not make the anxiety you feel about your job any easier. Consider taking a short walk during your lunch hour if feasible; look into incorporating other stress reduction strategies into your daily activities.
  3. Refute your negative thoughts.  Most of the time our imagination gets the best of us.  Start off on a positive course. The position might live up to or possibly exceed what you expected.
  4. Create a professional brand for yourself and then “act as if.” Decide how you want to be perceived by others. Positive, proactive, and committed are some things that come to mind. Your self confidence will grow as you start and get into a schedule; you don’t know where your new path will take you. Consider it something of an adventure. Things sometimes happen when you least expect it.

It is normal to have a certain amount of anxiety when starting any new job.  By taking a few simple steps, you can ensure your outlook is a positive one. The mind is a powerful thing; and certainly something that you have the power to control. Preparation and positivity will get you 50% of the way. Be the keeper of your own success and your own career destiny.