Got a new job? Congratulations! But with the excitement and gratitude also comes new job anxiety. That shrinking feeling in your stomach whenever you think about reporting for work and showing your face for the first time at the office? It’s like the first day of kindergarten all over again.
New job anxiety is a common experience. Experts say the fear and trepidation you feel when stepping into unfamiliar territory is primal – it’s still hardwired into the modern human brain. But if you want to make a good first impression, it’s important to manage these emotions well and channel them into something positive.
Here are some starting a new job tips that will help you manage your new job anxiety:
Start your day right the night before. Sleep early so you wake up refreshed and well-rested. Put on office attire that makes you feel confident, preferably prepared the night before. Eat a good breakfast. Check your routes and the weather for the day so you don’t get stuck in traffic and you don’t arrive wet from the rain (or sweaty from the heat).
Be like an athlete. Notice how athletes never say they’re nervous when asked how they feel about an upcoming event or competition? Instead, they’ll say they’re excited. They’re acknowledging the fidgety feeling, but they’re converting it into positive energy that will make them deliver their best performance ever.
Have a plan. You can’t predict what will happen on your first day or even first weeks on the job. But you can manage yourself so you can approach each step with a structure in mind. As soon as you get confirmation that you got accepted for the post, start outlining your plans and short-term goals for your first three months. Of course, those plans will be tweaked as you get to know the job and the company better along the way. Having a goal is key to achieving some early wins, allowing you to make a good impression.
Ask questions. Nobody expects you to know everything; you’re the newbie, after all. So don’t hesitate to ask questions if you need to. Think of yourself as a learner so you can effectively absorb important information – from how to operate your equipment to some basic SOPs to the names of your teammates. Be fully present during the orientation and onboarding processes so you can start doing serious work as soon as possible.
Say yes to lunch. If your boss or new colleagues invite you for lunch, join them if you can. A huge part of being successful in a job is to understand the company’s culture. And you can’t do that by interacting with people only through work-only situations. Understanding the culture actually improves your performance and productivity, and may even help you have a bit of fun (which is also an important ingredient in being a high performer).