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Ways to keep your new job nerves in check

By Maureen Lynch, Director of Hays Ireland

 

Do you currently have feelings of nervousness or anxiety about starting a new job? Well, you’re not alone – even for the most confident of people, starting a new job can be hugely nerve-wracking, and that’s completely normal.

Nerves are the body’s natural response to change and the unknown, however, feeling a sense of nervous anticipation before any pivotal change in our lives is also, to an extent, necessary. In the case of starting a new job, for example, a controllable level of nerves can help you perform at your best and ensure you make a good impression. It’s when those nerves become uncontrollable they can start to damage your efforts to get yourself off to the smoothest possible start.

1. Start your new job with a positive mindset.

A person with a positive mindset will try to see a new job as an opportunity to learn new things and develop, rather than something to fear. Instead, tell yourself that even if you find your new job difficult, to begin with, you will learn and figure it out. Similarly, you’ve also worked hard for this exciting new opportunity. So, by adopting a positive, purposeful and forward-looking attitude, this will allow you to develop a growth mindset and keep your nerves at bay.

2. Your nerves will be a temporary feeling.

In a few days, you’ll probably be wondering to yourself why you were so worried. So instead of panicking, remember all the reason why you wanted the job, including the chance to embark on a new chapter of your life, meet new people and the opportunity to work in a different place. This is a time in your life when you should be feeling excited, rather than dreading what is on the horizon.

3. Keep your imposter syndrome inline

Removing these thoughts from your head is key to controlling your nerves. So, refrain from telling yourself ‘you’re not good enough’ and reaffirm to yourself that you deserve this job. Remind yourself that you were chosen from a large pool of candidates for this job because your now-boss recognised the unique skills and experience you could bring to their business. In other words, they want you to be there. That may sound obvious, but it’s an easy thing to lose sight of when you’re nervous. So, stop worrying and instead practise those positive affirmations and remember how excited you were when you were offered the job so that you can bring this positive mindset into your new workplace.

4. Keep things in perspective

Are you constantly worried about a million aspects of your new job – such as the new commute or whether you will be able to get to grips with the role? If so, remember that starting a new job is just another chapter of your life – and your life will have lots of different chapters. So, try to keep things in perspective, this is just another change, and you will soon adjust and move on to the next change, that’s life.

5. Contact your new manager

Go ahead and proactively start to build a connection with your new boss before your first day in the office. So why not send them an email or meet them for a coffee, reiterating how much you’re looking forward to starting your new role? By getting to know the person who you’ll be accountable too, could greatly help to lessen your nerves and fear of the unknown.

6. Prepare

Preparation before your new job will make you feel less nervous and more confident before starting. For example, plan your outfit, map out your route, research the company or ask your new boss if there’s any reading you could be doing to prepare.

7. Don’t get nervous about how your colleagues will perceive you

Don’t put huge expectations on yourself to be perfect from day one, simply because you’re anxious to impress your new colleagues, or think instant perfection is expected. This kind of all-or-nothing mentality won’t help you to perform any better in your job in the long run. Instead, accept that it’ll take you a few weeks and months to get up to speed in your new role, and, that no one will expect you to be perfect from day one.

8. Do something fun the day before you start

Doing something fun the day before you start your new job could be helpful for your frame of mind. That could be meeting your friends for lunch, going for a walk or even seeing a film at the cinema. Regardless, the idea is to distract your mind from the fact that you’re starting your new job tomorrow. Exercise can be a useful thing for managing your nerves too, given that this releases the chemicals in your body known as endorphins, which relieve stress and pain and boost happiness. So all in all, the examples above are likely to make you feel much calmer and readier to take on whatever challenges your first day in your new job may bring you.

9. Let your friends and family know how you’re feeling

By talking to your friends and loved ones about any worries leading up to your first day in your new job, they will be able to give you useful advice and assist you in keeping things in perspective. This, in turn, will help to ensure you don’t feel too lost, hopeless or trapped inside your head.

The key here is to learn how to manage your nerves so that you can do what you’ll want to do on your first day – make the right impression and deliver your very best work.

About this author

Maureen joined Hays in 2000 where she specialised in Senior Accounting and Finance recruitment. With over 17 years’ experience, Maureen is the Director for Cork, Limerick and Galway along with over overseeing the Banking and Construction & Property operations in Cork. She also provides training expertise in the area of candidate screening and interviewing.

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