When you get a new job, you usually feel excited and relieved. You’re happy that you don’t have to send out resumes anymore. No more cover letters, no more interviews. You’ve reached your goal. You now have a job. You feel good. The hard part is over.
This good feeling usually lasts for a short time because then it finally hits you. Everything will be new. You don’t know your boss, you don’t know your coworkers, and sometimes you’re not even that familiar with the kind of work you’re supposed to do.
The first few days, you go through orientation, get to know your team a little bit, and start getting assignments, usually with very little guidance. Of course, you want to do a good job and fit in, perhaps even impress your bosses. At the same time, everything is new, and you start to feel disoriented and overwhelmed.
This is something we can all relate to. As a species, we’re hard-wired to get anxious when confronted with new situations. The jitters you feel are supposed to sharpen your senses so you can react more quickly to potential threats. Unfortunately, since you’re not out in the wild but rather a typical office, this instinct is just making it hard for you to focus.
Most people will try to distract themselves by thinking about something positive. The commute is shorter, salary is higher, better career prospects, and the company has great reviews. You tell yourself it will all be fine. Still, you can’t help feeling anxious. To help you out, in this article, we’ll give you some tips you can try to make settling into a new job a smoother experience.
Learn Some Exercises for Quick Anxiety Relief
Let’s start with the symptoms of anxiety: shortness of breath, elevated heart rate, tightness in the chest, tense muscles, and sweating. These are all a result of your flight-or-fight response getting triggered by being in a new environment. You can look up breathing exercises that will calm you down in just a few minutes, and there are also naturals products like the ones from PureHempFarms.com that can help you cope with stress.
A good way to reduce your anxiety long-term is to desensitize yourself to your triggers. For the first two or three weeks, you’ll need to practice diaphragmatic breathing (also known as abdominal or deep breathing). This will also come in handy when you’re at the office. Once you’ve become more familiar with the technique and can perform it with a reasonable degree of ease, combine it with visualization.
Simply imagine situations at work that make you nervous—for example, asking your supervisor for more detailed instructions when you’re not sure how to complete a task. Make it as vivid as possible. You will begin to get triggered and feel the physical symptoms of anxiety. When this happens, use diaphragmatic breathing to calm down again. After a few weeks, you’ll notice that you’ve become desensitized to situations that usually make you nervous. You can use this strategy in all areas of your life, not just at work.
Maintain a Positive but Realistic Outlook
Breathing exercises and visualizations might help you with your anxiety, but it won’t change the fact that anything new implies a learning curve. If you’re like most people, when you start a new job, you have this fantasy that you’ll be amazing at it, and everything will go perfectly. Well, it’s usually not like that.
It takes a couple of months until you get used to how things are done in the company and the technical aspects of what’s expected of you. Naturally, you’ll also pick up on the social nuances like the pecking order and how best to approach everyone.
Chances are that you’ll be assigned the least interesting tasks during this accommodation period. That’s very common with new hires. It might be boring, but the goal is often to make it easier for you to settle in. Some companies do the opposite. They give you tough tasks to see if you’re cut out for the job.
Once reality contradicts your idealistic fantasies of being a natural at your new job, you might shift to the other extreme and obsess over all the things you don’t know how to do, your mistakes, and the ways you could fail. You’ll most likely tend to exaggerate the consequences as well. But you know very well that learning something new means you’ll make mistakes.
The best part is that your bosses and coworkers know that as well and most probably have had their struggles. Even if it might seem like that when you get anxious, they’re not looking at your mistakes as signs that you’re incompetent.
Instead of dwelling on your mistakes, focus on the learning process itself. At the end of each day, think back at what you’ve learned and give yourself a pat on the back. With time the things that feel challenging now because they’re new will become your routine.
Want To Succeed at Your New Job? Then Don’t Be Afraid To Ask for Help!
When you start a new job, you might feel uncomfortable asking for help. Maybe you’re afraid that it will make a bad impression and get interpreted as a sign that you’re not the right person for the job. As a result, you try to figure everything out by yourself even when you don’t have the slightest clue how to do something.
Once again, bear in mind that all of your coworkers were also new at some point, and many of them probably felt the same way you do. Even though you imagine that asking for help will make a bad impression, in reality, it will show that you care about your job enough to ask for help despite how awkward it might make you feel. They’ll see that you’re willing to learn, work hard and be part of the team.
Asking for help also gives you an opportunity to talk to your coworkers and build rapport. We all know how important it is to get along with the people you work with. If you tend to be more introverted and have trouble with small talk, this will make it much easier because it provides you with conversation topics that aren’t too personal.