Written by DiveThru Team
Reviewed by Natalie Asayag MSW, LCSW
10 Ways To Process Your New Job Anxiety
Published Apr 23rd, 2021 & updated on Apr 23rd, 2021
So here’s the good news — you applied for the job. Then you interviewed for the job. And, by some miracle, you GOT the job! You should feel super relieved and excited right about now, right?! After all, out of all other potential candidates, YOU were the one they hired! Buuut, the not-so-good news is you’re still feeling kinda anxious about it. Sure, you’re looking forward to starting your new job to earn that sweet cash and gain some wicked experience. On the other hand…you’re dying inside. The physical signs of anxiety — pit in your stomach, increased heart rate, excess sweating — are telling a whole other story about how you’re truly feeling!
It sounds like maybe you have a case of the ol’ New Job Anxiety. Yes, it’s a real thing! On some level, everyone goes through this feeling when they start a new job. And maybe some of these thoughts have crossed your mind already: What if I’m not actually the right fit for this job? What if they realize they made a huge mistake hiring me? What if my new coworkers find out what a fraud I am? Ahhh, there’s no way I can do this!!
Take a deep breath, friend. We’re here for you. Anxiety is totally natural whenever you’re facing a new, or unknown, situation. Here are some ways you can process this anxiety and feel wayyy more at ease during this transition!
1. Identify The Source Of Your Anxiety
Again — it’s normal to feel anxious about a new job. If you think you’re not the only one who’s had to give yourself a quick pep talk in the mirror before your first day, you’re defs not! So, let’s find the source of your new job anxiety. It’ll be really helpful when working through this feeling. We highlyyy recommend journaling for this reason!
Is it because you’re doubting your skills? Are you worried you won’t fit in with your coworkers? Is this a different type of role for you and you feel like your inexperience will show? Dig a lil’ deeper into what’s really giving you those butterflies and sweaty palms! Writing down your thoughts and any concerns you have about this role can give you some clarity about your anxious feelings.
2. Challenge Your Imposter Syndrome
Once you’ve narrowed down the source of your anxiety, you’ll probably notice a common trend with your inner thoughts: imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome fucking sucks, plain and simple. It makes us doubt ourselves and feel undeserving of our accomplishments when that is sooo not the case! Starting a new job is a time when imposter syndrome usually runs rampant in our minds — I’m not good enough to be here and everyone is going to notice I don’t belong. What do I know, anyway? I’m not qualified for this job AT ALL.
Sound familiar? Instead, turn those nasty, negative thoughts around and reaffirm what you know deep down about yourself to be true. They hired me for a reason. I worked hard to get where I am today. I earned this!
Hell yeah, you earned this. And don’t you forget it!
3. Understand Your Role
Starting a new job can be super anxiety-inducing because, chances are, you’re taking in a ton of new information all at once. Like, a lot. You’re learning names, protocols, software, alllll the things! Something that can be useful when you’re soaking up all this info like a sponge? Make sure that when it comes down to it, you 100% know what your role is. Your manager is (hopefully) doing their best to integrate you into this new job as smoothly as possible, but guess what? It’s okay to ask questions whenever you feel like you don’t know WTF you’re doing!
Asking for that clarification helps you know exactly what your role is and what’s expected of you. You’ll feel 100x more at ease once everything is crystal clear and you’re ready to take on this new role like a champ!
4. Give Yourself Time To Adjust
When you start a new job, it’s easy to fall into the trap of being way too hard on yourself. I have to learn everything right away or I’ll look totally incompetent. I need to impress my boss and prove myself. Pause. It’s normal to have these thoughts, but they’re simply NOT true.
You’re the newbie. No one expects you to know it all on the first day! So give yourself the patience and kindness you deserve. You’ll get there eventually, don’t worry!
5. Remember It’s Okay To Mess Up
There’s a learning curve with every new job. You’re gonna make mistakes (*gasp*). No really, it’s not a big deal! Promise! You’re allowed to make mistakes and you can’t expect yourself to be perfect. Think of how you would treat someone new on the job. Would you expect them to get everything right on the first day, or put them down as soon as they mess up? No, you wouldn’t. So show yourself that same kindness!
6. Get To Know The Work Culture
Feeling anxious about meeting your new coworkers and worried about how you’ll get along? Totally understandable! It can take some time to feel like you’re part of the group, so try not to put too much pressure on yourself. As you get more comfortable in your new role, get a feel for the work culture. Does your team have traditions? A fave lunch/coffee spot? Inside jokes? Are the workplace vibes more Parks & Rec or The Office?
Be open to getting to know everyone and how they do things as a team. You’ll learn so much and feel like you’re part of the group in no time!
7. Connect With A New Work Friend
If you’re feeling like the odd one out and need someone to talk to, try reaching out and make a new work friend! Having someone who makes you feel wayyy more comfortable can help you through this transition and reduce some of that anxiety you’re feeling.
You’ll probably know the right person when you meet them. They’re super friendly and seem like they genuinely care to get to know you personally! It could be the person training you, or someone in your department. Whoever it may be, just ask to have lunch together or grab a coffee! It helps having someone to talk to when you’re the newbie.
8. Communicate How You Feel
You might feel like you can’t talk to your boss or coworkers about how you’re feeling. But if there’s anything you’re unsure about and it’s making you feel really anxious, it’s important to communicate those feels! They’re there to help guide you in this new role, so don’t assume you’re a burden to the team or letting them down in any way.
If anything, communicating and being honest about your anxiety shows that you care about your new job and wanna make sure you’re doing the best you can!
9. Talk To A Therapist
Are your feelings of anxiety so overwhelming that it’s hard to manage on your own? Or do you feel like your job performance will be impacted by your anxiety? Hey, there’s no shame in talking to a therapist. We actually 10/10 recommend it!
Therapy = a safe space for you to vent how you feel and share what thoughts you’ve been having with the help of a professional. Your therapist is there to help you develop the best coping strategies for your anxiety, so you’ll feel sooo much better about this new job! You are not alone.
10. Allow Yourself To Feel All Of Your Feelings
It’s not easy being the newbie at work. It’s also not easy to adjust to all of your new responsibilities. So all of those nerves, anxieties and doubts you’re having about this new job? They’re valid! You’re allowed to feel how you’re feeling. Remind yourself that you can (and will!) get through this. And most importantly — trust the process. You landed this job for a reason, right? That’s right. You’ve got this.
Processing your new job anxiety is a challenge, we know. If you feel like you’re not good enough for this job or that you’re gonna fail miserably, keep in mind that everyone has been there, done that. You’re doing amazing, sweetie!