Survival 101 for New Job Jitters: Not Just for the Faint of Heart
For most people, starting a new job can be scary! It’s not as simple as duck to water and it’s not just about hoping someone will be kind enough to show you where to get that much-needed cup of coffee. The new nervousness at work stems from much more than where the bathroom is and where to park your car. It’s about new responsibilities, new bosses, new colleagues, new systems and new procedures. And it’s about that awful thought that crosses your mind: What if I fail?
To combat your fear you act as a confidant, you have everything under control, right? Wrong! You may be setting the bar a little too high and with all those new systems and procedures, you may find yourself crashing and burning out. So you bite the bullet and admit you have no idea what’s going on, wrong again! Some may wonder why they hired you in the first place.
There is nothing unusual about these overwhelming worries, and fighting these fears can be far more daunting than one might imagine, and often your fear takes control of the situation in a way that doesn’t necessarily chart the most appropriate course of action. plausible.
So how do you control this fear of the unknown? Survival in a new job is a complete balancing act, like walking a tightrope; applying adjustments and diplomacy on the fly.
Here are some tips on how to survive the new job stress:
Step 1: Slow down.
There is so much to take in and you might feel completely overwhelmed, drop down a level, take a deep breath and work out a logical system. Find your own rhythm. Once things become more familiar, they will seem simpler and there will be fewer errors. Remember that the more nervous you get, the more difficult you make things for yourself.
Step 2: Learn to take it all in.
This is where you need to use a bit of finesse, like the balancing act. Get a clear understanding of how processes and procedures work at your new company. Get an idea of exactly what is expected of you. Do it tactfully and avoid looking like a clumsy jerk. Remember good balance like tightrope walking.
Step 3: Get your Manager on your side.
Hopefully, most of the time your manager knows the business pretty well (we hope). So use them as a guiding light. Host a meeting, ask relevant questions to help you along the way, and highlight what’s really important. Ask your manager to point out areas where they might see you make mistakes. Never take this too seriously, this is where the much needed guidelines will come from. Soak up constructive criticism and apply it sensibly to your actions.
Step 4: Plan to SURPRISE.
You’ve been absorbing information, discovering what your job is really about, learning what’s expected of you, and understanding how to really fulfill your role, now plan to make an impact! This does not have to be immediate, take your time; We wouldn’t want you to fall on your face. So set a goal and plan to achieve something reasonably visible and impactful. This will also remind those important people that you are not just a sponge and that there was actually a valid reason why they hired you, because you are actually a new and valuable member of their team.
Step 5: get down to earth.
Now, as much as we want to blame our demanding job and career, those high expectations usually don’t come from the people above or around you. They usually come from YOU! Most jobs are challenging enough that you have to put extra pressure on yourself to achieve the unattainable. Remember that it is your first day and that Rome was not built in a day! By putting excessive pressure and expectations on yourself, you are making things much more difficult than they should be and could be setting yourself up for failure. To avert disaster, return to earth for a reality check and things should work out just fine.
Step 6: Facing Fear vs. Anxiety.
For those of you who didn’t take psychology as a college subject, fear and anxiety are two very different things. Fear is the need to run away, anxiety is the feeling that your chest is sinking. It is necessary to distinguish between the two. If you truly fear that you don’t have the skills or ability to do the job properly, this is real and needs to be addressed and you will need to address it. But if you’re getting nervous about something that may never happen, stop being so anxious, you’re just making things difficult for yourself again. Build a bridge and get over it!
Remember, you are not the first or the only person in the world to experience new job bitterness. You’d be surprised how many people struggle in their first days, weeks and even months in a new job and from an outside perspective once you can’t always tell if the ‘newbie’ will succeed in their role. Everyone learns from their experiences in different ways, and often your skills or educational background may not necessarily be your saving grace. It is how you approach these challenges and what you learn along the way that will build your confidence and improve your ability to handle stress in the most graceful and professional manner.
By following these survival steps, you will most likely find more clarity and meaning in how to approach your challenge, but remember that you got the job in the first place. So whenever possible, go with your gut and make your work your own. Use your initiative and ask lots of relevant questions (there are no such thing as stupid questions).
Speak up, stand out and succeed!
Author: Olivia Bosman