Wondering how to cope with the stress of starting a new job?
If you are about to start or have started a new job and you’ve been struggling with how stressful it is for you, we have prepared all the helpful answers for you!
Whether you want to know how long that feeling will last, why it is scary, and if it is normal to experience new job stress, then you might want to continue reading this article. To help you adjust to the new environment and the new duties, learn about ways in which you can cope with the stress of a new job.
What Causes New Job Stress?
People start new jobs for a number of reasons, including those of personal and professional matters. For example, someone might be starting a new job due to moving to a new area or because they wanted a fresh start. Also, some get a new job because they will finally be able to do what they love doing. Whatever the reason, these are the most common causes of new job stress:
- New routine – setting up a new routine for your way to work and learning about the surrounding area takes time
- New people – feelings of sadness and loneliness are caused by leaving old friends and colleagues behind, while it is also stressful to meet new people, remember their names and duties
- New place – it takes time to know your way around the new environment
- New boss – learning about the new boss, how to communicate with them, and please them can be overwhelming
- New responsibilities – a new job usually means new duties and expectations and it can be stressful learning how to complete new tasks on time and professionally
Is It Normal To Stress When Starting A New Job?
It is more normal to feel stressed about starting a new job than it is not to feel stressed for the same reason. The anxiety of starting a new job can seep in for a number of reasons, including those listed above. As you can be worried about whether you will live up to the expectations of the job, it is possible you get anxious even before you start the job.
How Long Does New Job Stress Last?
Most frequently, you will feel stressed about starting a new job for the first few weeks. Maybe even up to a month from starting it. However, for some, imposter syndrome may last longer, up to a few months. As you familiarize yourself with the new workplace, new people, and new duties, it should get easier every day.
Why Is It Scary?
The thoughts of failing and not adjusting to the new job position and environment are only some of the things going through your mind before starting a new job. This is a more-less normal occurrence with that level of uncertainty and the importance of starting a new job. With time, it will get easier.
Tips For Dealing With The New Job Stress
1. New Job Learning Curve Stress
There is a learning curve with every job out there. Learning a new job is stressful, but it will become easier. Once you learn what is expected of you and how to perform your tasks, you will become more confident. By repeating the tasks over time, you will get more comfortable with your job and stop feeling overwhelmed.
2. Support & Help
Starting a new job is stressful, yes. But, you can make it easier by reaching out to friends, family, colleagues, or managers. Asking for help is not something you should be scared to do if you encounter a problem at work. Besides that kind of help, you can also visit a therapist to talk to about managing stress and anxiety. Talking about the problem and communicating your feelings can even help learn what is causing the stress and how to stop it.
3. Stress Reliever
When it gets really tough and you feel stressed out to the max, it is wise to have quick stress-relief fixes close to you. Besides taking a short break or using a stress ball, you could also try breathing exercises. Or, go for a walk. These stress relievers can help to keep your stress at bay so that there is no stronger effect on your health.
4. Find The Source
To help you deal with your stress, it is best to find the cause or source of stress at the workplace. Overthinking can make you anxious and you can easily stress out for most things related to your job, including things that are completely out of control. Once you have identified the source of your anxiety or stress, you can work towards a solution.
5. How A Hobby Can Help
A stress-free activity definitely helps to put a balance in your everyday life. A regular hobby is a such activity – it will help you relax while also reducing the overall level of stress you feel in a day. Whatever it is you love doing – art, music, exercise, gardening, fishing, etc – do it to feel less stressed.
It is important to take care of yourself, to feel your best both mentally and physically. For your own well-being, you should get enough sleep, eat enough and healthy, move your body, nurture your mind, and take well-deserved time off. Otherwise, you might catch yourself feeling rather burnt out.
7. Positive Self-Talk
Your thoughts, ideas, beliefs, and questions are part of your self-talk. Now, it can get quite dark in your own mind, but that will only make work more stressful. That is why you need to focus on positive self-talk, to filter out the bad, questioning thoughts. Remind yourself of your success, of being able to score this new job, where you can learn more and show your skills to people around you.
8. Get Familiar With The New Routine
You can get even more new job stress when you think about all the uncertainties and changes awaiting you. That is why you need to get familiar with your new routine of work, and commuting to and from work. Research travel routes to find the best one for your commute, explore the area around for places to get food and drinks, and more.
9. Find Ways To Cope
When you get stressed or anxious to the point where it affects your productivity and slows down your performance, it is time to take action. Get some food or a drink that will help you calm down, breathe deeply while focusing on your breathing alone, make yourself laugh, have a cuddle with your pet, and it might help you cope with new job stress and anxiety.
Mindfulness practice is a great way to focus on the present, and not worry about what might (or might not) happen in the future, especially things you have no control over. By practicing mindfulness, you can recognize and acknowledge your worries without having to engage with them and let them take over your life.
11. Get Moving
Whether you choose to walk, jog, or full-on run, moving your body can help you keep your stress at bay. Besides that, it will also boost your mood, help your health, and give you a good night’s sleep. Next time you feel stressed at work, try taking a short walk or stretching to reduce the feeling of anxiety.
Moving your body by walking, jogging, running, sprinting, doing exercise, or yoga is a great way to let your physical health help your mental health. Before going into the office, exercising will help you clear your mind and boost your confidence. It is possible thanks to the endorphins exercise will help release into your brain, making you feel at peace.
13. Prepare For The New Workspace
Feeling anxious and stressed can somewhat come from feeling very excited about starting a new job. What is that thing that makes your new job even more exciting? Maybe it is as simple as decorating your new working space. You can prepare for the new workspace by buying a few bits for it. For example, you can buy a photo frame, some new utensils, or a travel mug for your favorite drink!
14. Anxiety As A Motivation
You might be feeling anxious and stressed about starting a new job if you are scared of failing at it. However, you can also let that become a tool that will motivate you to do everything in your power not to fail. To use your anxiety as motivation, it is first important to know what causes this anxiety.
15. Find Friends In Colleagues
Be social. Make new friends. After all, you will be spending a lot of your time with your colleagues. However, you do not have to become best friends with them. But having a friendship with your colleagues will make work less stressful and more exciting. Do not worry yourself about rejection, otherwise, you will never even be able to approach them to try and be friends.
16. Avoid Conflict And Drama
It is good to make friends and be social, yes. However, it is not advised to engage in gossip and spread negative energy around. By creating or engaging in conflict and drama, you are only making it worse for yourself, your anxiety, and your stress levels. Avoid toxic colleagues at all costs.
17. Positivity & Realistic Goals
To reduce stress, you must learn to let go of the failures and see them as nothing more than a learning process. On the other hand, it is a good idea to focus on positive outcomes. Moreover, it is crucial to set realistic short-term and long-term goals that you can complete at work every day.
18. Sleep Well
If you are not getting enough sleep, it will be harder to stay positive and focus at work. To do your best work, make sure you are getting around 7 or 8 hours of sleep, as most adults need to function properly.
19. Find Out About Expectations From The Start
If you do not know what is expected of you at work, you are likely to become stressed. If your boss or manager does not communicate the goals and expectations for you, do something to get on the same page. You can talk to them and ask about your performance to reduce some of that stress.
20. Reminder: It Is Only Temporary
If nothing else, the fact that a lot of stress at a new job is temporary might motivate and reassure you. Once you have learned how to do your new tasks, work will become more predictable and less stressful. Finally, when you settle into a routine, most of that stress will just go away.
What Can Employers Do To Help Ease The New Job Stress?
There are things companies can do to help ease feeling overwhelmed by a new job. By getting to know their new employees, allowing them to introduce themselves, employers can also give the chance to the newly recruited to express themselves and show their best traits.
Unlike just training employees, a more innovative approach would be to try a technique that will bring out the best in employees. By doing so, their stress levels will be reduced, while their productivity levels will go up. Here is one way to do so.
Activating People’s Best Selves
On the first day of work, employees should feel like they are projecting their best selves. The “best self” is the version of them that exists in real life and is letting them know that work is more like real life than not. To achieve that, workers can be asked to describe a memory of themselves from work or life where they felt like the best version of themselves.
By encouraging workers to show their unique values, they are also given a chance to add more meaning to their work. As a result, those workers will be proactive in showing their best traits at work more often, feel more enthusiastic about their job, and feel less stressed. Finally, it also helps workers to put in a good performance and do well at their jobs.
Common Feelings Surrounding The Stress Of Starting A New Job
While it is very exciting to start a new job, it can also be very stressful at the same time. Some of the common unpleasant feelings that will stay with you for some time once you start the job are:
1. Exhaustion And Stress
It can be very exhausting familiarizing yourself with the new people, new tasks, new protocols, and your new role in general. The stress of starting a new job stems from the fact that you still are not used to the new job and what comes with it. This can lead to feeling both tired and stressed right at the start of a new adventure in your professional life.
2. Nerves, Anxiety
You can very well expect that you will be nervous for your first day of work – it is completely normal. Moreover, it is still normal to feel both nervous and anxious about it for some time after having started the job. As it will take time to settle in and get comfortable and used to the new job, it will also take time to gradually stop feeling nervous and anxious about it.
3. Imposter Syndrome
The imposter syndrome is the name for that situation at work when you feel like a “fraud” that sooner, or later everyone at work will find out about. If you believe that all of your success is just a result of luck, you are not alone. Many workers suffer from imposter syndrome. However, you need to learn to trust yourself and those around you who saw you as someone capable of doing the job.
With the new job come the new tasks and responsibilities. It is normal to feel confused about them at first, especially when going through training or taking notes. Do not feel discouraged if this confusion lasts for the first few months. It will take time to get familiar with everything and everyone at your new job.
At first, many new employees feel lonely before connecting with their new colleagues. It does not happen overnight, but you can definitely become friends with these people at some point. After the first few months, it will get easier and you will not feel that lonely once you get to know your coworkers.
How To Counter Feeling Overwhelmed At New Job?
- Learn new systems and create a guide
- Learn how to communicate your progress to your boss
- Prove you belong with success, but also learn from mistakes
To sum it up, new job stress adjustment is necessary to grow and get better at whatever it is you do. While the stress of starting a new job is very common, it can be managed. For a better workplace experience, it is also important to help employees with mental health issues. If you are still trying to get a job, check out our tips on which CV and resume mistakes to avoid making when applying.