Common Causes of New Job Anxiety & How to Cure Them

If you landed a new job and you’re looking forward to your first day but you’re also feeling a little anxious about how it might go, don’t worry. Having a few fears or worries associated with the start of a new job is super common. And, according to recent data from LinkedIn, there are three primary causes for this phenomenon. Once you understand the causes, it’s a lot easier to cure your case of the jitters and set your mind at ease! They surveyed thousands of professionals and the three main causes were as follows:

1. 55% worried they won’t master the learning curve and know how to do the job they were hired to do fast enough.

One of the hardest parts about starting a new job is getting up to speed on everything at once. It can feel incredibly overwhelming to get up to speed on current projects, team dynamics, your specific role and responsibilities, and so much more all at once. If this is why you’re worried, try the following tactics to set your mind at ease.

– Take a deep breath and remember that you got this job for a reason. Unless you’ve misrepresented yourself on your resume or during the interview process, you’ve landed this job because you’re qualified and because you’re the person they wanted to offer the job to. If this doesn’t dissuade your fears entirely (and it might), keep reading.

– Take notes and keep those notes on you at all times on the job, reviewing them carefully after every day for your first few weeks on the job. This will help you learn quickly, help you make fewer mistakes along the way, and help you feel confident that you’re doing all you can to learn the ropes at your new job.

– Ask questions! The worst thing you can do is let your fear of falling behind keep you quiet, especially during your first few weeks on the job. It’s expected that, in a lot of areas, you’ll have learning and catching up to do. Most colleagues and bosses with be sympathetic to this and eager to answer your questions. If you need more in depth help, ask if you can schedule a time with a colleague or boss in advance so you aren’t slowing down anyone else’s day. But, other than that, dedicating yourself to learning and getting up to speed is your main job for the first few weeks. As long as you know that and do your best, you’ll be fine.

2. 42% worried they won’t like their new job.

Maybe the job won’t turn out to be exactly what you understood it to be during the interview or maybe you won’t gel with the team or maybe you just won’t feel engaged in the work you’re doing. There are a lot of reasons you might not like your new job but, if you’re worried about it, these tactics can help cure your fears.

– Go into your first day with an open mind rather than an assumption that you’ll dislike this element or that element of the job before you even begin. In the anticipation of a new job, we can let our brains run wild with possibilities and some of these possibilities may be less than ideal. Don’t let the imaginary color your perception of reality. Wait until you actually start the job to form solid opinions.

– Keep notes of your three best and three worst moments of the day every day for a week. This can do two things: it can show you the positive when you’re only looking at the negative or it can clue you in on what you dislike about your new job. If the latter happens, you can analyze what you dislike about the job and figure out if they’re fixable traits or inherent elements of the position. If there is a way to course correct or avoid the parts of your new job that you hate, great! If not, go to the next bullet.

– Remind yourself that the worst-case scenario is that you’ll have to go back to the drawing board and find a new job. While this takes some time and effort, it’s not impossible. You’ve just proven that by landing this job! And, now, you’ll have a better understanding of what you dislike about this position so you can avoid applying for jobs with the same elements in your next search.

3. 32% worried that their colleagues or boss won’t like them.

This common fear stems from a general human fear: does everyone hate me? What it should signal to you is that you’re invested in forming positive relationships with your new colleagues and your new boss, and there are things you can do to make sure that happens!

– Make sure you have a clear understanding of your new boss’ expectations as soon as possible. How will your performance be measured? Are there benchmarks you can work towards or support you can look to in the office when you need to learn and ask questions? If you’re focused on the right goals and working hard, you’ll undoubtedly make a positive impression on your new boss.

– Speaking of first impressions, they’re important! And there are ways you can make sure you make a positive one for any team members you didn’t meet during the interview process. Ask a lot of questions, show you’re eager to learn, follow coworker’s advice, and take a minute to get a vibe from the workplace culture and environment so you can fit in better.

– Investing in positive workplace relationships involves a little bit of work on your part, but it pays off ten fold because it can really help you love your job. When you meet someone new, use their name in conversations. Ask members of your team to grab lunch or coffee to get to know each other a little better. Strike up conversations when appropriate and smile, you’ll win people over quickly this way!

Congratulations on your new job! Don’t let new job jitters creep in and reduce your enthusiasm for the next step in your career journey. Instead, do your best to prepare for day one and keep these tips handy in case your worries reemerge.