Humans are creatures of habit. We like to have stability in our routines and lifestyles. That’s why starting a new job can make you feel anxious. Jobs require dedication and focus for long fixed hours. Entering a job without preparation for a lifestyle(and social) change can hinder you from performing at your best. Don’t worry; Your Mental Health Pal is here to teach you how to overcome new job anxiety. But before that, let us look at the causes of new job anxiety.
What Causes New Job Anxiety? And How To Overcome New Job Anxiety?
Performance Anxiety – Such anxiety is based on a fear that you will not be able to perform according to the job’s demands. So, how to get over the performance anxiety of starting a new job? One way to let go of this fear is to measure and monitor your performance. There’s no shame in demanding a decrease in workload or quitting if you feel you can’t keep up with the demands in your workplace. However, you can also focus on improving your performance and rise to the challenge.
First Job Anxiety – Office settings can induce anxiety in young adults entering the workforce or getting their first work experience. If you’re wondering how to get over first job anxiety, don’t worry. Here are some things to keep in mind:
-Stay humble and take criticism as a learning experience, not something to feel ashamed about.
-Approach the job with a learning attitude, focusing on skill development and delivering your best.
-Remember to smile, laugh, and socialize with your co-workers. Friends are important, and the most rewarding part of your job will be the relationships with the people you form.
-Understand that discomfort is a sign of going over your comfort zone and growing. For instance, anxiety is a sign that you are facing new challenges. However, learning how to get over first job anxiety is an experience that teaches you a lot.
Interview – The starting cause of new job anxiety is an interview. One easy way to be less anxious about interviews is to prepare beforehand. Even if you have no prior experience, find out the most likely questions featured in the interview and practice with your friends.
New Social Circle – On the first day of your new job, you will likely come across new co-workers, seniors, and others you will interact with as an employee. Doing so can create new job anxiety symptoms and doubts in the mind of anyone. For instance, you could be anxious about being accepted in your workplace’s peer group.
Lifestyle Change – As mentioned above, most jobs accompany a significant lifestyle change. Someone with less experience working will feel a more substantial change and anxiety, but professionals in a particular environment can also be anxious.
Career Anxiety – In the contemporary world, decreasing job security and volatility cause anxiety for many professionals, employees, bosses, and entrepreneurs. For instance, inflation and recession in the economy are a source of worry for many. Such anxiety is justified but can reduce your performance quality and sap your concentration.
How To Overcome New Job Anxiety? Symptoms Of Anxiety
Having learned about the causes of new job anxiety symptoms, let’s understand its symptoms next. Identifying these symptoms can make it easier for you to label anxiety. And equip you with the proper knowledge to understand how to overcome new job anxiety.
Anxiety is marked by fear, dread, and anticipation of adverse outcomes. It is normal to be anxious when faced with a challenge or risk. But uncontrollable and overwhelming anxiety can be a sign of poor mental health or mental illness such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder(GAD). Symptoms of anxiety as per the DSM-V include:
-feeling nervous or restless,
-being tense(and muscle tension),
-heavy and fast breathing(hyperventilation),
-heart rate increased,
-trouble concentrating on the present, and many more.
How To Get Over New Job Anxiety
1. Practice Deep Breathing Exercises
Breath exercises can help you instantly calm down, relax, and regain your composure in a short while. Staying calm in stressful situations(through anxiety-reducing exercises) is a valuable life skill that can help you in different aspects of life. Breathing slowly and deeply can help you relax at any given movement. So, how to overcome new job anxiety with your breath?
Inhale. Exhale. Feel the flow of air circulating from your nostrils.
Breathing meditation exercises like pranayama(a classic technique in yoga) can help you consistently practice and master your breath. On the other hand, you can also opt for guided imagery or creative visualization. Through the latter, your mind(and breath) will automatically calm down as you imagine yourself in a happy or comforting situation.
2. Take Some Time To Relax Your Mind And Body
People anxious about a new job sometimes compensate for this feeling through workaholism. Working too much for too long can sap away your energy and deplete your mental resources. Burnout is a problem that many professionals face. Hence, taking time to relax or take care of yourself is essential to your mental health and productivity. Some ways you can practice self-care in the workplace include:-
-Meditation: Mindfulness refers to the practice of being aware of your senses and keeping your attention focused on the present. It is one of the most popular forms of meditation. So, how to overcome new job anxiety with the power of meditation techniques?
You can practice mindfulness on the go by being aware of your surroundings, thoughts, and emotions. This process can help you forget about your future anxieties and become better at dealing with the task. Mantras for anxiety can be used with meditation to help you calm your mind further.
-Power Naps: If your workplace allows it or works remotely, taking a power nap is one of the best ways to relax and restore your energy. The ideal time for taking a power nap is 10 to 20 minutes. Sleeping only for 30 minutes or a little more can leave you groggy and disorient your cognitive faculties. To avoid this outcome, you can start by setting alarms and ensuring you’re not too tired before taking a nap. And a guided sleep meditation can help increase your sleep quality.
-Soothe Yourself: Self Soothing is a technique used as a part of distraction in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). So, how to overcome new job anxiety with self-soothing?
You can distract your mind from the source of distress by focusing on a pleasant sensory experience, for example, drinking your favorite beverage or touching something soft.
3. Increase Your Self-Awareness
One of the reasons you may want to learn how to overcome new job anxiety is a lack of self-awareness. Many of us are anxious since we do not recognize our strengths and weaknesses or don’t have the tools and experience to measure our competency. Developing a healthy sense of self-awareness can improve your self-esteem, self-efficacy, and, ultimately, self-love. So, how to get over new job anxiety by knowing yourself better?
You can start by changing your mindset toward anxiety. This change refers to validating and accepting your emotions rather than trying to escape, avoid, or fight them. You are, like anyone else, justified to feel anxious about starting a new job. Accepting this feeling objectively and without judgment(self-validation) can positively affect your mental health.
4. Focus On What You Can Control
Rather than focus on what you cannot control, focus on what you can, that is, your behaviors, actions, new job anxiety symptoms, and attitudes. For instance, worrying about what your co-workers think of you or whether your boss likes you diminishes time and energy without any productive results.
Assuming a fixed attitude about your workplace can also prevent you from advancing or getting the desired results. For instance, if employees think a pay raise is out of the question, they will not bother to ask. At the same time, another in the same position may have asked and gotten the raise.
5. Understand Your Workplace Better
Understanding the roots of this feeling is a significant part of overcoming new job anxiety. Anxiety is marked by unfamiliarity, anticipation, dread, and uneasiness. It is a sign that the new environment feels alien to you. Likewise, overcoming anxiety means becoming more familiar with(and capable of thriving) the environment.
Getting used to a job, working conditions(such as work from home), or any new lifestyle change takes time. So, how to overcome new job anxiety while getting used to your environment? And how to get over anxiety of starting a new job?
You can speed up this process by building supportive relationships with your co-workers and understanding more about the institution you work for. For instance, you can attend more networking events, volunteer for team-building activities, and talk to your superiors about the organization.
Starting your first job or a significant lifestyle change usually accompanies any new job. It can take time to adapt and become comfortable, but you still have the pressure to complete work. So, how to overcome new job anxiety?
You can start by increasing your self-awareness, relaxing and calming down through breathing, and understanding your working environment. However, if the anxiety is too overwhelming and makes it difficult for you to function normally, we suggest therapy. Here are five affordable online therapy platforms that make help available to you anytime, anywhere.
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