Adapting to a new job can challenge every aspect of your being.
Socially, you need to make connections and earn respect from your peers.
Intellectually, you need to prove your credibility and demonstrate your skill set.
Physically, you need to ‘fire on all cylinders’ to keep up with your new workload and social efforts.
Psychologically, you need to mentally prepare yourself each morning for the day that lies ahead.
Surviving the first 3-6 months of a new job tests your resilience and often highlights your most vulnerable “spots”. More often than not, it is common to struggle to cope with certain aspects of a new job.
Common Mental Health Difficulties Caused by a New Job
- Imposter syndrome: Feeling like a fake or phoney in your designated role. Usually this means you’re constantly criticising yourself for your performance, and fear being “found out” for your perceived incompetencies.
- Feelings of overwhelm and panic, often caused by pressure of a gigantic workload or a need to perform at a high level. Anxiety can also often stem from fear of failing at your new job. As such, you may avoid doing certain things, such as talking up in meetings or doing presentations.
- Social anxiety caused by fear of being judged by others in the workplace. For example, you may feel you’re coming across as “boring”, “unintelligent” or “unlikable”.
- Burn out and stress due to working excessively and finding it hard to “switch off” once the work day has finished.
So how can you make things easier for yourself in your new job? Increase your resilience? And, even find some enjoyment in those long days?
Here are my top five favourite tips to make your transition from “newbie” to “veteran” easier.
5 Tips to Help You Settle Into a New Job
# Tip 1. Find one person who is kind and open to building a relationship. Once you find one person, you open the door to connecting to other people. Once you find friends, you find comfort and reassurance, help and support, and you can have a laugh.
# Tip 2. Be organised and prepared. For example, write down questions you need to ask; keep lists of the tasks you need to complete; take notes when you’re learning so you can refer back; arrive early to work so you can set up.
# Tip 3. Take the pressure off. Ask yourself: what are the most important qualities required to satisfy your role? Ensure you reach these standards, but don’t worry about other pressures. For example, if you’re a teacher, perhaps the most important aspects of your job are being respected and liked by the children in your class, preparing and delivering curriculum, and communicating clearly to parents – make sure you do these things well.
# Tip 4. Realise that others expect you’re learning in the first few months of your new role. This means that others expect lots of questions, mistakes and that you’ll be nervous at times. Use the first few months to focus on the learning aspect of your job rather than focusing on performing and impressing others.
# Tip 5. Consciously reflect on the tasks and things you are doing well at, rather than ruminating on mistakes and imperfections. If you’re afraid you’re not doing a good enough job you are most likely focusing your attention on perceived failings and trying to plan for improvement (called ‘negative reinforcement’). However, growth does not come out of negative reinforcement, rather it comes out of positive reinforcement. Therefore, you’re wiser to consciously reflect on the things you’re doing well at, to positively reinforce and grow your strengths (as well as improve your confidence).
For further tips and tricks to help you settle your nerves at work, you might also like to read blog posts – Five Tips on How to Cope with Anxiety at Work and Small Steps Towards Improving How You Deal with Anxiety at Work.
How can Peaceful Mind Psychology help?
We are a team of psychologists based in Melbourne who are experienced and skilled in helping individuals overcome anxiety and stress in a new job role. We are particularly passionate about helping individuals improve their confidence in the workplace, deal with and manage stress, and improve their performance at work. We are also competent in supporting people facing workplace conflict or bullying. If you would like some professional assistance contact us at Peaceful Mind Psychology.