By Daisy Bavage, NeedToLive Everyday Role Model Manager
We all go through it, but the experience can be different for everyone…
If you have read any of my latest articles, or have taken a look at my profile, it will probably be quite evident that I started in a new job earlier this year (seeing as I won’t stop banging on about it!).
My experience with this was quite heightened, as I was coming into a position that was completely alien to me:
I was used to irregular retail shifts, working on a shop floor, completing mundane and simple tasks. So to come into a 9-5 office job, and to have responsibilities that revolved around industries that I had no experience with, all on top of being the ‘newbie’- I would say that’s a lot to take in!
I have quite a vast work history, so I am not unfamiliar with being ‘new’. Luckily, because of this, I was able to begin in my role without too many jitters.
Having said this, it’s perfectly natural to have an anxious mindset whilst starting in a new job. I was extremely aware that I would be more responsible in this role than any of my past occupations. My actions could have real consequences, and I would be legitimately depended on to succeed and deliver results. On top of this, I knew I’d be working in an intimate office, so the relationships I would form would be crucial in making or breaking an atmosphere that I was happy and comfortable in.
And this is just one experience; there are countless factors that can cause anxiety when facing a new role. (I would elaborate, but I can’t imagine it would have a very positive effect to read through a list of stress inducing situations!)
As I said, I’m lucky enough to nearly be able to counteract the nerves I have before starting a new job, but I am very aware that this is a luxury and a privilege.
I am no expert, and I definitely don’t want to be patronising and offer obvious advice, but if I can help then why not at least try?
So, below you will find some little pointers that occurred to me which might help to ease off those jitters…
I’m sure you’ve heard it at some point- ‘The spider is probably just as scared of you as you are of it’.
(Stick with me- I am by no means comparing staff members to spiders!)
The thing to keep in mind with this analogy is that whilst you may be nervous about meeting the people you’re going to be working with, they are almost definitely thinking the same! If they possess traits expected of any decent human being, they will want you to feel comfortable, and will probably be nervous themselves about making a good impression.
This is not a ‘quick fix’, but is definitely something to consider in the long term.
From my experience, the bigger your job history, the easier it is to settle in. This is in no way to say that the only way to stop being nervous is to leap from job to job and never settle- I am painfully aware how difficult it can be even to land just one job!
However, this is a reassurance that with time, you will become used to being the ‘newbie’, so it won’t seem so daunting.
It may seem obvious, but sometimes you just need a gentle reminder that nerves are completely natural!
It would be more abnormal to not have some nerves when facing a new situation and environment- that’s just basic human nature and survival instincts (thank you A-Level Psychology!).
Do not beat yourself up for feeling anxious.
You are there for a reason.
You have been hired, through whatever process, because the employer wanted you. Yes, you may feel like you have a lot to prove, but you’ve already achieved this in your recruitment! You are obviously trusted and desirable as an employee, so if ‘impostor syndrome’ is a big factor within your nerves, keep that in mind!
As a fresh starter, your employers and colleagues should be understanding and aware in terms of what they expect from you. It is not the end of the world if you make a mistake whilst you’re settling into a new role- it would be a miracle if you didn’t!
Your professional cohort will not expect you to be perfect straight away, so you shouldn’t either.
This article is such a small glimpse into approaching such a vast topic, but this is something I personally really wanted to write about, having had some really stressful past experiences and putting too much pressure on myself.
I hope this helped someone in some way, and again I am always open to feedback!
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