Tuesday 21 December 2021

Ways to survive your first week in a new job

Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, or somewhere in between, there are certain aspects of starting a new job that can initially feel nerve-wracking. Although you might feel excited about your new role, a few niggling thoughts could be playing on your mind, such as:

  • Will people like me
  • Will I be able to handle the workload and meet important deadlines
  • Will I have help with anything I’m unfamiliar with?

Unless you deal with the negative voices in your head, your first week in a new job could potentially affect your mental wellbeing. You might find yourself feeling more anxious or stressed than usual, your sleep patterns could be disturbed, or you may have moments of crying and feeling like you’re unable to cope with the role or it in with your colleagues. New job anxiety is not uncommon and there are ways to help.

Tips for coping with your first week in a new job

1. Remember back to when you previously started a new job and look at how you gradually adapted over time. Sometimes it does take a little while to settle in and become familiar with new procedures and new people. However, the longer you stick it out, the easier it becomes.

2. Take regular exercise. This study shows that undertaking physical activity on a regular basis can reduce feelings of anxiety by releasing endorphins, relaxing muscles, and promoting quality sleep.

3. Become familiar with workplace policies and practices. By understanding the culture and ethos of a workplace, you’re more likely to feel secure and supported.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t have the confidence initially to ask questions in meetings or group situations, ask your manager, or a colleague who you might have befriended, when they’re on their own. It’s understandable that there are going to be certain aspects of the job that you won’t know or need help with so don’t be afraid to ask.

5. Make a good impression. Dress appropriately, arrive at work on time and having a friendly demeanour. These are things that will help you to create a good first impression which, in turn, will help you to build good working relationships both with management and co-workers.

6. Be enthusiastic. While it can be frowned upon by colleagues if you seem overly keen to impress your boss, showing just the right amount of enthusiasm along with a good work ethic can earn you a lot of respect. If you’re respected at work, your first week will be less daunting.

7. Make notes. Whenever you’re being shown something new at work, keep notes about the processes to help you remember. Although you shouldn’t be afraid of asking for help, asking about the same thing multiple times could become frustrating to the person trying to help you.

8. Muck in! If everyone in the workplace shares the responsibility of doing the drink runs, washing up in the kitchen, or answering phone enquiries, for example, make sure you help out to maintain a harmonious environment.