Ease Your Anxiety: 5 Ways To Handle Nervousness Before Starting A Job

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Apr. 17 2024, Published 8:10 a.m. ET

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Congratulations, you got the job! If you find yourself not celebrating because you’re nervous, you’re not alone. Maybe you’re concerned about doing your job well, meeting new people, or you’re just not sure what to expect. It;s important to know that your feelings are understandable. Here are five ways to handle nervousness before starting a new job.

1. Accept that your feelings are normal.

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Even if it’s a change you crave, change can be tough. Often, the simple act of accepting your feelings can lessen the intensity. Take a moment to admit to yourself that you’re nervous, anxious, or stressed. You can take it a step further and name specifically what is causing you to feel unsettled. For example, if you’re experiencing imposter syndrome, you can affirm yourself by remembering that making mistakes is a part of life and you are capable of learning whatever you need to learn to do the job well.

2. Practice mindfulness.

In one minute, you can invite some calm into your mind. Whether that’s deep belly breathing, pausing to notice your surroundings in detail, or scanning your body, it only takes a minute to pull yourself out of your thoughts and back into the present moment. By being present, you allow yourself to not live in past regrets, or worry about what could happen in the future. In the present moment, you can make better decisions and take care of the necessities.

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3. It’s OK to feel nervous.

When you care about something, it’s easy to tense up about wanting things to go well. Being nervous could fuel you as you put your best foot forward and prove to yourself that you can do hard things. Remembering that you’ve gone through changes before and that things turned out well will also help you to adjust to your new role. Let the fact that you care to show up in your attention to detail and interactions with others.

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4. Embrace curiosity.

Your new job is a fresh start. It’s a chance to learn from new people by observing them, asking questions, and asking for feedback. Your new job could be just what you need to grow professionally. You also grow personally as you recognize and give yourself what you need to get through this career phase. Being curious about how to do a good job is a great way to handle nervousness before starting your new role.

5. Focus on what you can control.

Bringing your attention back to where you have control can go a long way toward feeling empowered in your new job. Brush up on aspects of your job that you don’t know well. Ask for support from a mental health professional, friends, or family. Connect with a mentor inside or outside the company to help you feel more grounded as you settle in.

Remember, you beat out multiple applicants for your job. Take your time to acclimate. You’ve gone through periods of uncertainty before and survived, and your new job will be the same. By celebrating yourself out loud, you shift the experience for yourself and invite others to share in the festivities. Instead of Monday morning being a fearful moment, you can turn it into a joyful life update.

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By: Wanda Duncan

Wanda Duncan is a multipotentialite entrepreneur and travel and wellness writer. She’s slow traveled since 2010 through Europe, Southeast Asia, and parts of Africa and Central America. Find her work in Fodor’s Travel, HerAgenda, and WeTravel. Wanda is the founder of Black Women Travel and won the Women in Travel Summit 2023 Bessie Awards Social Impact Award and was nominated for the 2021 Trailblazer Award. Connect with Wanda through her website

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