The first few days at a new job are often nightmarish and very stressful. You want to make a good first impression, but don’t want to give off a too-eager-to-please vibe. On top of that, it is never easy to get adjusted with new colleagues, responsibilities, and routines.
Every small mistake will leave you questioning yourselves whether you made the right decision. In a few days time, you might start dreading the very thought of going into work.
If you are going through this, you need not panic. Most people go through this at some point in their careers. Don’t give up hope.
Here are a few tips to help you cope with stress at a new job.
1. Stop comparing it to your previous job
It’s a basic human nature to compare new with old. But, the past tends to get distorted as you are more likely to focus only on the pleasant memories. You will just end up living in the past. This is never a good idea, especially when you are at a new job.
Don’t make statements like – ‘Oh, at my previous job, it was done this way’. It can easily turn off your new colleagues and superiors. Work environments and work cultures will vary when you change jobs. You need to understand that, it would have been created or framed as per the organization’s vision, mission, and objectives.
Stop romanticizing your previous job, focus on the present, proceed with an open mind, and try to adjust yourself to the new work environment.
Here are few more tips to get over your obsession with your previous job.
2. Don’t try too hard
When you are starting out on a new job, you may feel the urge to prove yourself. You will only end up overworking – saying ‘okay’ to tasks that are beyond your know-how or picking up more tasks than you can handle. Result: more stress.
Firstly, it is foolish to think that you need to prove yourself. You were selected after a rigorous selection process. At the end of which the recruiters were satisfied with your skills, abilities, and personality. They deemed you fit for the job.
So, relax, and stop yearning for perfection or trying to do everything at once. Try to get a feel for the new job, routine, responsibilities and work culture. Start slow, take up tasks that you know you can finish. If you have questions or want help or experiencing difficulties, don’t be hesitant to ask your teammates and superiors.
3. Willingness to learn from mistakes
“By seeking and blundering we learn.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
No matter how good you are, you will make mistakes. Every organization works in a different manner. Even if your role is the same, your goals, objectives or even the software you use may vary. The key is to accept, learn and move on from these mistakes.
If you don’t learn from the mistakes you have committed, you will just end up feeling like an outsider or under qualified – overwhelmed and out of sync with the rest of the organization.
Here are a few ways to help you learn from mistakes:
- Ask for feedback after completing a task.
- Accept the criticism coming your way – pay attention to the message, rather than your feelings.
- Ask questions when in doubt.
- Don’t be hesitant to ask for help.
- Set apart time to reflect on your mistakes daily.
- Don’t get bogged down or moan about negative criticism.
- Don’t give excuses or try to pass over the blame.
- Don’t set unrealistic expectations.
4. Stay organized
Settling into a new job can be a time taking and stressful process. You will have to unlearn a lot of things from your previous gig and learn new things about your current gig. This may make it hard to stay on top of your schedule or routine. One way to overcome this is by staying organized.
Here are few ways to help you stay organized when you are new to a job:
- Get to the office as early as possible.
- Plan your day the night before – prioritize your to-do list, pick out your clothes,
- Take regular breaks.
- Avoid multi-tasking
- Make note-taking a habit.
- Have a system in place to deal with all the new information that you are getting.
- Make use of productivity apps and email management tools.
5. Be yourself
One of the major challenges of starting a new job is to fit in. People try to overcome this is by faking their own personality. It is a very stressful thing to do, especially if you are trying fake traits that you don’t wish to include in your personality.
For example, if you are an introvert (who wants to remain so) trying to project yourself outgoing personality, you will find the new job very hard and uncomfortable. You will never be able to perform to your potential without being yourself.
Always remember, recruiters would have definitely considered your personality while making the selection decision. If they deemed you fit for the organization, that means they wanted people with your type of personality in the team. Modern day workplaces have room for all kinds of personalities, so you don’t have to force yourself to behave in a way that you are not comfortable with.
We are not robots, we are humans, it will definitely take a bit of time for us to acclimatize to a new environment. The important thing is not to let your nerves get the better of you, instead, focus on things can control and keep learning.