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How To Tackle New Job Nerves

Author: Charlotte Ferguson
Irwin Mitchell

​As someone who recently left their industry to try something completely new, I am very familiar with new job nerves. Whether you’re a recent graduate dipping their toes into their first grad job, or someone like me who wanted to try something new, starting a new job can be nerve-inducing, no matter how experienced you are. The idea of joining an already established team in a brand new environment can be daunting, and there’s nothing wrong with feeling this way.

I wanted to put together a short, simple list of ways you can overcome new-job-nerves, and enjoy the excitement of starting a new chapter in your working life.

  • Remember to have faith in yourself.You were chosen to do this job for a reason – the people in charge who have been doing it for longer than you decided you were the best candidate for the position. It’s so easy for imposter syndrome to kick in at pivotal moments of change in your life, but keep it at the forefront of your mind that you were selected to be there. If your new employers didn’t see potential in you, you simply wouldn’t be there.

  • It’s okay not to have all the answers on your first day.Nobody expects you to know absolutely everything. If you don’t know something, the best thing you can do is to ask. Not only does asking if you’re uncertain show confidence, but it also demonstrates your willingness to learn and improve yourself.

  • Chat with someone you’re close to about how you’re feeling. When the start date for my new job was drawing closer, I called my best friend and confided how I felt. What if I wasn’t going to be what they hoped? What if I wasn’t experienced enough for a change of industry? She listened, of course, and gave me some advice which pulled me back down to earth, exactly like a good friend should. But just having someone to talk to helps get things off your chest, and allows you to see it from a better perspective.

  • Being yourself always makes a good first impression. It can be really difficult to be confident at first, but if you can take the time to get to know your co-workers and to allow them to know you, it goes a long way. Personally, I like to bribe people into liking me with homemade cake, so if you can bake, I can tell you from experience that a batch of brownies gets you in the good books pretty quickly.

  • Sit down with your new manager and set some small goals. Having a set of small, easily manageable and achievable targets for you to work towards will really help you settle in and get to grips with your new role. Plus, being able to tick them off is always incredibly satisfying and is excellent for building confidence.

  • Find out about training and learning. If your new role is something that offers training and education, get in on it! Lots of companies offer training and support to being a more inclusive environment, so you can look forward to taking advantage of that and improve your skill set, while getting to know the other members of your new team.

  • Replace your fear with excitement. “The only difference between fear and excitement is your attitude about it.” Your brand new job is going to be an opportunity to experience something different, and if you keep reminding yourself why you chose to go on this path, your trepidation will be replaced with anticipation.

So whatever your new career entails, and wherever it takes you, remember to trust yourself and allow yourself to experience the journey in a positive way. Your nerves are totally normal, and by dealing with them the right way your new experience is sure to help you grow and develop in whatever field you choose.

At Forward Role we have teams of specialist recruiters across Marketing, Digital, Technology, Analytics and Design and have helped people of all career levels - from first job to executive, , if you want a confidental chat and some advice about your career, get in touch!

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