Managing stress and expectations in a new job environment | Place Me - Career Resources

Managing stress and expectations in a new job environment

Starting a new job is exciting. You’ve made it through the interview process, accepted an offer and before you know it, being introduced to an office full of new faces. 

With that excitement can also come feelings of dread or anxiety. Coming from a role you’re confident and comfortable in, to a role where you’re trying to find your feet, get to know new processes and build professional relationships can seem daunting. Especially if you’ve received little to no onboarding or experienced a different culture from what you’re used to.

It’s important to know that these feelings are normal and usually pass within a couple of months. Until then, we’ve compiled our top tips on managing stress and expectations in a new job environment

Master your new routine

Humans are creatures of habit. We find a sense of comfort in travelling on the same route, getting a coffee from the same cafe and going to the same gym for our Monday spin class. 

When a new job is thrown into the mix, there’s a good chance it will be in an unknown neighbourhood. You may need to take a different route, find a new lunch spot or even learn to navigate public transport. A lack of routine ​​and structure can cause increased feelings of anxiety and stress, exasperating first-day jitters and turning them into larger issues. 

It’s normal to feel like your new job has made your life flip, do a 360 and land in the rubble. But from here, it’s important to pick it up and create a new routine that suits your new commute and work arrangements. If your routine must include exercise, time to relax or spending time with your loved ones, then find a way to fit it in around work commitments. 

It may take some time to master your new routine but the quicker you start the easier it is to adapt and the quicker you’ll feel settled.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

In a new role, it can be a continuous battle of when to use initiative and when to ask for help. Most of us know we can’t accomplish everything on our own, yet many professionals don’t ask questions for fear of inconveniencing their new manager or creating doubt in their capabilities.

If you’re in a new role, asking questions is necessary not only to do your job correctly but also for personal and professional growth. Trying to figure out processes and information on your own can lead to additional stress, wasted time and critical mistakes. 

If you haven’t received adequate on-boarding, don’t have what you need to do your job or have questions you can’t find answers to, we recommend scheduling a meeting with your manager to discuss your concerns and questions.

Consider additional study

One of the reasons to start a new role is career progression. It’s an opportunity to branch out, learn new skills, extend your network and earn a higher income. But sometimes, career progression can come with additional stress, particularly when you’re not super confident performing a key part of your role. 

Your skills will develop over time but to fast-track the process, you can look at podcasts, webinars and paid courses. Now, we’re not saying you have to spend all weekend studying and upskilling but having the confidence and knowledge to complete your job will help improve your confidence and minimise any additional stress.

Get to know your colleagues

Being a new person can be daunting, especially in a tight-knit, small team. It can be made even harder if you’ve come from a job where your colleagues were your friends or you’ve started in a managerial position.

It is always a smart move to sit back and gauge the cultural dynamic. This is your way to see what’s an appropriate way to communicate in the office. Your colleagues might love light-hearted, fun conversation or it might be strictly professional. Either way, it’s an opportunity to see how you can bond with them on an appropriate level. 

Starting a new role is a great opportunity to enjoy a team lunch or morning tea, get to know everyone and break the ice. Building relationships with your colleagues helps alleviate feelings of isolation and makes the transition easier.

Remind yourself that it’s temporary

Remind yourself that the stress of a new job is temporary. After eight weeks, you’ll have learnt the general gist of your role, had time to chat with your colleagues and settled into your new routine.

Acknowledging your nerves as normal can help you focus on the positives of starting a new job and remember why you accepted it in the first place. Think about how it’s a career move, an opportunity to meet new people and work for a company or industry you’re passionate about. 

Writing down your causes of stress or anxiety and the positives can also help you look at things from a different perspective. And help you find solutions, or come to the conclusion that the feeling will in fact pass.

Call your recruiter

If you’ve used a recruiter to find this role you’re in luck. There are many benefits of using a recruitment agency and one is the support you receive.

Your recruiter wants to see you succeed. Their job is to place you in your dream role, to help you grow and achieve your career goals. The support doesn’t stop once you sign the contract. During your probationary period, if you have any concerns regarding the role, are feeling anxious or don’t know how to communicate with your direct manager you can contact your recruiter for support. 

They can act as a buffer, ensuring communication and expectations stay open and help you transition into your new role.


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