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8 tips to keep your new job nerves in check

1. understand your nerves are temporary, 2. stop worrying what new colleagues think of you, 3. adopt a growth mindset, 4. keep your imposter syndrome in check, 5. contact your new manager, 6. talk to a support network, 7. prepare for your first day, 8 . seek professional advice, quell your new job anxiety, career development rh menu promo block, career development.

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The Top 5 Reasons for New Job Jitters, and How to Stay Calm Before Your First Day

This is why we're all nervous wrecks before starting a new job, according to LinkedIn.

Maggie Seaver is the digital health and wellness editor at Real Simple, with seven years of experience writing lifestyle and wellness content. She spends her days writing and editing stories about sleep, mental health, fitness, preventive health, nutrition, personal development, relationships, healthy habits, and beyond. She loves demystifying complicated health topics, debunking wellness fads, and sharing practical, science-backed solutions for healthy living.

first job nerves

Anyone who doesn't get nervous before starting a new job is made of very tough stuff. In fact, they're in a class all their own, since a LinkedIn data report finds that 80 percent of working professionals experience nerves when starting a new job. And unsurprisingly first-day jitters get even more intense in the last days leading up to their start date (67 percent of that group feel them mostly right before they begin a new job).

No matter how confident someone is, few are truly immune to the debilitating combination of impostor syndrome , social anxiety, and fear of the unknown that hits before starting a new role. To get to the "why" behind new job jitters, LinkedIn asked respondents to name what they were most worried about.

The most nerve-wracking concern, according to 55 percent of professionals, is that they won't be good at their job quickly enough. Second is the more general worry that they won't succeed (48 percent)—not just quickly, but ever. This is closely followed by the possibility they won't actually like the job (42 percent) and might regret taking it in the first place. They're also ruminating about social impressions, with 32 percent worrying their colleagues and/or bosses won't like them. Finally, 28 percent fear they aren't qualified for their new position (did they get hired by mistake—and how soon will everyone find out?).

Women feel it in particular. They're more concerned than men are about being liked, LinkedIn finds. They're also twice as likely as men to continue experiencing nerves a few months after they've started. Age plays a role too: Boomers feel the least nervous of any generation that they won't succeed or aren't qualified for the job. It's good to know that a sense of calm and confidence helps abate the nerves as we age and gain professional (and life) experience.

Is there a way to keep new job jitters completely at bay? Unfortunately, feeling nervous is a natural, physiological response that's hard to prevent altogether. But here are a few effective reminders to reassure yourself everything will be OK (eventually, at least).

Make peace with not knowing everything.

Scared you won't be good at your job quickly enough? Remember that no one expects you to jump right in and know exactly what you're doing. "Managers tell us that one of the biggest mistakes people make in their first 90 days at a new job is acting like a know-it-all," says LinkedIn Career Expert Blair Heitmann. "Instead of worrying that you need all the answers, plan to arrive with plenty of questions instead. You'll make the right impression by being open to feedback, being positive, being proactive about learning new skills, listening, and asking thoughtful questions."

RELATED: 4 Ways to Deal with a Bad Boss, So That Work Stress Stops Occupying Your Life

Be proactive about meeting people.

You haven't met anyone yet—so why wouldn't they like you before you've even started? (Plus, your future coworkers are probably stressing about whether or not you'll like them.) Calm your nerves by having a proactive game plan for getting to know people. "One of the first things you should do is build your professional community at work," Heitmann says. "It'll help you get to know the culture better, open doors to new opportunities, and make work more enjoyable."

Ask your boss or teammates whom you should get to know first. Ask them if they'll make an intro, then offer to take a walk or buy them a coffee to make a friendly connection. "Don't just focus on people above you," Heitmann adds. "Support at all levels is essential to success." (And for making work friends!)

Up-level your skills.

Sometimes the best thing you can do to kick nagging anxiety is take action. Worried you're lacking a skill you'll need on the job that never came up in the interview ? Do something about it.

Take a course to brush up on your negotiating skills; refresh your dusty Photoshop skills with an online tutorial; read a helpful book on effective management styles; or hit up a LinkedIn Learning course on anything from photography to public speaking. If you're insecure about a potential gap in your skill set, rather than dwell on it, make an effort to fill it.

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Starting a new job? These 5 feelings are completely normal

Starting a new job is a very exciting time, but it can also bring on a whole host of unwelcome feelings that can somewhat ruin the experience. The high you got from creating a winning resume , to being offered the job and accepting it has subsided and you’re left with extreme nerves. You might tell yourself that you just have to get started and then you’ll be grand.

However, in reality, you’re very likely to feel out of sorts for a while after starting a new job. These feelings do not go away after the first day, but they do pass in time. The first step is to know that you’re not alone and these feelings are totally normal. RECRUITERS covered one feeling in particular over on Irish Tatler earlier this month.

Nerves and anxiety

Feeling nervous before the first day of a new job is totally normal and to be expected. But do you know what else is totally normal? Still feeling nervous going in on the second day. And the third, and the fourth. See where we're going with this? It’s OK for the nerves and anxiety not to instantly disappear once you start your job. It takes a long time to settle in and start feeling comfortable in your new surroundings, so it’s completely normal to feel nervous for a number of weeks after you start. 

With any new job, there will be a lot of info to take in, and even if you’re being well trained, taking notes and actively listening, it’s going to take you a while to fully grasp everything. Even when you know what you’re doing in your role, there will still be plenty to confuse you. Just think how long it took for certain things to become second nature in your last job. Give your brain a chance to get to grips with everything. It will take longer than a week. In fact, it’ll probably take longer than a month. It might take three months. It might even take six. Don’t worry, you’ll get there.

Imposter syndrome

We wrote about how to deal with imposter syndrome when you start a new job on Irish Tatler earlier this month. It’s the feeling that you somehow tricked these new employers into hiring you because you’re not actually able to do the job. In reality, that’s your imposter syndrome talking and it’s important to remember that your bosses are smart people who saw you capable enough to do the job, so trust them. For more tips on dealing with imposter syndrome, check out my article in Irish Tatler here .

Stress and exhaustion

You may not be thrown in the deep end straight away, but the practice of learning new processes, getting to grips with your role, meeting a whole host of new faces and familiarising yourself with everything you need to know is absolutely exhausting and all of those tasks can be harder and therefore more stressful when they’re all so new. Expect to feel a little stressed and tired at the beginning of a new job. If you’re feeling too overwhelmed, talk to your manager about how you’re feeling. If that still doesn't help,  turmeric  has a well-documented status as one of the best over-the-counter reliefs for stress and anxiety.

This can often be the most surprising part of getting a new job. Your new colleagues might be perfectly nice, but they don’t compare to the friends you’ve made in previous jobs. You can often feel something akin to homesickness for those relationships in the early weeks and months of a new job as you get to know a completely new set of people, especially since they will all have established relationships with each other. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll never be friends with people in your new job. Relationships with colleagues take a long time to develop naturally and if you feel a little lonely and detached at the start, it’s completely normal.

A new job can be scary and intimidating but it can also be wonderful and really help your career progression. Want to take that next step? The first thing to do is to tidy up and prepare a new resume using .

Since 2006, we've seen every CV template and builder there is and consistently ranks as our top CV builder every year. They've helped over 10 million job seekers build interview-worthy CVs that get people hired faster. They offer our community:

  • CV templates for every profession
  • Excellent CV examples
  • Easy CV builders
  • Expert help and tips for your CV


Feeling confused about your career? We’ve got everything you need to know about progression, new jobs and  happiness in your career right here .

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What’s new job anxiety?

Is it normal to have anxiety when starting a new job?

4 symptoms of new job anxiety, how to overcome job anxiety, 5 extra tips to boost your confidence at work, new job anxiety faqs, moving beyond new job anxiety.

Congratulations — you've just landed your dream job. 

That’s good news. You're proud of yourself. And you should be. 

It’s also bad news. You’ve landed your dream job — now what? 

Your first day is approaching, and anxiety is creeping in . You’re thinking about how important it is to make a good first impression on your new colleagues. You're already rehearsing your introduction . You want to establish competence and authority and set good boundaries . 

You also want to make sure your new boss likes you . 

Thinking about all this makes your palms sweat and your heart rate jump.

New job anxiety has set in, and you haven’t even started yet. Some anxiety is inevitable, but that doesn't mean it has to stay. Learning what new job anxiety is and how to overcome it will make for a better, less stressful transition.

What's new job anxiety?

People sometimes call job anxiety the jitters, and it happens to anybody and everybody. Anxiety itself occurs when we experience change or new situations, so adjusting to a new job is a prime time for it to strike. 

Many things about starting a job can induce anxiety. You have a new workplace to get used to commuting to, a new office, and new managers. Everything is unfamiliar, and you’re still getting comfortable. This may be a significant career change for you, and you're anxious about experiencing failure .

Or, you could be worried your new workplace will cause burnout and that toxic leadership lurks around the corner. 

Pointing it out and acknowledging your anxieties is a good start to overcoming them. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness among American adults . An estimated 31.1% of U.S. adults have had an anxiety disorder at one point. 

An increasing number of studies about the impacts of depression and anxiety in the workplace mean more positive change and resources available to workers dealing with mental health issues. 

If you already struggle with your mental health or a professional has diagnosed you with an anxiety disorder, starting a new job might feel impossible — but trust us, it’s not.

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Yes — starting a new job could fill anyone with anxiety. E verything about the role is unfamiliar — and for people with an anxiety disorder, significant workplace changes are amongst the most powerful triggers .

New job anxiety is so normal that it's likely more surprising if you don't experience any stress when starting a new job. 

People wonder how long new job anxiety lasts, and for that answer, it all depends on the individual themselves. For some, it only lasts the first week, during onboarding. For others, the anxiety lasts several weeks, turning into imposter syndrome or causing you to second guess your skills. 

It's natural to feel anxious in any new environment, so why look at new job anxiety differently? You're starting from scratch in a new role with unfamiliar people.

Anxiety makes itself known in both physical and mental ways. Some people experience sweaty palms, while others get headaches. Here are four symptoms of work anxiety that you may feel when starting a new job:

  • Physical and mental fatigue
  • Increased heart rate
  • Heightened imposter syndrome  
  • Increased insecurities

Just because some anxiety is expected doesn’t mean you have to suffer or continue to feel overwhelmed by work in your personal time . If your anxiety begins to interrupt your ability to perform at work, seek help from a mental health professional specializing in workplace anxiety.

You’ll gain the support and guidance you need to understand and overcome anxiety symptoms.


You want to get over new job anxiety to enjoy your new role and get into your work. Remember how much effort you put into landing this new position? Don’t let that go to waste by sinking into self-criticism or negative self-talk. You got the job. You deserve to be here. And unchecked anxiety can lead to burnout or self-sabotage .

Check out these 12 coping strategies to help you deal with new job anxiety:

  • Avoid all-or-nothing thinking and ask for feedback to learn as you onboard into your role
  • Practice deep breathing exercises , meditation , and mindfulness  
  • Check-in with loved ones to take your mind off work
  • Take notes during onboarding and training
  • Stop comparing yourself to more experienced employees, and don’t be afraid to ask them questions
  • Repeat positive affirmations like reminding yourself your employer hired you for a reason


Identify what’s making you anxious . Write it down and look for patterns 

Practice emotional regulation . Feel your emotions without letting them consume you

Remember: you aren't the only one who's ever felt new job anxiety. You’re not alone.

Do relaxing activities outside working hours, like journaling , yoga , or hot baths to wind down your body and mind

Personalize your workspace to feel more comfortable

Waiting for new job anxiety to pass won't do you much good, and if we don't try our best to cope with our anxiety, it could worsen. Understand that you can face your anxiety yourself rather than wait for things to improve.

Read these four tips to give your confidence a boost:

1. Make an effort to connect with people

Seeing a friendly face around your new office helps ease our nerves and makes us feel more relaxed. Knowing that we have new co-workers around us to ask questions, eat lunch with, and chat with makes a huge difference.

Even if you make friends slowly, connecting with your new colleagues will ease feelings of anxiety. It will also strengthen collaboration and teamwork skills , which makes work easier.

2. Start with a good morning routine

It's all in the preparation. Before heading to work, enjoy a relaxing morning. Eat a good breakfast, listen to your favorite music, or play with your pets. Let your mornings feel calming rather than rushed so you don't walk into work feeling overwhelmed.

Practice the commute before your first day so you know where to go, and time how long your morning routine takes so you're more organized and ready to start your day on the right foot.

Journaling about your anxiety records your experiences to find trigger patterns. Narrowing down what makes you feel stressed at work is the first step to improving your mental health and relie ving anxiety. 

While you don’t have to journal every day, developing a morning practice that encourages you to be mindful of your anxiety can help you overcome it . Try making a habit of jotting a couple of notes down whenever you feel anxious.


3. Unwind after work

New hires feel job stress particularly hard — there’s tremendous pressure to perform. That might make it difficult to disconnect from work. But making time for yourself will increase your productivity and keep you more engaged. Find up to two hours of free time daily to reduce stress and improve general wellness. 

Taking time for yourself might feel like a foreign concept if you typically overwork and oversocialize.

Start by listening to a podcast or music on your commute home or hitting the gym before evening plans. At home, play a game with friends or loved ones, work on a DIY art project, or spend extra time trying out a new recipe to decompress. 

4. Celebrate your achievements

We all adjust and learn at different paces. Your learning curve is unique, and it’s OK if you take a little longer than expected to adjust. Entering a new work environment is no simple feat. After all, you must adapt to a new company culture , meet coworkers and managers, and adjust to different management styles . Go easy on yourself and acknowledge every milestone. 

Did you complete your first day at work? That calls for celebration. Each day you get through or each time you've had a job well-done, make sure that you reward yourself for it. 

Celebrating our achievements can be done by practicing self-care, like enjoying ice cream or doing mindful meditation . The more we recognize our successes, the more our confidence builds . We see that we're capable of creating change, which squashes feelings of self-doubt . 

5. Adopt a positive attitude and growth mindset

You did land this new job, right? They chose you to fill this role. It's an opportunity to grow and expand your skill sets. New situations are often uncomfortable , but they’re also exciting.

Cultivating a positive mental attitude while you navigate these new experiences will help you reap the benefits, now and in the future.

Making mistakes fuels growth and learning — and everyone makes them from time to time.


How long does new work anxiety last?

Depending on the person and position, it could take up to 18 months to fully adjust and reach peak productivity. The time frame depends on several factors, including the company’s onboarding process and support initiatives, growing relationships with coworkers and managers, and adjustments to workflow and procedures. 

How do I know if I have imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome describes feeling like you haven’t earned your accomplishments or don’t belong in a position.

If you often think you can’t measure up to your peers or don’t deserve what you’ve earned, you likely have imposter syndrome — especially if having the necessary credentials for a position or receiving positive feedback doesn’t relieve these worries. 

Imposter syndrome is incredibly common: 82% of Americans have experienced this anxiety at some point . It’s typical amongst high-performing individuals and minorities and can increase stress, decrease risk-taking, and lead to burnout.

How do I establish deeper relationships with my teammates?

Building workplace friendships is a proven way to stay engaged and productive . Start with the basics: learn peoples’ names and engage in small talk. Take advantage of team-building opportunities , like attending company activities or using shared workspaces. Without getting too personal, ask your coworkers questions about themselves, like what their favorite hobbies are, where they’re from, and if they’ve got any upcoming vacations.

Listen actively to show you’re engaged and care to learn about them outside of work. And everyone loves a cheerleader — celebrate your coworkers’ wins and be grateful for support from managers to strengthen professional connections.

We can’t emphasize enough that feelings of anxiety when you start a new job are normal. It doesn’t mean you’ve made a horrible mistake. Don’t hit send on that email begging for your old job back! 

Even the most successful CEOs experience new job anxiety. But that doesn't mean you should roll over and succumb to thoughts that serve a no good purpose.

In the moment, it feels like you don't belong (because you don’t yet — belonging takes time ). But you have to make an effort to counter those negative thoughts with positive ones.

When we try our best to understand our worth and all that we have to contribute to our new job, with time, we'll look back and wonder what we were so nervous about in the first place.

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Maggie Wooll

Thought Leader

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first job nerves

How to navigate new job nerves

So you've landed the job you've been gunning for and you're about to embark on your first day? New job nerves are normal, but there are five first day FAQS you can tick off your list now, so you can focus on the job at hand and knock your new boss' socks off.

  • What time should I arrive? Obviously, you want to give yourself plenty of time and arrive early on your first day to make a good impression, but how early is too early? After all you don't want to be stuck waiting by the front door if no-one else has arrived yet. Ask your manager what time you should arrive and if parking is available, or if you'll need to allow extra time to park off-site and walk to work. If you're taking public transport to work, allow an extra 20 minutes or so in case of delays, and use Google Maps to work out how long it will take you to walk from your stop to the office.  
  • How will I remember everyone's names? You're likely to meet a lot of new people on your first day, so it's natural to be nervous about remembering the names of all your new colleagues. Many people swear by repeating someone's name back to them when they're introduced, while others find associating new people's names with a particular characteristic helps it to stick in their mind - for example, blonde Sarah or Johnny beard-face. If you do happen to forget someone's name, don't fret, your colleagues will remember their own first day and are sure to be understanding. Simply apologise and ask for their name again. It won't take long to have the company role call committed to memory.  
  • What do I wear? Unless you're provided with a uniform, deciding what to wear on your first day at a new job can be nerve-wracking. Think about what your interviewers were wearing when you visited the office, and check out the company website, blog and social media accounts for an idea of what's appropriate, and what will fit in with the rest of the team. As a general rule, it's usually best to dress more professionally on your first day, and then adjust accordingly if the company culture is more casual. If in doubt, you can always ask your manager if there's a dress code to consider.  
  • What will I do for lunch? Lunch at work isn't just about staying fuelled during the day, it's also an opportunity to get to know your colleagues. Depending on the workplace, there may be a cafeteria, staff room, kitchen, or local cafe that your workmates frequent. If your boss doesn't mention the usual lunch routine during your first-day orientation, ask your team members. If they invite you to join them for lunch, accept the invitation and use the opportunity to pick their brains and build a rapport.  
  • What if I'm out of my depth? Many people feel worried they won't pick up on new systems and tasks quickly enough, but your employer will expect there to be a settling in and training period. Take your time (and loads of notes!) and remember that you were hired for a reason, and your boss obviously thinks you have the potential to do a great job. You won't know everything by the end of day one, but no-one will expect you to. 
As a general rule, it's usually best to dress more professionally on your first day, and then adjust accordingly if the company culture is more casual.

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