Your mind is likely buzzing with questions about starting your new job. You wonder if your co-workers will like you, if you will like them, and if you will do a good job. It's natural to be apprehensive when entering a new environment, especially when your reputation and rent money are at stake. Calm down by reminding yourself that you got the job based on your savvy and career skills, and that's exactly how you're going to keep it.
Confront your fears and ask yourself why you’re nervous. Write down your concerns: scared you’ll be late and give a bad first impression; paranoid you’ll get lost and wind up miles away; and anxious you’ll have performance anxiety and won’t be able to deliver the goods. Address each one individually so you’ll no longer be plagued by a nameless ball of nerves.
Prepare everything beforehand so you’re not running around like a headless chicken on the first morning of your new job. Lay out a stunning, yet comfortable outfit. You want to look good, but if your pants are too tight or your shoes pinch your feet, you’ll be in a bad mood before lunch. Map out your route to work so you don’t get turned around on your first day. The night before, pack a healthy lunch and snacks, put a day’s worth of cash in your wallet and pack your purse with your must-haves, including keys.
Motivate yourself with a pep talk. Remind yourself that feeling nervous means you’re taking the opportunity seriously, which is a good thing. Give yourself props for being the best choice for the job and make a list of reasons why you think your new boss hired you. Take a refresher course on what makes you amazing.
Visualize positive experiences at your new job. Get comfortable in a quiet, peaceful space, and close your eyes. Breathe slowly and deeply, and concentrate on relaxing your entire body. Picture yourself at your new job smiling, radiating feelings of productivity and success. Hear yourself saying, “I love my job.” Hear a colleague saying, “I’m so glad you joined us. You’re a wonderful addition to our team.” Summon the feeling that you are valued and appreciated.
Give yourself ample time to get dressed so you can get to work early your first day. Rushing around will only key up your nerves and set an anxious tone. Wake up early enough to take a leisurely shower, eat a healthy breakfast and drink a cup of relaxing tea. Avoid sugar, processed foods and caffeine before work, since you don’t want to be overstimulated or jittery, or even worse, sluggish.
Plan to be at work at least 20 minutes before your shift begins. Give yourself enough time to use the bathroom, check your hair and makeup, and put away your personal items.
Oubria Tronshaw specializes in topics related to parenting and business. She received a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Chicago State University. She currently teaches English at Harper Community College in the Chicago area.