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How to Overcome Nerves When Starting a New Job

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A new job brings many new emotions. Even experienced professionals commonly experience some anxiety and stress at the prospect of starting a new job, whether it is with a new company, or a promotion within the company they have been working with. It is common for people to worry about whether other team members will accept them, or about whether their work performance will be up to par. Fortunately there are many steps that you can take to alleviate nervousness that do not require jumping through a lot of hoops.

Understanding Job Anxiety

Understanding new job nerves can help reduce the stress of moving. The type of nerves associated with a new job is very similar to the type of nerves or anxiety that people feel when they have to make other major life choices. Similar decisions that bring on these types of anxiety include buying a new home, or deciding to get married or divorced. People become accustomed to doing things one way and change requires major adaptations in our routines. Understanding that a new job isn’t bad, only different, can help reduce your nervousness.

Check In

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One of the simplest ways to deal with nerves is checking in with the boss. You can do this up to a week before you start your new job to find out what your boss will expect from you during the first few weeks. This allows you to prepare ahead of time. It will also alleviate any uncertainly about your job expectations and should provide you with some peace of mind.

Establish Friendships

Once you begin your job, acquaint yourself with your co-workers. Chances are they are familiar with the work environment and can help show you around. They probably have answers to some of the questions you may have. They may also be able to provide guidance to some roadblocks you may encounter during your first few days. The more comfortable you can become with your peers, the more easily you will become acclimated to the work environment. It is a good idea to make strong relationships with peers, particularly if you will become involved in team projects.


Commit to doing a good job. If you work diligently to not just meet but exceed your manager’s expectations you can’t help but ease your way into your new role. This will also help to mitigate any concerns you had about fitting in or earning your place in the company you are working with. If you find you do not know how to do something, ask. Some people feel it is better to fake it when they don’t know how to do something, but that only works temporarily. Find someone that can help show you the right way to do something. Performance problems are a good reason to let someone go so always put your best foot forward when hired. This will alleviate any residual nervousness and allow you ample opportunity for positive feedback from your employer.