Many people find themselves overwhelmed during their first few days of starting at a new job or company. Regardless of how many times you’ve been through it, it’s all too easy to feel beaten down when faced with a learning curve to overcome, a new boss or team to adjust to, and the isolation and loneliness from being in an unfamiliar environment. If you are a new employee that’s currently struggling to keep your head above the water, chin up! There are many ways to lower the stress and anxiety that you feel in your new role. We’ve listed down some of them for you below:
1. Try not to be too hard on yourself
You might be thinking, “that’s easy for you to say!” but hear us out. Starting a new job will always involve having to push through several steep ‘learning curves in the beginning. The training you receive can only cover so much, and you can’t be expected to do your job perfectly on the first day. That’s okay! Take a deep breath and accept that it’s all right to take it slow while you navigate the role and figure out how to best perform your tasks. Before long, you will have developed a routine for yourself and things won’t be so hard after a couple of months—or even a handful of weeks in.
2. Ask for help when you need it
Most people are afraid to ask questions because they feel that it exhibits weakness and incompetence. The fact of the matter is, your colleagues and supervisor will understand where you’re coming from; they have been in your position before, too. Don’t hesitate to ask them when you come across an issue that you can’t resolve on your own or find yourself faced with a question that you don’t know the answer to. This minimises the risk of you making mistakes by trying to puzzle them out by yourself. Asking questions also helps build rapport and camaraderie between yourself and your new team, and is a good stepping stone to making friends at the workplace.
3. Steer clear of workplace drama
Nothing can ruin your work experience more than toxic office culture, drama, and politicking. It can be very hard to avoid, too; personality clashes are inevitable in an environment where people have differing opinions and beliefs. As a new employee, you have enough on your plate to worry about than embroiling yourself in the conflicts between other people. You are best off giving it all a wide berth and focusing on what you’re supposed to be doing at the office: working!
However, we recognise that it can be challenging to avoid office politics completely, especially when it is tied so intrinsically to the relationships that you develop at work. To that end, we suggest being aware of your reactions and making careful decisions without letting your emotions affect your objectivity.
Focus on building connections that can further the objectives of the business and your career growth. Keep your cool and concentrate on the issues, not the people—never let misunderstandings get personal, and try to avoid choosing sides in an argument. As a new employee, participating in gossip can feel like an easy way to win your colleagues’ trust and develop rapport with them, but it’s never worth putting someone else down to advance yourself.
4. Take care of yourself
Some of the easiest ways to manage stress involve doing things that you should already be doing in the first place: Eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising, which all can do wonders for your mental and emotional well-being. At a new company, it can be tempting to eat out every day and indulge in unhealthy takeout and fast food. Try to keep an eye on what you put into your body. Ingredients such as white flour, salt, and sugar have all been proven to raise sodium and blood sugar levels, which can lead to increased production of cortisol, the primary stress hormone. Combat it by including more fruits and vegetables in your diet and steering clear of processed foods.
You should also be aiming for at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night to feel refreshed, clear-headed, and ready to work in the mornings. A few minutes of exercise every day can also keep your cortisol levels manageable while relieving muscle tension, soreness, and stiffness. Look up YouTube videos for breathing, meditation, or stretching exercises that you can do right at your desk, or simply get up from it and go for a short walk when you need a break.
5. Go easy on the coffee
Another thing that can increase the level of cortisol in your body is excess consumption of caffeine. Drinking too much coffee can inhibit your body’s absorption of vitamins D and B, which are known mood boosters. It can also influence your sleep patterns, keeping you awake at night long after your bedtime. Limit yourself to one to two cups of coffee a day, or substitute your midday fix with a healthier alternative, such as green tea. You should also do your best to stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of water.
New-job-related stress can be minimised by making a few simple lifestyle adjustments and putting yourself first. Focus on the positives and stay open to learning, and you shouldn’t have any difficulties thriving in your new role or company.