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New Job Jitters? 6 steps to help you put your best foot forward

28 May 2014 by Isabelle Saber.

Whilst everyone’s workplace is different, when it comes down to it, we all face the same set of challenges when beginning a new role.

Follow these six simple steps to alleviate the ‘first day fear’, navigate the logistics of an alien environment and breeze through any probation pitfalls.

1. Look the Part

Your first few weeks in any new job are probably not the best time to try out that Star Wars tie or the new six-inch heels you can’t walk in.  While every office has its own definition of appropriate dress, looking well groomed can dramatically help you feel the part.  Think about what the other employees were wearing at your interview and dress accordingly.  You will feel much more comfortable and relaxed if you wear clothes that fit the bill.

2. Keep the Faith

Starting a new job is always daunting.  It’s entirely natural to feel apprehensive but don’t let anxiety get the better of you.  Remember why you were hired; trust in your ability to succeed in a new position and knock self-doubt on its head.  Equally, do not underestimate the power of being new. While you might feel as though you don’t know as much as your colleagues, your presence brings with it a fresh perspective, new ideas and exciting energy.

3. Avoid the Burnout Blues

More often than not, a new role comes with a whole host of new stresses so now is the time to be kind to yourself.  Start the day with a hearty, healthful breakfast to fire up your brain for the work ahead.  Find time to exercise and make sure you take regular breaks throughout the day.  Most importantly, make sure you get enough sleep.  You want to be clear-eyed, sharp and preferably conscious when you meet your new colleagues.

4. Get to Know Your Team

This one is simple – make every effort to understand and get to know the people you work with.  As the “new person” you’re not just starting a new job, with fresh tasks and responsibilities, you’re joining a well-established community and social group. By learning your colleagues’ names and finding out what makes them tick, you’re well on your way to building new professional relationships and making the transition into your role all the easier.

5.  Get Organised

This is essential, especially since a lot of information will be coming your way. Having good organisational skills from the onset and establishing good work habits will make life easier further down the line.  Know your key priorities and what’s expected of you so you can productively map out how to manage each day. Don’t count the days, make the days count!

6.  Give it Time

From office juniors to CEOs, any career transition can be testing at times.  At the end of the day, you’re not supposed to know everything or everyone.  Accept that you’re the “newbie” but take consolation in the thought that in time, the unfamiliar will soon be familiar.  Give it time – a new job is much like a new pair of shoes—it needs wearing in.

To anyone starting a new job or considering a change: Good luck!  To anyone who has been in this position: What were the key steps that helped ease you into your new role?

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