3 Effective Ways to Cope with the Stress of a New Job

By Helen Godfrey, MA, NCC, BCC, LPC


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So, your interview couldn't have gone any better and you've just received your offer. This is an exciting time and you should be happy, right? Well, of course, you are happy and, at the same time, it is a big change so you may be feeling some stress.

·         What if I fail?

·          What if the job isn’t as great as I thought?

·         What if no one talks to me….ever? (Come on, let’s be honest. We’ve all thought that at one point or another.)



Of course, most people will be happy with the prospects of starting a new job. For many, this will mean an improvement from their previous job and a corresponding increase in wage as well.


However, starting a new job can also be a stressful experience, as there may be many new and unfamiliar aspects that may take some time getting used to.


Given enough time, that which was once unfamiliar will eventually become familiar and comfortable. For the interim, while you’re making the necessary adjustments to your new way of life, it’s a good idea to equip yourself with some tools that will provide you with ways to cope with the stress of the new job.


Try these techniques:


1.      Reach out to coworkers. Believe it or not, every single coworker at your new job was also once the new guy or gal on the block. What this means, is that now is the optimal time to reach out and establish connections with your coworkers, as they will be particularly open to any indications that you make toward friendship.


·         In this same way, if you choose not to reach out to your coworkers during this time, they might make the assumption that you’re not interested in establishing friendships with them now or at any point in the future.


·         Never underestimate the power of a first impression!


2.      Keep other aspects of your life the same. Starting a new job means that you’ll likely be experiencing a significant amount of change in the coming weeks and months.


·         It may be therapeutic for you to keep certain familiar and enjoyable routines in your life the same so that you have a semblance of comfort and regularity.


·         These routines may include going for a morning jog, enjoying a warm cup of coffee, spending time with your children before they go to bed or anything else that you’ve previously done on a consistent basis to maintain your peace of mind.


·         We all like to have some stability in our lives and providing yourself with some familiar structure may help reduce your overall stress levels in significant ways.


3.      It's okay to ask for help. Avoid trying to go it alone and perform all of your new job requirements without asking for any help.


·         Asking for help at the early stages of a new job will indicate that you desire to do your job well and your openness to feedback. Brene Brown says that vulnerability is a quality that we appreciate in others but something we find hard to show. Being new is vulnerable. Having a new job is vulnerable. Change is vulnerable. Being vulnerable is uncomfortable for you but remember that others actually really appreciate your openness and bravery.


·         In addition, this could also benefit you by having someone with more experience show you a faster or better way to do the task that you had the initial question about. This can be a real time saver both long and short term.


Remember, you're new at this job and are expected to make a few mistakes along the way. Use these tips to help you settle into your new job with less stress and more enjoyment.