You can’t even remember how many times you applied or sent your resume and cover letter to a company and its HR team.
You got through the interviews. First round, second round, and even a third round that you weren’t expecting. The hard part is over.
Finally, the phone call with the offer came with the written offer shortly after. You eagerly accepted.
The two-week wait time has been a whirlwind. You’re excited to relax a bit before starting a new job, but each day brings you a new emotion. You’re anxious, excited, and nervous.
Here’s how to stay calm before your first day.
Prepare for the First Day
One of the best things you can do to calm those nerves is to get prepped and ready for your first day.
If your role is in person, look up the office address and plan out your commute. Figure out what time you need to leave your house to get to work early. From there, you can plan what time you need to wake up in order to get ready and leave on time.
Plan out your meals in advance. Head to the grocery store and plan out your meals for the week. You want to make sure you’re covered for breakfast before work, lunch at work, and any snacks during the day.
You can also plan your outfit ahead of the first day as well so that you feel ready and confident for your first day. Pick out a few different outfits, try them on, and make sure you feel comfortable and confident. Hang up the entire outfit, shoes included, so that it’s ready for your the morning of your first day.
Write Down Your Thoughts (And Worries)
A great way to get those negative thoughts and worries out in the open is by writing them down. Let the pages of a notebook or your journal hold onto everything instead of keeping them inside. Release that worries so that you feel more at ease. You can also look back on your list of worries to address them later, so you can better prepare for day 1.
In addition to your worries, write about what you’re excited about or looking forward to on your first day in the new role. This will help you focus your energy on why you applied and took this opportunity to begin with.
Move Your Body
Exercise has been proven to make you healthy from the inside out. When you move your body, you naturally release endorphins which help to make you feel good. It’s an easy way to reduce stress and increase your mood. If you’re not that into working out, that’s okay! There are plenty of different ways that you can move your body. Go for a walk outside. Hop on a bicycle or indoor cycling bike. Attend a workout class with friends. Or lift weights at your local gym. Do whatever gets your blood pumping, your heart racing, and most importantly, makes you happy.
Try Relaxation Techniques
It can be easy to dedicate all of your time, energy, and attention to thinking about your new job before starting it. Don’t waste this downtime on things you can’t control! Try to find time to relax and unwind before diving into work again. These are a few ways to relax before starting your new job:
- Try breathing techniques
- Go to dinner and a movie with friends
- Attend an art or cooking class
- Try yoga or meditation
Get your mind off of work and allow yourself to let go and have fun.
Go to Therapy
If you can’t quite shake those nerves of starting a new job, you’re not alone. If you notice that your anxiety is starting to get in the way of your daily life and routine, it may be time to reach out for additional support. Therapy can be a great way to help you get to the root cause of your anxiety and give you ways to address and better manage the symptoms you may be facing.
About the author(s)
Karen is the founder and Clinical Director of Cohesive Therapy NYC. She earned a Masters in Social Work from New York University and has extensive training in Hypnosis, Anxiety, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Brainspotting, and DGBI. She is a member of the Institute of Certified Anxiety Treatment Professionals, The Rome Foundation, the National Association of Social Workers, The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, and the American Social of Clinical Hypnosis.