Face your fears directly

Afraid of the new job? 7 positive tips against negative feelings

Frequent career changes are no longer uncommon in the modern world of work and have even found a specific name in the term job hopping. What one employee likes very much often triggers discomfort in another. A new job always means that you have to deal with new tasks. Not infrequently, this idea even triggers fear. In this post, we'll tell you what you can do about it.

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1. What is fear?
2. Why do changes belong to the world of work?
3. What are we actually afraid of?
4. How to get a grip on fear

What is fear

Fear is a feeling we all know. It occurs in different facets and has different degrees of severity, ranging from mild nervousness to full-blown panic. When we are afraid of a certain thing (such as height, tightness, or spiders), then the fear is also known as a phobia. But fear does not always relate to something so specific. It also occurs, for example, when we are in an unknown situation and do not know what to expect. In addition to the unknown, changes also ensure that we humans feel fear. So it is no wonder that this feeling is closely linked to a new job or new tasks within the existing job.

Like many other emotions, fear triggers certain physical reactions. These include, for example:

  • shortness of breath
  • Sweats
  • Increased heart rate with increased blood pressure
  • Muscle tension
  • Increased willingness to react
  • Cessation of gastrointestinal activities

When we are afraid, our entire body is on alert and Evolutionarily ready for an escape. This impulse breaks out of us very quickly, which is why we are sometimes afraid of things and situations that are anything but threatening.

Why do changes belong to the world of work?

We live in a fast paced world. What is current today may be out of date tomorrow. This applies to a wide variety of areas and also (or especially) to many professions. Here a new step in digitization, there a move to another city, there a new target group that brings new tasks with it. The steadily growing demands that many employers place on their job also ensure that changes are inseparable from the world of work. Anyone who is no longer satisfied with their job has to change it - and be prepared to be confronted with new, unknown and perhaps challenging tasks. It is human to react with a certain uncertainty or even fear in such a situation. However, this should not take over and ensure that the start of your new job is ruined.

What are we actually afraid of?

The writer and cultural historian Gustav Freytag already knew:

Humans are creatures of habits.

Well-known situations, routine work processes and recurring habits not only structure our day, they also give us a feeling of security, security and normalcy. In other words, we feel good and we are not afraid.

However, if habits, routines and familiar things break away, this logically leads to normality disappearing as well. The situation is suddenly new and unknown. We don't know what to expect and quickly react with excessive demands. In some cases this also turns into fear. This means that you are not immediately afraid of the new job, but of the unfamiliar situation associated with new tasks.

This is how you can get a grip on fear

If you are afraid of a new job and / or new tasks then you can be sure that you are not alone with this problem. The second good news is that you can do something about it. The following tips will tell you how to do it.

# 1 Have confidence in yourself

The fear of new things is closely related to the fear of personal failure.

"I can't do it.", "What if I fail?", "I think I am not sufficiently prepared for the new tasks."

Sentences like these are often used as a protective shield behind which those affected hide. They state that they are not up to the demands and try to justify their fear.

If this behavior sounds familiar to you, read the next few words carefully: Work on your confidence. Of course you are up to the new tasks and of course you will not fail! If you have a negative attitude right from the start and predict your failure yourself, it will indeed be difficult to convince in your new job. Outsmart your fears by pushing yourself and making it clear that you are up to any challenge. Always remember Henry Ford's words:

"There are more people who capitulate than those who fail."

# 2 Think about the number of times you've ventured into something new

Change of job, move, separation - there are always situations in our life in which we consciously decide on something new and also unknown. If you are afraid of your new job, it would be wise to consider how often you have been in such a situation and what ultimately happened. You will quickly notice that you rarely failed, but mostly emerged as a winner.

# 3 Analyze your fear

What exactly are you afraid of when you think about your new job? In front of the boss? The colleague? The tasks? The way to work? By looking our fears in the eye, we get to know them much better and also how to deal with them.

# 4 Prepare yourself

For example, suppose your greatest fear is not getting along with your new colleagues. Then there is already reason to celebrate, because you have found a point where you can start and work with. By adjusting to what we are afraid of, we prepare the body and mind for the new situation, the impulse to flee is minimized.

In our example, the preparation could look like this:

  • Work out a small mini-pitch with which you introduce yourself to your new colleagues
  • Think of harmless small talk topics to bridge breaks in speaking
  • Think about questions to ask colleagues with whom you express an interest
  • Find out when and to what extent it is common to join the new company
  • Stand in front of the mirror and practice your friendliest and most open smile

Solution approaches are the be-all and end-all. These range from a language crash course to intensive Internet research to simple exercises that will strengthen your self-confidence. It often helps to get help from others in this situation.

# 5 Admit to yourself that you are scared

Which brings us to the next tip. You know it: if something is bothering you and you keep swallowing it, sooner or later it will eat you away from the inside. This also applies if you are afraid of a new job or other challenge.

Try it! Just saying what is bothering you can work wonders. To do this, either contact someone you trust or seek contact with like-minded people with similar problems.

Tip: Do you have big problems confiding in others with your fears? Then try it first with a letter in which you write everything off your soul. Whether or not someone reads your lines later does not matter at first. It is important that you admit your fear and bring it out in some way.

# 6 Change your perspective

Failures, setbacks and defeats are generally perceived as something extremely negative. So it's no wonder that we are afraid of potentially threatening situations. How do you do it better? By changing your perspective and realizing that a failed attempt is always closely linked to the learning effect. It's not for nothing that it says so beautifully: You learn from mistakes.

# 7 Accept that failure is a part of it

Admittedly, it doesn't sound really encouraging, but: failure is normal and is part of it. Anyone who strives for higher things will sooner or later suffer a defeat - from which they can emerge stronger. Of course, a new job means uncertainty and the risk of not meeting the requirements. But what can happen in the worst case? People grow with their tasks and should always be ready to accept failure from time to time. This applies to the new job as well as to many other situations in our everyday life.

It is perfectly normal to let go of fear of new and unfamiliar situations. However, the feeling should never paralyze you and possibly ensure that you have a good chance slip by the limelight. It is important that you know your strengths and stop doubting yourself. This boosts self-confidence and pushes fears and doubts aside.

If you have any further tips for dealing with fears at work, we would be delighted if you would share them with us and the other readers. You are welcome to leave us a comment and tell us about your experiences.

Photo credit: Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock.com

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