The Top 5 Reasons for New Job Jitters, and How to Stay Calm Before Your First Day
Anyone who doesn't get nervous before starting a new job is made of very tough stuff. In fact, they're in a class all their own, since a LinkedIn data report finds that 80 percent of working professionals experience nerves when starting a new job. And unsurprisingly first-day jitters get even more intense in the last days leading up to their start date (67 percent of that group feel them mostly right before they begin a new job).
No matter how confident someone is, few are truly immune to the debilitating combination of impostor syndrome, social anxiety, and fear of the unknown that hits before starting a new role. To get to the "why" behind new job jitters, LinkedIn asked respondents to name what they were most worried about.
The most nerve-wracking concern, according to 55 percent of professionals, is that they won't be good at their job quickly enough. Second is the more general worry that they won't succeed (48 percent)—not just quickly, but ever. This is closely followed by the possibility they won't actually like the job (42 percent) and might regret taking it in the first place. They're also ruminating about social impressions, with 32 percent worrying their colleagues and/or bosses won't like them. Finally, 28 percent fear they aren't qualified for their new position (did they get hired by mistake—and how soon will everyone find out?).
Women feel it in particular. They're more concerned than men are about being liked, LinkedIn finds. They're also twice as likely as men to continue experiencing nerves a few months after they've started. Age plays a role too: Boomers feel the least nervous of any generation that they won't succeed or aren't qualified for the job. It's good to know that a sense of calm and confidence helps abate the nerves as we age and gain professional (and life) experience.
Is there a way to keep new job jitters completely at bay? Unfortunately, nervousness is a natural, physiological response that's hard to prevent altogether. But here are a few effective reminders to reassure yourself everything will be OK (eventually, at least).