Starting a New Job? Top Three Ways to Feel Confident

You did it—you landed that new job. Congratulations! So, can you start Monday?

Whoa, Nelly. Along with the satisfaction and excitement of starting a new job comes the other side of the coin: The hesitations, the fears, and that uninvited—yet ever-present and overriding—feeling of anxiety. Everything’s going to be new—the responsibility of the new role, the people you’ll interact with every day, even the way you travel to work. You start to question: Can I do it?

To quote the recent presidential campaigns: Yes. You. Can.  Here are the top three ways to help you settle in easily, effectively and confidently when starting a new job.

1) Embrace the Anxiety

What, really? Yes. Anxiety need not be quelled—it’s there to help us springboard into solution mode. While anxiety might feel hopelessly uncomfortable, allowing it to run through can spur you into action.  The most effective way for transforming anxiety into fuel for your next moves is to write out your fears (pen to paper – not typing).  Next to each written fear, list one way to use that fear for moving forward. Specifically, ask yourself three questions:

  1. What is the fear?
  2. How is it stopping me from feeling what I want to feel?
  3. What can I do?

Once you’re written out your fears, you can then assess an implementation plan to help you feel your most confident when starting a new job.

2) Talk Out Your Fears

Ask for support from a confidante. This person could be a previous boss or other mentor, someone you know who’s had a similar work role, a personal coach or professional, or simply a trusted family member or friend. Before you speak to them, use the above writing exercise to help organize your thoughts and feelings—this will enable you to best direct the trusted outside help to assist you. Personal emotional and mental support is highly valuable for sorting through our anxieties, and determining how to put them into action. You’ll see you’re not alone, and that’s worth worlds.

3) Take Care of (Read: Treat) Yourself

Remind yourself that YOU are the one who secured this job, and you need to maintain yourself as optimally as possible.  When starting a new job, take the time to make sure to boost yourself up, vis a vis the following:

  1. Keep up the exercise regimen. A few times a week of hardcore aerobic activity (breaking a sweat) will release the endorphins and other positive brain chemicals necessary to keep you balanced and energized.
  2. Eat healthy, eat fun. Stick with whole grains, solid amounts of protein, and a few servings of raw fruits and veggies per day. As long as those core nutritional needs are covered, feel free to go for the daily ice cream or chocolate bar treat!
  3. Engage in rejuvenating activities. Strongly consider a full body massage, a mani/pedi, a long sit in the sauna, or all of the above.And read uplifting material which will entice you to jump up out of bed on Monday.

Armed with tools to feel confident, you’ll be able to welcome the feelings that come with starting a new job.  Be sure to remember that the new role won’t be developed in a day, a week, or even a month. Any time you feel anxious, know that it’s positive—you can always channel your fears into a plan, ultimately enhancing your position of influence.


Alicia H. Clark, PsyD, PLLC

Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Washington, DC Private Practice since 1999
Assistant Professor, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Washington, DC campus
Member, American Psychological Association