How to beat new job nerves

To feel valued, to know, even if only once in a while, that you can do a job well is an absolutely marvellous feeling. Gwen Cheeseman gives you a good start

It can be daunting when you start a new job. You will be anxious to create a good impression with your colleagues and also in terms of your capability. Remember that everyone in your new workplace has had a first day too and that most people will understand how nerve-wracking it can be. No one settles in immediately, so becoming comfortable in your role is likely to take a few days at least.

Know what you’re doing

Your new employer will hopefully have given you a full job description so you won’t be worried about any surprises. The trick is to distil this into objectives, so you know exactly what you are responsible for and what you are expected to achieve. If you don’t have a clear description of your role before you start, it is well worth getting in touch with your new boss and asking them to send you one.

Not too fast

Everybody learns at a different pace, so if you feel you are being whisked around your department without a chance to take anything in, just ask politely if the pace can be slowed if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed. You are most likely to be bombarded with a great deal of information so make sure you carry a notebook. Don’t be afraid to ask for a few minutes to make notes if you need to. This will show you’re serious about retaining facts and will help you organise yourself.

Repetition is key

It’s very likely that you’ll be introduced to several of your new colleagues within a short space of time. A good memory technique is to repeat their name back to them. For example, if your new manager says: ‘This is Kate, who will be working with you on the new project’, respond by shaking her hand and saying: ‘Hello Kate, I look forward to working with you.’ The act of looking at the person and saying their name helps your brain to create an association and will encourage the person you’re being introduced to that you’re engaging with them.