New Job Jitters

You’re thrilled!  You have a new job after months and months of looking.  It’s exactly what you wanted and you are thankful because the money was starting to run out and your self-confidence was starting to slide as well.  So you’re set . . . or so you thought.  What are these nagging doubts all about?

My friend and colleague, Cindy Saunders, SPHR, HR Manager Tahoe Resources Inc., hit the nail on the head.  She recently published a great article “The Other Side of Unemployment: Employment” NNHRA magazine, March 2011.  Drawing from her own experience, Cindy helps us understand the conflicting emotions a new employee can be feeling in those first few weeks of a new job.  It’s not that they don’t want the job – they do – but now the fear is that they could lose the job.

But how is this different than people getting new jobs in the past?  It is . . . because highly qualified professionals are out of work much longer than in previous depressed economic times.  For even the most skilled and self-confident person the endless searching and rejections take a toll in how we can see ourselves and our abilities.

Tips for Overcoming Jitters

Cindy has excellent suggestions for the HR professionals (and she quotes me!) to ensure that these new highly valuable employees get their feet back under them and strive forth to bring their professional gifts to their new employers.  But you can do a lot on your own behalf to prepare yourself for these first few weeks of “new job jitters”.  Here are three of my favorite suggestions:

  • Be out and about.  Regularly attend professional networking events to continue practicing connecting with other professionals. And then get together with folks you meet over coffee – it gives you wonderful opportunities to present yourself and to chat about mutual professional interests.  The bonus – you are building relationships and your professional network.
  • Work in some capacity.  Consider volunteering or an enjoyable part-time position to stay comfortable with working with teams, working for a boss and taking on new challenges.  The bonus – low key work like this feeds the heart and soul and balances the rigors of job searching.
  • Go learn something.   Sign up for a skills-based class that will stretch your comfort zone and add to your resume to boot.  The bonus – a burst of self-confidence and a delicious feeling that you are still in the loop and just as valuable as anyone else.


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