Get coupon code to unlock 10% off all package plans 🔥 at checkout when you sign up

6 Proven Ways To Handle Being Overwhelmed at New Job

As seen in:

Are you feeling overwhelmed at your new job? This situation is peculiar to newly employed and it can hinder productivity.

It doesn’t matter if it’s your first or your tenth job, you might probably feel a little or lot of stress at your workplace.

If on your first day or even a week at work you feel butterflies roaming in your stomach, just know you aren’t alone because feeling overwhelmed at new job is common.

This is why most companies offer orientation and onboarding to newly recruited in order to ease the overwhelming feelings associated with starting a new job.

This onboarding ensures that you feel welcomed, valued, accepted, and receive the training and support you need to be productive.

It is important to know that being overwhelmed at new job for a day or two is normal.

However, when the sleepless night, losing of weight, and having of panic attacks worsen for a month or more, this may be a sign of an anxiety disorder which requires professional attention.

The thought of:

What if I can’t handle the new task given?

Is the nature of my new job different from what I imagined? 

Or What if my new co-worker or boss expectations about my abilities are high?

Thus, the uncertainty that comes with starting a new job may leave you feeling intimidated by co-workers, uneasy, or unqualified amid your excitement.

In order to handle feeling overwhelmed at new job, it is necessary to understand what exactly is causing it.

Could it be that you are worried about job performance? Concerned about fitting in with new co-workers? Or some other factors?

In this article, you’ll find out how to handle feeling overwhelmed at new job, and ways to deal with new job anxiety and stress.

You might like: 9 ways to make the most of unemployment

Overwhelmed At New Job; What Does It Mean?

overwhelmed at new job

The overwhelming feeling you experience starting out your new job is usually caused by anxiety which is an emotional defense mechanism that makes a person alert in situations that we perceive as ominous.

These emotions spark a stress response in our bodies, which can stimulate physical, emotional, and mental symptoms.

Physical Symptoms

The physical symptoms of feeling overwhelmed at new job can stimulate any of this: nausea feelings, loss in appetite, muscle pain, headaches and restlessness, changes in your sleep; you may find it hard to fall asleep or stay awake.

Once the anxiety intensifies to a panic attack, you might also experience shortness of breath, stomach pain, lightheadedness, dizziness, shivering, and a fast-beating heart.

Mental Symptoms

Being overwhelmed at new job can stimulate mental symptoms which may include unceasing worry, negative thoughts, and feelings of impending danger.

You may feel irritated, aggressive, and find it difficult to concentrate.

You might also lose confidence or feel the situation is out of your control.

Feeling Overwhelmed At New Job; Is It Normal?

Feeling overwhelmed at new job is absolutely normal, in fact it will be surprising if you don’t feel overwhelmed on the first day at work.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “a little anxiety” is normal.

It assists you in focusing. However, when the worry gets too much it affects your productivity in performing a given task.

It’s normal to be overwhelmed about job-related issues like company viability, security of the job, childcare, finances, work/personal life balance, and managing your schedule.

Why Do People Feel Overwhelmed At New Job, Even If It’s A Remote Job?

According to Pauline Yeghnazar Peck a licensed psychologist: Anxiety is the body’s natural response to a perceived threat.

Starting something new is uncertain, whether the work is remote, in-person, a similar title you’ve already held, or altogether different.

Starting a new job brings that feeling of being overwhelmed because a lot of question pops into your head such as: 

Will I succeed in this new job?

Will I be liked by my colleagues?

Will my boss or manager approve of my work?

Will I be an efficient leader to those under my supervision? and more.

Overwhelmed At New Job? What Emotions Are Normal For People To Have

It is very normal to feel a different range of emotions.

The emotions you might feel sometimes can be seemingly contradictory ones such as: Feeling anxious as well as excited, overwhelmed as well as curious, timid as well as confident.

Your head will be clouded with different thoughts wondering whether the job you have pictured is actually going to fit your experience in the reality of working the role and office environment.

You might be overwhelmed as a result of carrying worries from former workplaces and jobs, as well as having expectations that positive aspects of former positions will be replicated in the new position.

You might be curious to know what aspect of the job you will stand out and which would present to be challenging for you.

You might also be curious to discover whether the company culture exhibited during the interview is actually the company culture employees experience.

You might like: 5 Ways to Recharge Yourself on Your Off Days

How Is Feeling Overwhelmed At New Job Helpful? How Can It Be Harmful Too?

feeling overwhelmed at new job

According to Pauline Yeghnazar Peck “the overwhelming alarm goes off when we think we’re facing danger (even if we’re not)”.

It gives us premonition and assist us to be alert and thus make the chances of survival and success greater.

Feeling overwhelmed at new job can assist us in making actionable plans that will complement our success desires and efficiency in a new environment.

It will help us pay attention to every detail like: prepare more, stay focused, be attentive and take notes during training, ask questions where necessary, and proceed with some caution and observation.

However, if your being overwhelmed is so elevated that you cannot take action or are self-undermining, it could be harmful.

Once your anxiety is excess you will be left incapacitated.

Overwhelmed At New Job; Signs and How Long It Will Last?

According to Eric Patterson, LPC, he would “expect some level of jitters and new hire anxiety to be present for a week or two, maybe the first month.

That should shift with each day getting better over those first weeks through the first month.

Sometimes switching jobs, getting into a new profession, or for people who might have an underlying anxiety disorder, the job can send them over the tipping point.

If that happens, they might need to think about seeking treatment—now the lid is off the box and the anxiety disorder comes to the surface due to the job.”

Also, Kerry Heath, LPC-S, NCC, CEDS-S, agrees, “Symptoms that would be concerning or indicative of something more than ‘new hire jitters’ might include panic attacks, refusal to attend work, making up reasons to go into work late or leave early, dreading work by the end of the weekend, isolating from co-workers, refusal to eat or significant changes in body weight, an inability to derive pleasure from things that the individual once enjoyed, drinking after work daily, thoughts of suicide, etc.

The person may think it was the job, but the overwhelming disorder was there all the time, and the stress, transition, change of the new job brought it to the surface,”

Patterson notes: “If there are multiple transitions … school, new job … and they’re not paying attention to themselves, as they settle into the new job, it hits them.”

Feeling Overwhelmed At New Job? How To Find A Therapist

Are you interested in getting a therapist to help you in dealing with feeling overwhelmed at new job?

There are several options you can explore, which includes: asking someone you can trust if they have any recommendations, an online therapist directory, or seeking a referral from a doctor’s desk.

Nowadays, most therapists offer online sessions, that means instead of moving to-and-fro an office, from your own comfort zone you can attend therapy session at home before or after work, in an empty conference room or a park bench during a lunch break at work.

The fees charged by a therapist varies, with session rates often between $80 and $150 without insurance.

With insurance coverage, the cost you will pay per session could be very low.

6 Proven Ways To Handle Feeling Overwhelmed At New Job

ways to deal with overwhelmed at new job

A new job whether it’s your very first out of college or a career switch can be overwhelming.

Excitement about a new career or the first day at a new company can quickly transform into panic.

So, below are a few tips on how to tackle work-related stress and beat that overwhelming feeling at new job.

1. Find The Source of Your Overwhelming Feeling 

In order to deal with feeling overwhelmed at new job, it is necessary you begin by trying to understand what’s actually causing it.

Once you find out specific trigger of the feeling, you can then start by exploring possible solutions.

Confused about what to wear to fit in?

Flash your mind back to the time you spent in the office during the interview. What were the other employees wearing?

Distressed about being put on the spot when it’s time to meet your coworkers?

Think of an introduction ahead of time.

Are you worried about job performance?

Always remember you got this job because of your skills and abilities and ensure you ask questions were necessary.

This prevenient anxiety can suddenly get overwhelming, especially when it relates to things you feel unable to control — and new jobs often involve a lot of the unknowns.

There are some strategies that can assist you gain more clarity to why you are stressed and these includes:

Journaling, talking it over with a friend or even talking to a therapist can also be a way to get better clarity and understanding.

You might like: What to Wear to a Summer Interview

2. Figure Out Practical Details Beforehand

The overwhelming feeling associated with first-day at work can be minimized by making sure you are well prepared before your first day on the job.

Select the outfit you want to wear to work a day before to avoid wearing a rumple cloth, unfitted cloth, or a cloth with thread dangling on it.

You want to get really prepared the night before, to prevent being rattled and caught off guard in the morning.

Concerned about traffic and travel times? Ensure you have the road map to your workplace.

Do research on the routes you will take to your new office so as to know exactly how to get there and how long it will take.

Check your car to make sure it is in good working condition and fill up your car tank a day before.

Try to eat something healthy but light: it can be a coffee drink and also package your lunch so you won’t be hungry during break hours before you discover comfortable food joint.

It’s very important you try to get to work a little early the first day so you will be more settled, relaxed and comfortable before the day activity begins.

You might like: 7 Tips for The Morning of Your Interview

3. Practice Self Validation

Entering a totally new work environment with different people and ethics can absolutely stir up some nervousness and unease.

Instead of seeing it this way, why not see it as an opportunity to standout.

You have been given the opportunity to impress a new set of teammates with your awesome skills and ideas.

As the first day of resuming your new position or company draws closer and your anxiety intensifies, it is important you challenge and reframe all negative thoughts with some positive self-talk.

When the inevitable new job anxiety sets in just pause briefly, take a deep breath and reflect on the reasons your new employers selected you as fit candidate for the job over other pool of applicants.

It is obviously because you have the skills and abilities they need.

If you still feel doubtful?

Pick a trait you believe made you qualified for the job and keep reminding yourself of this trait, it will help boost your confidence and reduce your overwhelming feeling.

Always believe in yourself that you got all the talent that will make you outstanding in your new job and enjoy this new phase of your life.

4. Practice Mindfulness

“When you are feeling really overwhelmed about starting a new job, one of the best things you can do is trying out some mindfulness techniques.

While this might not necessarily solve your overwhelming feeling, it can lessen the symptoms, and even encourage you to think about the cause of the feeling and find a productive solution.

The point of mindfulness is to provide you with more clarity, while also giving yourself the chance to calm down and unwind.

Mindfulness techniques can help to ground you in the present, instead of feeling anxious about the future.

This way, you can acknowledge your overwhelming feelings and find a way to accept them, and let go.” – Alexander Burgemeester, Neuropsychologist & Founder of The Narcissistic Life

5. Talk About It

Because feeling overwhelmed at new job is common, there’s a high probability your loved ones have had same scenario.

When you decide to share your worries with friends and family, those jitters can normalize and make you feel less alone.

You can also experience a positive distraction that helps eases your feeling of being overwhelmed when you spend quality time with loved ones.

Loved ones can go a long way to offer more than just emotional support, such as helping to keep things in perspective by reminding you of the qualifications that got you the job in the first place, or all those benefits your anxiety may have overshadowed — a more rewarding career, improved salary and benefits, or a more flexible schedule.

6. Do Some Shopping for Your New Workspace

Are you aware that feeling excited and overwhelmed at new job mostly function in line together?

Here is your chance to take advantage by choosing to view your overwhelming feeling as excitement.

One of the key things many people do to show excitement at new job is decorating their new office or workspace by purchasing any needed supplies, things they need like a calendar, planner, that office chair they’ve had their eye on, their favorite brand of writing utensil etc.

You can go a long way to ease your new job anxiety by choosing mementos or photos to infuse your unique personality so as to create some sense of familiarity with your new job environment.

Furthermore, shopping for one or two new outfits for your first few days or getting other important items like a water bottle or travel mug can ignite some excitement and furnish positivity on your feelings.

You might like: What to do When Boss Thinks You are Not Meeting Expectations

How Not To Get Overwhelmed At New Job

While it is vital to ensure insecurities do not take control as it’s quite easy to feel small and intimidated in a new workplace, consider the following tips about new jobs;

You necessarily don’t have to know it all, apart from those specialized skills you earlier mentioned you have.

And even at this, various companies may have different methods of accomplishing things you’ve executed before.

So even the most talented people can feel momentarily incompetent.

What if you are being asked to handle a task you aren’t familiar with?

It will be in your best interest not to pretend everything is fine and try to hide what you don’t know. Just hoping alone doesn’t make it better.

You need to constantly ensure you’re communicating what you need as soon as you possibly can as doing this demonstrate a smart move for both you and your employer.

Kindly note that: If things do not work out with your new job and you feel it’s time to move on, tailor new resumes for new job applications using the service of our certified resume writers.

Still Overwhelmed At New Job No Matter How Hard I Try?

Key warning signs are when your employer reserve no room for ramp-up time or for asking questions that are clearly meant to help you deliver your job better, makes you feel stupid at this very early stage; chances are they normally operate this way and in other cases, it’s just not the right job for you.

Don’t get so hard on yourself as you have zero fault!

So, whether it’s the wrong skill set or the wrong boss, you at least want to get that resume overhauled.

Once you notice you’re honestly doing your best but still being made to feel overwhelmed and incompetent, then it is time to cut your losses and find a new job that matches your ethic and a better fit.

There is no shame in doing this, and remember quitting a toxic job ensures you prioritize your mental and physical health, which is more important than your regular paycheck.

You might like: Reasons Why It’s OK to Quit Your Job


Usually, you’ll notice as your days begin to follow a defined pattern, feeling overwhelmed at new job often fades away naturally.

However, if feeling overwhelmed at new job continue to linger even after you’ve established your new routine, a therapist can offer more guidance on possible triggers and suggest helpful coping techniques.

Note that these tips are intended to get you over that initial hump so many people feel in the first few days of resuming a new work environment.

Always ensure to believe in yourself and no matter what doubts you may have, keep trying and asking for more help even if you make a few mistakes at first.

Working a new job gives a perfect opportunity to listen, be open to learning, look for allies, ask questions, and ultimately deliver your very best.

Still looking for that new job? See how your resume underperform with a free resume critique.


Further Reading

Table of Content

Unlock expert resume tips, start landing multiple interviews!


10% OFF


Stay connected to receive powerful career insights, updates, and inspiration that’ll help you hit your 2023 career goals.


10% OFF


Stay connected to receive powerful career insights, updates, and inspiration that’ll help you hit your 2023 career goals.

Start Landing

Multiple Interviews

with our Free eBook

Learn the same techniques our expert resume writers have used to get thousands of clients closer to their next job

Unlock expert resume tips, start landing multiple interviews!