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May 21, 2021, by indybamra1

How To Look After Your Wellbeing When Starting a New Job

By Kirstin Barnard, Senior Careers Adviser Research Staff/ Postgraduate Research Students

Starting a new job can feel quite daunting, so looking after your wellbeing is paramount.

When we start a new job or role we can tend to throw everything at it and forget about looking after ourselves. However, I’ve outlined ways that you can carry on looking after yourself even in a new environment.

Seeking out others

Try and think about wellbeing strategies that have worked for you previously and think about other self-care strategies to help you maintain your wellbeing in the future. These new strategies could include, making the most of support mechanisms or networks in the workplace. For example, are there any groups that you could get involved in, or can you find a colleague who could mentor you in the workplace? This person will be an impartial figure for you and give you a safe space to develop and nurture your skills and strengths.

Taking time to reflect

It is so important to really understand ourselves and take time out from our work life to reflect on this. One way to do this is to focus on our strengths. Ask yourself what energises you in your current role, what makes you get out of bed in the morning, and what do you do first on your to-do list? Keeping a log of what you enjoy and what makes you feel good while doing them will help you with your self-awareness and decision-making in the future. Within any role, there will always be some tasks that don’t energise you. However, it’s about recognising those and playing to your strengths in the future.

Maximising time outside of the job

It’s important to make time to rest and maintain or develop interests and friendships that will support your wellbeing, as well as taking annual leave and ensuring that you aren’t working excessive hours!

Don’t stop doing the things you love and enjoy outside of study and work; this is key to keeping a work-life balance that you may have nurtured at university. This is an area we sometimes neglect as a new job or role can feel all-consuming. It can take six months to settle into a new job, so being kind to yourself is important. Most people I speak to in a careers appointment talk about wanting to gain a good work-life balance, as a high priority for future career planning. This can be achieved by taking control of what you enjoy and listening to yourself.

Avoiding unhealthy workplace cultures

In competitive work environments, this can quickly spiral out of control with people often feeling that they ‘should be able to do this’ and they ‘should be able to cope with the workload.’

This internal dialogue can often have an impact on your confidence and lead to feelings of stress. When you have these feelings, recognise them, and put strategies into place to stop them from spiralling. Speak to your manager or trusted colleague if you are having these thoughts and feelings, as this can really help to change the behaviour and relieve some of the pressure you may be putting on yourself.

If a workplace culture feels overwhelming, it may not be a good fit for you. Maybe it’s time to think about whether the role is right for you in the long term. Remember how would you advise someone else to look after themselves if they asked for your advice? Don’t forget to take your own advice!

Finally, do your research into future companies or roles that you are applying to, this is so important in enabling you to make a well-informed decision. It’s also good practice for your future career planning.

You’re not alone when it comes to feeling overwhelmed or worried about starting a new career or job, it’s natural to feel like this. Remember that you can use our services for life – book an appointment with a member of our Careers team to talk through any of your career concerns.

Posted in Career wellbeingCareers Advice