After starting a job at a fast food place after not working for months I have a confession to make. I am absolute, 100 percent terrified. I find myself having anxiety even on days when I don't work because I know that I'll have to work the next day. I wish this article was one where I had it all figured out and had a bunch of tips to give to get rid of this fear, but I don't. However, there is one thing I know about my anxiety with this job that maybe somebody else needs to hear, what I'm feeling is normal and completely ok to feel. As much as I wish I could just flip a switch and my anxiety about this job would be gone, I can't. All I can do is learn to forgive myself for my mistakes and try to realize that I'm making things scarier in my mind that they're probably going to be.


If you're afraid of messing up like I am, I have news for you. No matter what job you're starting, when you're new and even when you're not, mistakes are going to happen. Mistakes are bound to happen whenever you're learning something new. Accept that those mistakes are going to happen and that it's ok to make those mistakes. As my brilliant mother says to me, "it's not about how many mistakes you make, it's about how you handle those mistakes". If you just take a deep breath, forgive yourself and try to learn from your mistakes, then you're doing the right thing.


Here's the other thing about anxiety all across the board, you always make things out to be worse in your mind that they are ever going to be. The same can be said about job anxiety. If you're imagining the end of the world happening, that's not what's going to happen. Your shift won't be perfect, in fact, it might even be bad, but it won't be the end of the world. There's an exercise that's one of the oldest tricks in the book. You write down what the worst things that could happen for whatever situation you choose. Then next to that, you write how you'll move on or get back on your feet IF this worst thing happens. This way if the worst thing your thinking does happen (spoiler: it won't), you'll have an idea of how you can survive it.


If there's any co-worker there that doesn't seem to understand this concept and makes you feel bad for screwing up when you're new, ignore them, their opinion means nothing. There is always going to be that one co-worker, all you can do is be respectful and not let impact how you view yourself or do your job.


It's ok to be absolutely terrified when you're starting a new job. It may take weeks or even months to manage it, but it WILL get better. If you're going through this then know that you're not alone. I'm going through it right now and I'm even writing this article as a way to cope with my own job anxiety. You're not a freak if you have a harder time adjusting to big changes like jobs. It's not out of the ordinary to be scared of messing up or not being good enough. Everything you are feeling is valid and normal. Just take a deep breath and take things one day at a time.



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