5 Reasons You’re Nervous About a New Job

Don't get spooked by the prospect of a new job. These tips for overcoming fear of change can give you the boost you need.

5 Reasons You’re Nervous About a New Job

A great new job isn't as scary as an old bad job.

Nervous about a new job? That's OK. For most job seekers, the phrase "new job" is exciting because it signals opportunities to learn new skills, expand your network, and build your resume. But change can also be intimidating. If you're scared of a new job, you're not alone. New-job anxiety is common but conquerable.

Certain parts of the job search process can be more terrifying than things that go bump in the night. According to a Monster poll, the majority (38%) of U.S. respondents said they were most afraid of interviewing, while 33% might not even make it that far because they're scared their resume might go "into a black hole on the Internet" when applying to jobs. Other fears come toward the end of the job search process, which includes negotiating salary (16%) and being turned down for a job offer (13%). Plus, what if you get a new job and you hate it?

So while job search fear is a real thing for many people, you can't let it crush your career. If you find you're so nervous about a new job that you're having a hard time getting your wheels in motion to start your job search, it might be time to confront your fears.

After all, time doesn't move in reverse. Why spend so much time feeling unfulfilled, unchallenged, underpaid, and unappreciated?

Read on for five reasons you might be scared to get a job, along with some ideas for how to overcome your fears.

1. You're Scared to Leave Your Current Employer Hanging

"What will they do without me?" you wonder. If you're a devoted employee, the thought of disappointing your boss or leaving them empty-handed during a busy time is crushing.

Loyalty to an employer is admirable, but what about your loyalty to your career? You have to look out for your best interests and career growth.

Face your fear: Do your best work until the very last minute of your employment. That way you'll walk out with the assurance that you gave this job your all every single day.

2. You Are What You Do

Many people are afraid to get a new job because their identity and self-worth are tied to their current job. Naturally, the idea of moving to a new job can feel like you're transitioning your identity and that can be as unsettling as looking in the mirror and seeing someone else's face instead of your own. But remember: Your job is what you do, not necessarily who you are.

Face your fear: Understand yourself better before you take a leap. Get to know your strengths and ask yourself how you can and want to contribute to an organization. A simple way to tap into this is to practice self-affirmation. You're much more than a job title. You're a complex, well-rounded person with interests, broader qualities, and diverse skills.

3. You're Worried You Might Hate Your New Job

Nervous about a new job because of the unknown? Well, it's true that the devil you know is better than the devil you don't—right? Even if you hate your current job, who's to say you wouldn't be even more miserable somewhere else?

When your job is a bummer, it's easy to assume that's just the way of the working world: long hours, annoying supervisors, demanding clients. But when things are in the dumps, listen to logic and go in search of something better.

Face your fear: Plenty of people actually don't loathe their jobs—in fact, a whole lot of people really love what they do. So conquer your new-job anxiety and your ignorance by doing some research about other companies. Go on informational interviews. Investigate the cool company perks that are offered elsewhere. Attend a virtual networking event to meet people who work at other companies, and find out how they like their jobs. Your fear may turn out to be as credible as the boogeyman.

4. You're Convinced You Can't Hack It

Do you chalk up all your accomplishments to luck and battle a persistent fear of failing or fear of being exposed as a fraud? This assumption can drag even the smartest, most competent professional down a dark hole of despair.

Know you're not alone. Plenty of people deal with imposter syndrome.

Face your fear: If you're nervous about a new job, one simple way to overcome self-doubt is by carefully reading job descriptions for your ideal role. Study the duties involved and the skills required. Ask yourself: What skills am I using in my current job that are transferable to the job I want? What additional skills do I need to learn?

With an honest assessment of your career so far, you'll be better equipped to recognize your own skills and see where you need additional learning and support.

5. You Positively Hate Being the New Kid

You're comfortable at your current job. You have a routine, you have friends, you know how to find the best coffee in the neighborhood. Leaving that comfort zone and having to figure out the office politics—let alone where to eat lunch—among a new set of co-workers can be terrifying.

Face your fear: The unknown, while it can certainly be troubling, is seldom as bad as we think it's going to be. One way to get over your fear of being the new kid on the block at work? Start pushing yourself to meet new people now. Seek out new experiences. Join new groups and clubs outside of work. The more practice you have meeting new people and navigating the unknown, the more comfortable you'll be stepping out in search of a new job.

Scared You Won't Find a Job? Do This

Are the demons in your head making you nervous about a new job and telling you that you'll never find a good fit? Don't listen to them. That's just new-job anxiety making noise. Want some help getting started? Create a free profile on Monster. We can streamline the job-search process by sending you jobs that you'd be interested in. You can also get hooked up with recruiters in your field who can bring jobs to you. Let Monster help make the job search process a little less scary for you.