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Looking after your mental health as you enter the world of work

4 min read
09 September 2021

Looking for a job and entering the world of work can be really stressful and anxiety-inducing, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. Daisy, 21, shares her experiences and some tips that have helped.

Staying calm in interviews

We all get nervous before interviews but it’s important not to let it get in your way.

Be sure to write a list of common questions that your interviewer is likely to ask and learn your answers to them so that you know you are ready and prepared. You can even write notes for your answers so that you don’t panic if you forget them. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will feel.

Leave yourself plenty of time to get to the interview if it is in person, or plenty of time to set up if it is online. The added stress of worrying about being late is something you can always avoid with enough preparation. Once you are there/ready you can practise mindfulness, read your interview notes, picture yourself somewhere relaxing or do anything that you find helps you relax.

Try to think of your interview as a casual chat. Not only will this make you more personable and relatable to your interviewers, but I also find that this technique really stops me overthinking my answers and relaxes me.

The added stress of worrying about being late is something you can always avoid with enough preparation.

Coping with rejection

Being rejected does not define you. Don’t use failure to devalue yourself. You may be up against people with years of experience; being rejected from a job does not mean you aren’t good enough for it.

Don’t give up, the next one may be for you. Keep trying and keep your enthusiasm; it’s your passion for your chosen field that your future interviewers want to see. There’s also a great lesson to learn in fighting through your failures until you succeed; being able to do this is a skill that you will use throughout your life and career.

Use your rejections as an opportunity for growth - ask for feedback and act on it. This will make you even more experienced in your role when you get it and will make you more likely to get the job next time. It’s also common in interviews to be asked what your weaknesses are and how you plan to overcome them so any feedback you receive from rejections makes a great answer for the next interview!

Don’t use failure to devalue yourself. You may be up against people with years of experience; being rejected from a job does not mean you aren’t good enough for it.

Reducing new job nerves

Most people are nervous when entering a new job - whether it’s because you’re nervous about meeting new people, not knowing what to expect, being nervous about the role itself, or all three!

Remind yourself that these nerves are very temporary and will most likely be gone within the first hour at work. Knowing that these anxieties are only temporary and that everything will be okay may calm you.

If you’re nervous about meeting new people, try to get to know your colleagues before you start. Platforms like LinkedIn are great ways to get to know your colleagues in a professional way before you start. This can be a great way to ease yourself into meeting them in a less scary way.

If you don’t know anything or are worried about not knowing anything, try to view your new job as a chance to learn new skills, push yourself and grow. Going into the job with a growth mindset allows you to be excited about it rather than anxious.

Going into the job with a growth mindset allows you to be excited about it rather than anxious.

Feeling you're not good enough

Remember that whether or not you feel that you are good enough, you earned the job and you were the best candidate. Your interviewers think that you are qualified and thought you would fit in well with the team and the role.

It’s also important to note that no one expects you to be perfect at your job as soon as you arrive. Even if you’ve got experience in this field, different companies do things differently and it can take a while to get used to this. Either way don’t be afraid to make mistakes and ask for help, everyone you work with has been in your position and no one will judge you.

Whether you feel anxious or worry that you’re awful at your new job, it will get better. As you get more confident and learn more about your role your imposter syndrome (doubting your skills and accomplishments, leading to anxiety about being exposed as a ‘fraud’) will subside. You’ve got this.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and ask for help, everyone you work with has been in your position and no one will judge you.

More information, advice and blogs from young people

Where to get help

  • YoungMinds Textline

    Text YM to 85258

    Provides free, 24/7 text support for young people across the UK experiencing a mental health crisis.

    All texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors.

    Texts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus.

    Texts can be anonymous, but if the volunteer believes you are at immediate risk of harm, they may share your details with people who can provide support.

    Opening times:
    24/7
  • The Mix

    Offers support to anyone under 25 about anything that’s troubling them.

    Email support available via their online contact form.

    Free 1-2-1 webchat service available.

    Free short-term counselling service available.

    Opening times:
    4pm - 11pm, seven days a week
  • Samaritans

    Whatever you're going through, you can contact the Samaritans for support.

    Opening times:
    24/7

Thanks for sharing your story Daisy, 21

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