The first day of a new job is always the trickiest. Your mind is flooded with self-doubt as you question your capability and self-worth from the smallest, “Am I dressed right?”, to the biggest, “Should I reply to this email thread?”. Everything we say and do during the onboarding process has an amplified effect, especially to ourselves and our mental state. New job anxiety has always been common, but it has also increased as we continue to navigate through a remote set up, which brings its own set of challenges.


Before we share how to shake off these nerves, let’s take a moment to celebrate your win! Whether you’re starting a new role fresh out of university, or if you’ve finally managed to secure a job following the great COVID-19 retrenchment, be proud of yourself for countering a challenging chapter in your life. Now for the next challenge – navigating a new environment, team, culture, dynamics, people and nuances. It takes an average of three to six months to really assimilate and feel at one, or at least a certain degree of comfort, with your new company and its building blocks.


As we continue to take precautionary measures, remote onboarding may not be the best arrangement, but it is conquerable. Hence the question: how do you handle remote onboarding anxiety?


Build A Routine

Everyone has their own routine that helps them start their day. Whether it’s a large cup of Joe to get your engine running or 15 mindful minutes of journaling, don’t compromise these moments of self-care. They ensure your balance, which you’ll need along with normalcy, to stay grounded as you settle into a new space and get to know new people.


Start Your Days Earlier 

Starting your days a bit earlier during the onboarding process is a handy trick to help ease your anxiety and make time for your morning routine. Schedule at least half an hour, before starting your work day, to plan ahead and prepare – create to-do list or come up with questions for Google Meets. Adding a bit of structure while learning to adapt to new settings can do wonders!


Silence your imposter syndrome

Regardless of how much experience you have, it’s common for newbies to feel out of place. If you’re having concerns about your new role, reach out to a colleague who can help outline things more clearer. Sometimes we tend to be our harshest critic, so having a discussion with a third party can help you identify the areas you actually need help with and the areas you were just overthinking.


Learn to unread things

One of the key things that contribute to heightened anxiety during remote onboarding is the way we communicate. (The Microsoft Teams ringtone still haunts some of us!) Whether you are a straight shooter or a fluff master, there’s always a chance of having a misunderstood or misinterpreted conversation. One valuable trait, especially in a world of Google chats and Zoom calls, is to learn how to unread between the lines. That awkward silence during a call is more likely to be an Internet connection issue instead of your new colleague being cold.


Celebrate the small wins

Again, you’ve made it through the first hurdle and definitely deserve to celebrate! Yes, there will be many more to come, but instead of letting them pile up and get to you, relish in the small successes. Celebrate each and every hurdle you get through from day 1 till day 60. Then evaluate how far you’ve come and treat yourself!


With all that has been going on, it’s high time we practice acceptance and patience while embracing the process one day at a time. We wish you all the best for your remote onboarding process and hope these tips help smooth out any bumps along the way!