Overcoming Shyness & Anxiety In The Workplace (On Your First Day)

First of all, congrats on your new job (if that’s your current situation). If not, this is still relevant to you because you should start planning ahead in your career.

It can be intimidating to enter a new environment with people you have never spoken to before. Even for virtual positions, you may feel excluded from your co-workers during a Zoom or Google Hangout call because you have not developed any rapport with them yet.

If you consider yourself introverted, leaping to start conversations with your co-workers can seem like a monumental task. Still, once you jump over that hurdle, you’ll become more accommodated to your new job.

Despite the nervousness or anxiety you may feel, there are ways to overcome these feelings to make yourself more comfortable in your new workplace environment.

Continue reading to learn how you can reduce or completely alleviate shyness on your first day of work.

1. Relax the day before

The day before you begin your new job can be very nerve-wracking. You’ve probably been thinking about every little detail of the job, such as:

“Are my co-workers going to be nice?”

“What if I get stuck in traffic? That won’t make for a great impression on my work performance if I’m late on my first day! ”

“What if I do something wrong on my first day?”

Having these thoughts are completely normal, but you don’t want to focus on all of the negative things that could happen. Instead, try to do the following:

  • Enjoy a nice, soothing bubble bath with relaxing music and a glass of wine
  • Release those negative feelings by writing them down in a journal
  • Take a long walk with your pet, friend, or by yourself
  • Cook (or order) your favorite meal
  • Watch your favorite TV show or movie
  • Call a friend or family member
  • Clean and tidy up your home
  • Host a fun dance or karaoke session at home
  • Get a good night’s rest (at least 8-9 hours)
  • Pick out and iron your work outfits for the week

2. Start your morning off well.

On the day of your first shift at work, try to do things that will help boost your confidence and help motivate you to have a great first day!

Here are some tips you can try on the morning of your first day:

  • Wake up at a decent time so that you aren’t rushing to get ready
  • Exercise for at least 20-30 minutes
  • Cook a healthy breakfast that will get you energized for the day
  • Read the morning affirmations that inspire you to do well
  • (If you have time) call a friend or family member to help with your nerves
  • In case you haven’t visited your new workplace, leave your home reasonably early in case there is heavy traffic

3. Be prepared to introduce yourself several times.

Typically on the first day of work, you will have to re-introduce yourself many times throughout the day. Reintroducing yourself may seem like a difficult task for shy individuals, but after the first time you do it, it gets easier each with each introduction.

If needed, you can practice your introduction beforehand by saying it to your friends and family. Using this method can help relieve some of the stress that comes with presenting yourself to others.

4. Tell them about your shyness.

On your first day, you may be encountered by large groups of co-workers hounding you with questions to get to know you better. Discussing your shyness can be an extremely stressful situation to be in, but this is your chance to tell them about your personality.

During these large conversations, you can tell them about your introverted personality and give them a heads up that you may be quiet or reserved during meetings and other work gatherings. Telling your coworkers and employers about your character within your first couple of days at work can prevent any issues or possibly embarrassing moments later down the road.

Also, you can ask them about areas in the office where you can decompress during the times you may feel stressed or overwhelmed.

5. Try to have one-on-one conversations with your co-workers.

This tip may be the most nerve-wracking one to do, but it can help make yourself more comfortable with your new work environment. Depending on how your office is set up, you can start by speaking to a co-worker whose desk is the closest to yours.

The conversation can be pretty simple, such as asking questions about the job, how long they’ve been there, and other types of small talk. Having these one-on-one conversations can help ease your nervousness on your first day as you’ll have a better understanding of who you’re working with at your new job.


Remember never to feel ashamed of having butterflies or extreme anxiety before or on the day you start a new job. Having these feelings are normal, and most of the time, your employer and co-workers will be understanding and provide assistance to you in the first couple of days at work.

Written by Taneia Surles.

A freelance writer, social media manager, and public health graduate student. She aims to create topics that are focused on improving the health and wellbeing of all individuals. When she’s not writing or studying, she enjoys watching true crime documentaries and playing with her dog, Daxx.

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