anyone nervous about working?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2010
anyone nervous about working?
Fri, 06-25-2010 - 1:08pm

I've suffered from anxiety for years. I'm currently on effexor, just started it about 3weeks ago. I've been unemployed since Nov. 2008, and have not been actively looking for a job until recently. The problem is, when I'm out of my comfort zone, I have trouble coping. Work is definitely out of my comfort zone, until I get used to the job and the people.

Does anyone else feel this way, scared to start a new job, or even work your current job? I feel like I'm the only one that ever gets nervous about having a job.


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-25-2004
Fri, 06-25-2010 - 5:54pm

Monica, you're certainly not the only one. I've felt like that in the past. It was like I was afraid I wouldn't be able to do the job, or maintain my composure on the job, so I was afraid to get one. Afraid of what would happen if I had panic or anxiety at work. I have found, though, that the discomfort of starting a new job is well worth it. I do better when I'm working and have something concrete to focus my mind and attention. Working gets me out of my head for 8 hours a day, forces me to interact with the world, and helps me feel like I'm doing something useful and productive in society, in a way that cleaning my kitchen or weeding my flower beds just doesn't quite compare to. lol

I think what you're experiencing is completely normal. My suggestion to you would be to start out with a job that you think you can do REALLY well. If you're going for it, you might as well set yourself up for success. Then, once you get through those first few weeks of learning and discomfort, once your training is done (you may have to just sweat it out until then) don't hesitate to tell your boss about your anxiety problems, or a coworker you've made friends with. Use your judgment about how much empathy that person possesses, but I have found that having just one person at work who knows what's going on with me makes me feel so much better. That way, I know if I have a panic melt down, someone knows what the heck is going on. It just makes me feel safer at work. Also, don't think you have to jump head first into the employment pool. A part time job might be the way to start, to help ease you into the routine of being accountable to someone else again. And finally, don't be afraid to quit a job if you hate it. There's nothing worse that having to show up every day at a job you loathe. No job is going to be perfect, but no job is worth being miserable. Expect some adjustment anxiety, or possibly some anxiety on super busy/stressful days, but overall, you should feel good about going to work, and by good I mean you should be able to tolerate the work, the atmosphere, the people, without experiencing undo amounts of anxiety.

Good luck in your job search!!! I'll be thinking of you and keeping my fingers crossed that you find exactly what you're looking for. In the mean time, know that we're here for you.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-11-2004
Mon, 06-28-2010 - 9:44pm
Hi, Monica! You are not alone. Jobs are stressful, even job searches. There's a lot of decision making involved when you must sell yourself & your skills to a prospective employer. Do you have some ideas of where you want to work? Do you think you might need the help of a job coach? Most employment offices operated by the government have them. If I went outside my career, I would definitely seek advice.
I think you said it best," The problem is, when I'm out of my comfort zone, I have trouble coping. Work is definitely out of my comfort zone, until I get used to the job and the people." Keep looking forward to actually getting a job & making it your new comfort zone. It isn't unusual @ all for you to be anxious after an absence from the routine of a job. Some ppl like to work in places they feel confident in their abilities, as Jess said. Other folks, even anxious ones, like challenge. I like places that are fast paced, require a lot of thinking, movement & of course where I'm qualified. I have to keep busy in mind & body, or the anxiety creeps in.
Anything new for us w/anxiety is scary. It's always better when we know what to expect. That isn't entirely possible in a new job. I like to have a plan of action, in case I would get anxious on the job. Jess is a little bolder than me. I don't think I could tell anyone about my panic attacks. That is where I use my award winning acting skills. It's like the old commercial, "never let them see you sweat." I would never let them see me panic;) In time, when I became more comfortable, I might share it.
Think positively. Remember that we're here & cheering you on. We've all been in your shoes & know it's tough. Never give up. You can & will find a job. Hopefully it's the one you like & want. GL & GBU! (((hugs))) jan