New Job Stress: How Executives Can Prepare For And Manage High-Level Stress
For many executives, achieving that next senior position, such as becoming a CEO or CFO, is the pinnacle of your career so far. It is the sense that you have made it. However, despite the excitement of achieving a lifelong goal, there is a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety that comes with the possibility of failure. This is especially true when you consider that one-third of all CEOs are out of the job within three years of their appointment. So, with this in mind, how can executives manage the high-stakes situation of new job stress so that they are equipped for success?
How To Manage New Job Stress: Five Steps To Success
1. Prepare Well In Advance
Even on the first day of a senior role, you can expect stakeholders to ask big questions. Any executive will know that the first month in the role is crucial for the length of your tenure in the position. To tackle this difficult period and ensure you can make effective decisions, you need to prepare well in advance of starting the role.
The best way to do this is to conduct a skills analysis for your own future role and then address any gaps that there might be. These could be industry-specific knowledge gaps such as governance and compliance. Alternatively, it may cover soft skills such as fear of public speaking or media training.
Filling these gaps while on the job can be difficult, so do what you can before you begin. Getting ahead of the game can help to reduce new job stress and quell any work performance anxiety that you may have.
2. Make Stress-Breaks A Habit
While a popular tip to relieve stress for executives is to schedule and book holidays well ahead of time, many executives often neglect to manage their new job stress on a day to day level. Stress breaks should be mandatory and occur several times a day, if not every hour. The stress break could be as simple as stepping away from your desk and rolling your shoulders.
From a walk outside, taking the stairs, a few simple yoga moves or a minute of meditation and breathing exercises can all be easily incorporated into a day at work. Moreover, they can actually boost productivity. So even when you feel like you haven’t got time for a break, it could help you complete vital tasks quicker.
3. Make Wellness A Priority For Everyone
Brutal schedules and intense demands lead many executives to suffer stress in silence. However, you are not the only one feeling the pressure. In fact, 59% of UK adults suffer from workplace stress. One of the best ways to approach employee wellbeing is to ensure everyone in your team has the tools to manage workplace stress.
Multiple studies have shown that stress plays a significant part in both our physical and mental health. So much so that stress can even increase the risk of early death. This is why I have created a corporate wellness programme for businesses and their teams. Offering bespoke group sessions and tailored 25 minutes treatments, I provide your team with the tools and support they need to manage stress with mindful relaxation.
4. Recognise Your Stress Response
Stress can affect us all in very different ways. We will all have a reoccurring pattern of behaviour, or perhaps characteristics and traits which indicate high levels of stress. However, many of us do not recognise or try to ignore these stress responses that can manifest. From being unable to sleep and eat to becoming agitated, angry or even turning to unhealthy eating habits and junk food, there are key indicators that you can start to recognise.
By becoming more self-aware, you can begin to address your stress symptoms and manage the situation before it becomes a bigger concern. Self-awareness can actually be hard to master. Start by journaling or keeping a note in your diary of your mood, this could be as simple as a daily score out of ten.
5. Focus On Your Priorities
In a senior role, it can feel like you have to do it all. However, your role will largely depend on delegating to the right people with trust and empowerment and deleting the tasks that will serve no purpose. For every task, you should ask the question; ‘what is the business impact?’ This will help you to prioritise and give yourself a clear vision of what you actually need to do.
While making tough decisions and handling big responsibility may make you feel very isolated, you don’t have to do it alone. Create a support system that works for you and can help you to manage that stress. Your support system can include your partner, friends, a mentor, your local sports group, even a personal trainer, business coach or therapist. Make sure you have the people in place who can help you to relieve stress. It will be these people that support you with the decisions you make and continue to motivate you to succeed, even when times are tough.
Support For New Job Stress
If you are struggling with the stress and anxieties of starting a new job, I can help. From performance anxiety to imposter syndrome, I can help you to address your work-related concerns and stress triggers. Then, with a bespoke therapy plan in place, we can develop the tools and strategies you need to cope with and reduce stress. Contact me today to book your free consultation email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 971 7677.