Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

New workplace and anxiety.

Community Member

I don't really know where to start with this. I've been having a lot of issues with anxiety, stress and depression in the past few months. A few weeks ago I made an appointment with a GP to get a mental health plan and I have my first appointment with a psychologist tomorrow afternoon.


I suppose my issue is mainly with my workplace. I currently work in a law firm as an administration assistant after working in various retail positions for 10 years. This was a traineeship-based role that I started back in June. The first few months were very rough training-wise (I was trained by other assistants in selected areas of work - however, because everyone does particular tasks a little differently, it was hard to fully grasp what I was being taught straight away). I did bring up my concerns with my supervisor, however was pretty much met with "we're a busy workplace, people are taking their time out of their workday to help you, we're doing what we can". So those first few months were quite hard but I did push through and started to become comfortable in my position.


However, just under 2 months ago, my anxiety and stress levels just seemed to ramp up. I know I'm ridiculously hard on myself over little things and I'm a hypocrite at taking my own advice. But I've seemed to have hit a point of limbo. I'm currently writing this after having a panic attack this morning before work. I had one a few weeks ago, the same day that I made an appointment to see a GP. But this one feels worse and I can't seem to quite push past it today to get to a point where I feel like I can go into work.


I don't really know what I'm trying to get out of writing this. But with how my supervisor has commented on my current anxiety and other matters and some comments from other work colleagues, I'm starting to feel like my workplace isn't compatible with my current mental health. Is that even a thing? I feel like I'm taking the right steps to get my mental health sorted but I feel like I'm being guilted about it, even though I'm trying my best to get help as soon as I can. I plan to discuss my feelings with my appointment tomorrow but I'm just trying to figure out if I should stay in a workplace like this. I know I'm fully capable of the job, maybe I actually just can't handle it right now. Or maybe I need a different workplace. I don't know, this just feels like rambling at this point. 





7 Replies 7

Dear gn92
Welcome to the Beyond Blue forums, we are glad that you reached out and want you to know that this a safe place for you to be able to share your thoughts and feelings, and to receive the support you are seeking.

We are glad to hear that you have an appointment with your psychologist, how did that go this afternoon?  Workplace stress can impact our mental health so heavily and it's important to seek as much support as you possibly can.  To help we have included some links below for you to explore:
Anxiety explained

Managing Stress, Anxiety
Anxiety Management App
In the meantime, if ever you feel up to talking, our fully trained counsellors are also here on the other end of the line, on 1300 22 4636 or via our WebChat
It’s great to have you here and thank you again for reaching out, it shouldn’t be too long before you here from one of our lovely community members.  Please be kind to yourself.
Sophie M

Community Member

Hi Grace,


Thank you for posting here and addressing such a great issue. I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling with anxiety at the moment and are feeling out of sorts at work. As mentioned I think you've raised a great topic which is anxiety at work and feeling like we don't belong.


I used to work in the mental health industry and at times I felt I didn't even belong due to my history of depression and anxiety. I think it is quite a common thing with people with anxiety in the workplace and some have even called it imposter syndrome. In my case I believed it was a case of projecting my fears and feelings on inadequecy onto something external as opposed to recognising what was happening within. You've done a great job in acknowledging that you're fully capable of your job. I don't know you but I'm sure you're great at your job and if it is something you're passionate about then I'm sure you have a great future ahead of you. Sometimes it can be a matter of patience when we're starting new work, especially with anxiety, before we feel part of the team and fully operational. 


That being said, it also helps to have some professional help, which you have sought. How did your appointment go? It is great that you've taken the initiative to reach out and there is much to be learned from psychologists about anxiety in the workplace. They can teach you not only to control our anxiety with relaxation techniques but also how to address the root cause which is just as important. Either way, I hope that coming to these forums is something you find helpful and that you can find support from others in similar situations/stories. But I hope my post helps a little.


Please keep us updated on how you're going and thanks again for sharing. I hope your appointment has gone well and that you start to feel more settled soon! 💙



Mark Z.
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Grace,


I'm sorry for your challenge, I can tell you're making all efforts you can.


May I ask whether you had mental heath issue in your workplace in the past when you were in retail industry? If the answer is No then it might be due to the big difference of the two industries. The nature of your current industry is high level income with same level of challenge and pressure. The way of your supervisor's management is not inappropriate but not uncommon, it's hard for your to change it. If you really love what you're doing now you may need to find ways to adapt it. What I mean by 'adapting' is not just what you do but also how you think.


It's also a journey of exploring and understanding yourself. I think what you need to do is, together with your psychologist, to explore what you really need and the limitation of your adaptation. 


Seeing a psychologist is a good idea, while a career coach might also be helpful from my point of view.


Please feel free to come back after the first session with your psychologist. Share your feeling and your finding if you like. Hope everything will be better.



Community Member

Hey Grace,


Sorry to hear that you have been having some issues. I hope things are getting better for you.


I had some challenges with panic attacks early in the year around work. I found that i needed some relaxation practices at home. I started exercising more, especially walking which helped me go through my day. Also positive self talk, yoga, meditation, journal writing all seem to help me.


I have recently changed jobs as well where i moved from office work for small businesses to a large school. I feel like a fish out of water at times and often feel like i dont know what i'm doing. The workplace is similar where they throw you in th3 deep end with not much training. I keep persisting becuse i want to help those kids. But i also struggle with talking with co-workers and when i make a mistake my anxiety will often increase. I'm trying to set small goals, be kind to myself and be more realistic with my expectations. It is a struggle st times. But things get better.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Grace


I really feel for you as you're trying so hard to manage such a new and challenging environment. Being able to feel the challenge so accurately definitely brings added challenges. Would you say it's accurate, you feeling questionable training as opposed to strategic thorough thoughtful training? Would you say it's accurate, you feeling the high paced stressful nature of the job? You mention feeling incompatibility, which is most definitely a thing.


Before I go on, just want to reassure...feelers or sensitives (people who are sensitive what they feel) have the ability to feel so much. With this being the case, the question can become 'What kind of job do I want to be feeling/experiencing?'. If someone thrives on high paced regular challenge, they'll love that feeling. If someone thrives on gifting deep soulful levels of compassion, they'll love a job that gives them the opportunity to thrive in such a way while they serve others. They'll love the feeling. If someone thrives most in a relaxed environment, they'll go for a job where the environment allows them to thrive through high levels of relaxed activity (something they love feeling). If they thrive most in a team player type of environment, they'll enjoy a job where the team members are supportive and feel for each other, while being highly productive. So, that question again, 'What kind of job do I want to be feeling/experiencing?'.


Circumstances can also come into play at times. If life is rather stressful outside of work, a high paced stressful job is something we don't want to be feeling. Some people love their job based on it being relaxing. The job gives them a break from the stress in other areas of life.


I've found, while I can talk my nervous system down (out of stress) through key internal dialogue at times, there are other times where I have to trust it's telling me something I've gotta listen to. Sounds a bit strange but if your nervous system could talk to you, what would it be saying? Would it be saying 'We gotta get the hell out of this job, it's no good for us' or would it be saying 'We got this, we can manage this job, step by strategic step'? Btw, when I say 'we', what I mean is you work with your nervous system. You're a team, you and it.

Community Member

Thank you for your reply. I completely forgot that I had made a post here.


I actually ended up leaving my job last week. And I can honestly say it has been the best decision I've made this year. I'm sad the job didn't work out as it was a great opportunity to get out of retail. But at the same time I came to realise that my workplace wasn't providing me with training to be able to handle these stressful situations, which is why I would get so anxious and stressed. And my workplace wasn’t willing for me to take a step back and actually learn the role, instead of practically being thrown into it. 


My first appointment with a counsellor was fantastic. She was so easy to talk to. It feels quite validating to talk to someone who knows nothing about you and is able to provide an unbiased opinion on your situation. After talking of my struggles, she did note that it seemed as though my workplace was definitely the cause of my current stress and anxiety issues (considering I never had these issues in previous jobs - she did make a note that I was actually trained and prepared to work in those roles, whereas in this new role I was kind of left on my own). She did say that while she does not recommend resigning from my job (I don't think anyone is allowed to recommend advice like that haha), she did highly encourage that I look for another job. I have a follow up appointment in the new year.


I was able to resign and finish up on the same day. Despite feeling guilty I felt a massive weight lift off my shoulders. By the end of the week I actually slept past 8am for the first time in ages and didn't wake up with a constant pit in my stomach. I've caught up with friends and everyone has stated how glad they are that I resigned because I'm back to my old self. 


I will continue to have these counselling appointments. Even though for now I feel better, I still want to understand the issues I have and how to approach dealing with them. It is something I wish I started years ago but grew up around a “stop being sad, others have it worse mentality” definitely deferred me from considering help.


This feels like another rambling but thank you again for your response. 


Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

Community Member

Hi GN.

I just want to say how glad I am that your feeling better with your workplace decision....    I have changed jobs this year and its been tough and i still have doubts about whether i have done the right thing.  I actually have to go to work now so im a bit anxious.   I would like to talk  further with you when i have time if your happy too.   Beat wishes Brett.