Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Where did my confidence go?

by In Transition Working Girl

Two months.

This is how long its taken to lose all confidence I had going into my new job. I have lost it all-I feel completely lost and helpless. I feel like I know nothing and everything that I have ever learned has been stripped away from me, literally.

When I made my move a few months ago, I went in feeling so confident and ready to prove myself. I had set goals and expectations of myself and now I find myself feeling weak and powerless. I feel I can't do anything right and everyone is sitting back watching me flail, even perhaps getting some satisfaction out of it.

I have tried to pinpoint whats happening and have some general thoughts. Mainly though they all related back to no one training me or showing me historically how things have been done and then criticizing and making me feel bad when I step up on my own and fail.

Its been a rough transition. Now I know that there is always a learning curve, but making me feel stupid should not be a part of it. This is a major confidence downer. The three former working girls whose job I took over were not here to train me when I started so its my own ball game, starring ME! Which in some regards is a positive because I get to create my own program.

I had a pep talk with my father last weekend and his advice was of course to stay positive (don't let the gremlins get you down), but also learn the people's soft spot who are making me feel bad and learn (not necessarily "be") to be friendly with them. Everyone has them and I need to make it my mission to break the wall down.

How have you handled new job transitions and confidence busters?

16 comments:

LittleMissBusiness said...

Just remember that you are in control of your career. If no one is training you maybe you should speak up and figure out how to get help. Don't be discouraged easily and turn your frustrated energy into working harder to achieve what you want. One of my favorite quotes is "There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened!"

And I can't help but wonder... said...

I can relate to what you are going through. I started a new job back in August and hardly received training. Remember that this is not the end all/be all. You are strong enough to get through this obstacle.

Charcoal Renderings said...

I definitely just had this pep talk with myself.

I am also in a business where I play the starring role and I am my own CEO--I'm an actor. Trying to work professionally. Talk about a confidence lag! I've been auditioning and interviewing like crazy in four different states the past three weeks, and so far I have a few places interested in hiring me, but no real job offers yet. What I am terrified of is getting to the end of this frantic and expensive job search and having nothing to show for it, nothing to prove that my newly acquired degree in theatre didn't go to waste right out of the gate. So I'm having to sit myself down and think about things realistically--in my career, change and transition and fear and the unknown abound. That's what makes it, ultimately, so stable. Art is always evolving, and people are always making art. So when you get down to it, rather than failing at getting a job because I suck, I am actually just going ahead and chiseling away at that 99% rejection rate, thereby increasing my odds of getting hired next time. Find what you love about what you're doing and use that as a starting point for solid ground. Then build on that foundation and go from there. Your feet will find a steady, confident pace in no time.

Rhona said...

Honestly....I cried and a lot. Then I picked myself up and started asking questions all the time. It was annoying for me and the recceiver but it had to be done. I still made mistakes but at least I asked and asked. Before long, you will know pretty much all and then all and how to play the game. I found that the hardest trick to learn....the game playing. This job has made me grown up in so many ways as I was never exposed to such things before but now, I think I have it. Sort of.

Marie said...

When I started my job, I asked a million questions, and took notes on the answers. My philosophy is always to try to figure out an answer for myself first, but then to ask questions, even if they sound silly. I will only feel silly for a moment, but I will always know the answer going forward.

Good luck to you, and keep your spirits up! The transition process is tough.

shoppingtosaving said...

I was in the same position when I first started my job last May. I received no training and had to figure out what to do. I was barely scraping the ground getting by, but after a few months of continuing to work hard, asking questions and asking others in the company.. I feel a bit better. I still make mistakes and it's been almost 10 months. I'm sure I will keep learning for the next year or so! Keep your head up and stick it out, you can do it!

Cams said...

People may laugh and talk at others failures,but they don't see themselves they are worst among the worst losers in this world. Just don't mind them. Focus on your career and goals that you can achieve it. Never be discouraged of what other people may think of you. It is just a proof that they are zealous of you are doping and what you have attained.

Brittany said...

I had this exact same experience. I would do work and then be criticized for not knowing "their way" when no one bothered to show me their way. Like your dad suggested, I learned the exceptionally mean people's "soft spots." They don't work all the time, but they can at least start the days off on the right foot. I'm just now leaving that job, so I hope that your experience gets better than mine did. Be strong and know that you've worked hard to be where you are and deserve to be there. Oddly enough, that's the advice one mean person gave me about my new job. Maybe if she would have said stuff like that to me while I was working there, I would not have been so anxious to get out.

Anonymous said...

Don't let anyone bring you down.
Carpe Diem!

Focus on what you can do with what you have at that exact moment. Not what you can't do with what you don't have in the near future...think about it.

be in the 'now' as much as possible. if you focus on what you THINK others are thinking of you - you will get down. the tall poppey syndrome is a real thing. you may even feel it more if you stand out at work by being young and female. if the majority is an older demographic, you will feel it, if you let it bother you.

or use it as motivation to nail it. and if you find the job itself is not satisfactory and not stimulating you professionaly, get out of it.

meditation helps :) and good girlfriends every fri night with a glass of vino :) haha xx just try not to take yourself and the role too seriously - after all, we are unique and complex and NOT our jobs :) x

Love A

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Anonymous said...

I have just started a new job after being made redundant af ter 13 years. Talk about losing your confidence. I am nearly 50 but have flet like a lonely school girl who has got no friends. I have gone from knowing everything and everyone to nothing - it's awful. Dopnt get me wrong - the people have been nice but I am not getting much training, I feel as though it's never going to 'click' and I will never fit it. I keep giving myself a pep talk and go in each morning with a smile even though the night before I cant sleep. I am going to stick at it and hope it gets better. If not, I will look for something else - not much out there though!!!!

Anonymous said...

Your post "Where did my confidence go" reflect my feelings about my new job to a tee! I've been there about 2 months too, and I felt so confident going in, but that is all gone now. While I'm sorry that someone else is having all of the same doubts and insecurities as me, I'm glad that I'm not alone in how I feel. Thank you so much for sharing! Please don't give up or let a job reduce your confidence. I know it's easier said than done, but keep positive and don't let them get you down:)

Anonymous said...

So glad I found this blog! I have been experiencing the exact same situation for a year now. I still feel unconfident and make many mistakes but I am now starting to fight back. I have come to realise there is no right way of doing most tasks, my way tends to be more innovative - the keepers of the consensus culture can't handle it but believe me, the real movers and shakers can. They are reshuffling our organisation and ousting all the meanies who were obviously jealous, frazzled, full of bad habits, unquestioning and probably petrified that my questioning would highlight their faults. I am still struggling to figure out how to do my role well but maybe most go through this for a long time but say nothing. Speak up, ask questions, get support, ask someone you admire or trust to be your mentor. They could be in a totally different role to you but you'll pick up coping skills, tactics and confidence from this relationship. A highly successful person who had managed to navigate their way to the top on a large, conservative company told me to always do a job like you don't really need it. I try to apply this kind of attitude, it really helps me to stand back a relax a little when I start to worry about my performance (only works with conscientious people as I'm sure you are)!

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Little Mei Yu said...

I'm 2 months into a new job and feel exactly the same. I just have to keep reminding myself that this is all normal and that in time I will be the best, as I will have made so many mistakes along the way, I will have learnt how to solve anything and everything as well.

I've just written a blogpost on it. Please check it out people and let me know your thoughts and experience.

http://www.womenontheladder.com/new-blog-1/2015/12/15/how-to-stay-confident-in-a-new-job