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Will I ever have a career?

FinneousRex

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So I don’t usually create posts often, but I need someone to hear me.

I started a new job a little under a month ago. Prior to that I left a job that I hated (which I was at for a year) to go to another job that was doing illegal billing, half the staff wasn’t showing up and I was working 10 hour days, five days a week (which I stayed at for two weeks and left). At that point I took a couple months off until I found a new opportunity after the holiday season. I’ve been working in the medical field for the past few years, and with this new job, I am no longer in the medical field.

At every job I work, I excel and I get promoted quickly. I am a perfectionist and overly check my work so there are no errors. Which seems like the perfect employee, right? Well the amount of effort I put into my job is so draining... and with being so drained, I expect a half decent work environment and realistic goals.

With my new job (it’s an admin job at a construction company), I was completely new to the industry and have been working very hard to learn and grow. Overall, the industry really doesn’t interest me. What so ever. But I though “well, if I can get a cushy job that doesn’t stress me out ridiculously, I’ll stick it out, no matter what the industry”. After my 3rd day I was pretty much working on my own, as I took on to the procedures very well. So far, up until this past week, things were going okay. Again, I don’t love it, but it’s a job and I seem to be doing okay.

During this week, the owner has been around a lot more, and the past two days in particular, he’s been riding me CONSTANTLY. Like constantly giving me extra things to do and blowing up my email and making me discuss things with him. Up until this point, I have been doing great, then all of a sudden - this? Well yesterday I was fighting back tears most of the day, chugging through a mountain of work and just trying to do a good job. It doesn’t help that whatever I do goes through the hands of other people and they make changes and adjustments and then the owner reaches out to me with the mistakes.

One of my biggest issues is that I take things personally. And I feel like I carry the company on my shoulders at every job. And the littlest mistake or error, I feel like I’m gonna throw up. I hold myself to very high expectations, much higher than most people do, and if I do not hit them, I beat myself up tremendously. Which I know is a me problem.

After work, me and the girl who I work with were walking out and I asked her if I was doing well. And she said that I was doing amazing and that I caught on so easily and that me being a part of the team has allowed others to be freed up to do more tasks. I told her how I was so incredibly stressed and how the owner has been riding me the last few days. And she assured me that he doesn’t understand how he comes off, like he comes off really stern and gruff and it makes me feel inadequate. She said that’s just his personality and he doesn’t actually mean it that way. She is a lot like me, and she said it was so hard for her when she first started to not take it personally. She said when he says things with urgency, they aren’t even really urgent, but he needs to get his idea out and then move onto the next thing. She said he is giving me all these things to do because he has confidence I will do them and do them correctly.

Even with her kind reassuring words, I still am very stressed and have been so anxious all night and this morning. I made cupcakes for the holiday I was gonna bring in, but now I’m like so upset with this job that I’m just gonna give them to the coffee shop. I feel like no matter where I work I can’t find somewhere that makes me happy, interests me and that I can fit into.

I knew I was taking a risk with changing industries, but I didn’t expect to go into such a high stress job. I know I’m still new. But there’s no way I can change jobs again unless I stick it out for a year or two. I don’t like how job jumping looks on my resume.

I feel defeated and anxious and I feel like it’s a combination between my inner issues, with taking things so seriously and blaming myself for everything; and working a stressful job AGAIN. I feel like my inner issues are going to disable me from working in the normal workforce. I’ve started going to therapy and stuff, paying out of pocket because I don’t have insurance yet, and I’m not on any medication because I feel like I can fix these issues.

But I need to get ahead in my life before I can start feeling better... and I feel like I can’t get ahead no matter how hard I work. I just need to feel comfortable somewhere. That’s all.
 

Glassgirlw

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Hi there! I read your post and felt I needed to respond because so much of what you said, I can relate to.

I’ve worked for the same company for over 20 years. I started with them directly out of high school. It’s also a construction based industry and unfortunately it’s a very high stress environment. Construction has so many deadlines that have to be met for all the various trades that work on a given project. It can quickly get overwhelming, and having an owner that micromanages the employees is incredibly frustrating - our owner used to be the same way (and still is on occasion).

I don’t know that I have much helpful advice for you, other than to listen to what your coworker said to you. She is the one most directly affected by how your work ethic is contributing to the company, and it sounds like the work you’ve done in a very short time is wonderful!! Taking some of the workload off others is a huge help, and will quickly make you “one of the family” so to speak. Continue to push yourself to do the best job you can, and learn as much as you can - this is something you can take real pride in and eventually, as you’ve worked there longer and get more comfortable, you may find that the stress level drops some as you gain confidence in your abilities.

Also - what she said about the owner feeling confident in your ability to handle certain tasks is most certainly true. I know our owner 100% would never speak to a new hire until he felt that they had an understanding for the task at hand. So try to look at that from a positive angle too. He sees the potential in you as well.

Best of luck and try to stick with it!
 

FinneousRex

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Hi there! I read your post and felt I needed to respond because so much of what you said, I can relate to.

I’ve worked for the same company for over 20 years. I started with them directly out of high school. It’s also a construction based industry and unfortunately it’s a very high stress environment. Construction has so many deadlines that have to be met for all the various trades that work on a given project. It can quickly get overwhelming, and having an owner that micromanages the employees is incredibly frustrating - our owner used to be the same way (and still is on occasion).

I don’t know that I have much helpful advice for you, other than to listen to what your coworker said to you. She is the one most directly affected by how your work ethic is contributing to the company, and it sounds like the work you’ve done in a very short time is wonderful!! Taking some of the workload off others is a huge help, and will quickly make you “one of the family” so to speak. Continue to push yourself to do the best job you can, and learn as much as you can - this is something you can take real pride in and eventually, as you’ve worked there longer and get more comfortable, you may find that the stress level drops some as you gain confidence in your abilities.

Also - what she said about the owner feeling confident in your ability to handle certain tasks is most certainly true. I know our owner 100% would never speak to a new hire until he felt that they had an understanding for the task at hand. So try to look at that from a positive angle too. He sees the potential in you as well.

Best of luck and try to stick with it!
I appreciate your response. I know a lot of it is in my own head and is my own problem. I’m not one of those “who cares?” Type people. I’m someone who I feel like everything is my fault, even when it’s not. When he asks me something he asks it in an almost accusatory way, then I start panicking and stuttering and I sit there and defend myself. Or I say nothing. Seems like if I say too much or not enough it’s met with harsh words. It’s just kind of crappy. Obviously the more I work with him and the longer I’m there, the more used to it I’ll get. But as someone who has been there less than a month, it’s really daunting and defeating. Especially since the last couple days is the first times I’ve actually been dealing with him like this.

The girl who I spoke with yesterday said that during a meeting her and the owner went to in another town, he was telling her how great of a job I was doing and had great things to say about me. Come to think of it, that’s the day before all of this started happening...

So I know it’s not that he dislikes me personally or thinks I’m a bad worker, it’s just me getting over dealing with his personality and letting it roll off of me. I have very similar people in my family, and when you grow up like that you go one of two ways:

1. You become combative and ready to fight back
2. You shrivel up inside and panic

Neither of those things are good. But they are accurate. And I definitely became the second one.

He always talks about how his wife is a strong woman and always fought back at her employers (she was a nurse) and he envied this about her. So I think he wants me to fight back. Today I kind of did (in my panicky and shaky way) regarding something that I only had limited control of. But in the end he mostly agreed with me. I think I’m under a microscope right now because I’m new and he doesn’t want me getting bad habits, but I feel there is a nicer way to go about these things.

He will buzz down to my phone over the speaker and tell me to come to his office or he needs to speak to me. And that immediately gives me a wave of panic and a huge knot in my stomach. I don’t want to be scared of my boss. Most places I have worked, I have had great relationships with my bosses, or at least doable relationships.

Up until this point things were going well and I just am so (I guess you could say) hurt that things are going in this direction, anxiety wise.
 
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