View Full Version : What do you do when you've run out of professional confidence?


SB1985
07-27-16, 05:47 PM
So I'm currently in the process of looking for the next gig because I just left my last one.

A year and a half ago, I was let go from a job I had for over two years (and an internship before that). It was my first big job after graduate school, so how it ended really, really screwed up my belief in myself.

But I was in the hunt for some months until I found something new. It seemed like everything I was looking for - interesting work, relaxed environment.. didn't think it would get to me the way the previous one did. It started off great and I was really enjoying the first several months of the position, until a couple of my coworkers started displaying some very ugly traits that killed my motivation completely. It's already hard enough for me to stay motivated, and I took the job because of the "culture" - then it got completely turned on its head. So eventually I butted heads with my manager and left (before they could leave me).

Problem is - now I'm feeling pretty down about myself. I want something stable, long-term. And I know I have the skills and intelligence to make that happen, but I don't have the confidence. Right now, I'm in a position where I feel like no matter where I go or what I do, it will eventually go wrong. On top of ADHD, I've been on antidepressants for years and been in and out of therapy for depression since I was a teenager (I'm 31 now).

Has anyone been down this road? I don't have a bad attitude. I work hard. I am pretty good at a lot of things. I generally want to succeed - although I do not make it my life. I am terrible at playing office politics and being the person they want me to be - I'm just me, and I feel like being "me" is defective for a professional setting after everything I've been through.

Any thoughts? Thanks everyone :grouphug:

Lloyd_
08-19-16, 08:56 PM
So I'm currently in the process of looking for the next gig because I just left my last one.

A year and a half ago, I was let go from a job I had for over two years (and an internship before that). It was my first big job after graduate school, so how it ended really, really screwed up my belief in myself.

But I was in the hunt for some months until I found something new. It seemed like everything I was looking for - interesting work, relaxed environment.. didn't think it would get to me the way the previous one did. It started off great and I was really enjoying the first several months of the position, until a couple of my coworkers started displaying some very ugly traits that killed my motivation completely. It's already hard enough for me to stay motivated, and I took the job because of the "culture" - then it got completely turned on its head. So eventually I butted heads with my manager and left (before they could leave me).

Problem is - now I'm feeling pretty down about myself. I want something stable, long-term. And I know I have the skills and intelligence to make that happen, but I don't have the confidence. Right now, I'm in a position where I feel like no matter where I go or what I do, it will eventually go wrong. On top of ADHD, I've been on antidepressants for years and been in and out of therapy for depression since I was a teenager (I'm 31 now).

Has anyone been down this road? I don't have a bad attitude. I work hard. I am pretty good at a lot of things. I generally want to succeed - although I do not make it my life. I am terrible at playing office politics and being the person they want me to be - I'm just me, and I feel like being "me" is defective for a professional setting after everything I've been through.

Any thoughts? Thanks everyone :grouphug:

It's certainly not easy as you already know BUT you mentioned that you already know you have the intelligence and the skills to make it happen which puts you ahead by miles compared to others in your situation.

Sometimes failure can be a good thing, failure teaches you how to do something ever better than the previous time or what not to do.

and I took the job because of the "culture" - then it got completely turned on its head. So eventually I butted heads with my manager and left (before they could leave me).

IMHO you took that job for the wrong reason so of course it didn't work out, when we do things for the wrong reasons it never works out and this isn't an ADD/ADHD thing, it's just one of those weird unwritten cosmic laws of the universe if you know what I mean?

It's not easy dealing with people, people suck but remember you're there to work, not to make friends or socialize which is not to say you can't or shouldn't make friends, it should be the least of your concerns, that's all.

Hope that helps.

Bluechoo
08-20-16, 11:44 AM
I'm planning to work my way through graduate school and start my own tutoring service, possibly online with my own webpage. I've realized that I am an extremely qualified, competent, diligent, professional worker, with bounds of creativity and energy. I will never be happy if I'm trying to fit into a corporate mold, and no company that aims to treat me like a subordinate deserves to have what I offer. I have to work in the rat-race until I get there, but the vision allows me to trudge through it.

sarahsweets
08-20-16, 12:25 PM
I got fired once from a law firm. I took my completely off guard because I thought I was doing my best. They just said " it wasnt working out". I felt so small. I cried and cried and was SOOO gun shy for a few months. My husband was working but we needed the money. I dont know what I did to overcome it other than grieve, sulk and move on.

acdc01
08-20-16, 12:38 PM
What problems are your lack of self confidence causing? Is it keeping you from applying for jobs?

Making you indecisive so you can't make a decision so you don't proceed with your work in a timely manner? Making work feel overwhelming so you freeze?

If it's about being overwhelmed, think of the big picture and then break that picture into steps. Then only think about and do each step one at a time after that. Thinking only about a little step at a time is one of the things I do when I feel overwhelmed.

Think of fixes like this to help you succeed while your confidence is low. And as these fixes help you succeed more I think your confidence will grow back with every new success you have

Little Missy
08-20-16, 01:00 PM
Spend a long weekend in the fetal position in bed crying and usually by Monday, and a good breakfast, you'll be ready to march on.

salleh
08-20-16, 03:23 PM
.......I cannot work for a company....too weird ....( at least that's what people tell me ) and I have trouble, lots and lots of trouble, following other people's rules ....I think that the smarter you are, often, the harder it is to work in an envirement where there are people who you know damned well aren't nearly as bright as you, telling you what to do ....

....So I have had few jobs per se, and ok I'm an artist, and have worked in a lot of different fields and venues .....and failed for one reason or another, sometimes my failure, sometimes it really wasn't my fault, just the way things worked out .....but every time I found myself thinking ....well that didn't work, I just muddled through until I had another idea that I thought might work .....

....the other thing is ....you want to find a job that you can hold for a long time ....I think you're barking up the wrong tree there ....that was 50, 80 100 years ago that type of working worked ! ....people change jobs all the time now ....sometimes they're the ones initiating the change, sometimes it's the company .....

...just give all you have to give, and hope for the best ....if you are forced to move on ....do it as gracefully as you possibly can ....and take what you've learned there with you ....

Good luck ....it's early in your life .....there's time to find your own particular niche, even if you end up taking that niche to different companies ....

madmax988
08-22-16, 02:13 PM
what about a start up?
maybe there's an exciting idea brewing up inside and with efforts its worth taking a plunge?
it'd surely feel like a breath of fresh air after going through so much.no politics no b.s,just be your own boss.
my 2 cents.

spamspambacon
08-22-16, 05:42 PM
I'm going thru a very similar situation right now. I "got quit" (let go....haha) from my last few jobs because it (typically) "wasn't a good fit." And like Sarah's story, the terminations mostly come unexpectedly. I do great technically, but can't fit in at the water cooler.

I spent the last year taking care of personal issues, so I wasn't looking for a job. However, now that I have started looking, I feel miserable and depressed. When I view a job that's a possible fit for me, I remember what I've been through and think about how I can't go thru that again.

But I'm no good at office politics, and I'm never going to BE good at it. So am I doomed?

I find myself sabotaging myself by chickening out from the interviews. So I can apply, but as soon as I get to the interview stage, I make up some internal excuse why I can't interview with that company.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

aeon
08-22-16, 07:08 PM
Dazzle them with the brilliance of BS as you do a ninja move to the escape exit.


Cheers,
Ian

Pugly
08-22-16, 07:26 PM
If you figure it out let me know too, because I don't even know where to start building up that kind of confidence. And the phrase "fake it til you make it" is against my religion...

I've settled into a comfortable groove of poverty and part time work that allows me some spare time to pursue my musical passions. So the current plan is to make music until I'm dead... and somehow try to make money from it in the interim.

I just realized my post will be of absolutely no help... I'm sorry I can't be of help.

spamspambacon
08-23-16, 09:49 AM
...a comfortable groove of poverty...


ROFLMFAO!

Best description of my current situation, ever!

I'm still cracking up.
Thanks for the laughter!

SB1985
10-30-16, 06:32 PM
You guys are great and so supportive. I'm giving this another guy - in another new gig that seems to be going well so far so just going to keep on keeping on. Thank you!

Little Missy
10-30-16, 06:34 PM
You guys are great and so supportive. I'm giving this another guy - in another new gig that seems to be going well so far so just going to keep on keeping on. Thank you!

Go get 'em! Yeah!

aeon
10-30-16, 09:55 PM
As I reread this thread, the lyric from the stereo was:

"It all seems so stupid, it makes me want to give up, but why should I give up when it all seems so stupid?"


Cheers,
Ian

adhdseeker
10-31-16, 04:53 AM
I got fired once from a law firm. I took my completely off guard because I thought I was doing my best. They just said " it wasnt working out". I felt so small. I cried and cried and was SOOO gun shy for a few months. My husband was working but we needed the money. I dont know what I did to overcome it other than grieve, sulk and move on.
This happened to me!!!! It was a small waitressing job at a mean establishment with mean owners who no one respected! But I still cried all the same and felt under-confident and shy for months afterwards. :mad:

I trust, now, that I get messages and feedback about how I am doing so that I will be less surprised if something bad occurs. It's hard, maybe, figuring out where those signals/messages will come from but at my current job I have that! And I get them from knowing the relations with who I work with and how those relations change or support me. (Famous last words, maybe.)

I do great technically, but can't fit in at the water cooler.
Yeah, this is often me, although I managed to make it work at my current job (after a bit of time and people warming to my quirkiness).
Anyway, I grieve my lack of "water cooler" skills. They really get you a lot farther in life, more than people seem to mention or emphasize. With them comes A PLACE, and confidence. Confidence WITH PEOPLE, and that is where the action is at.

stef
10-31-16, 07:58 AM
It's absolutely useless "hiding" your quirkiness by engaging in completely unnatural small talk. or i should say, engaging unnaturally. You might want to be more reserved or whatever, but don't create a false work persona. It's just exhausting. let your personality through a bit, it's worth the risk.

Pilgrim
11-05-16, 06:10 PM
I found that unless I was moving and growing, if I wanted to, this could really affect my motivation. Being in the situation of working just to survive doesn't turn me on but unfortunately that's life.
Butting heads with anyone at work is emotionally exhausting, so I did my own thing, sometimes people just want to be ******** so not to become emotionally involved in the situation helps but if anyone works that out please tell me.

I find regarding work, you've got to sort of be your own boss. Recently I worked for a small business and this guy to me displayed some ADD traits. So when he had a meltdown everyone ran away. I understood this and his behaviour helped me in a way. But the emotional stress and the fact that I wasn't progressing undid my motivation.