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  1. #1
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    Default Severe anxiety over applying for work

    Warning: long - I guess I'm looking for advice but maybe just also a little moral support? Bub hub has always been such a supportive environment and I've always found writing things down and reading replies to be calming.

    My first job in administration after completing my certificate ended really badly after just three months.

    The job description was full training provided no experience necessary which at the time felt like exactly the break I needed.

    I was in the head office of a company with one other admin worker to train me- and things seemed great... At first.

    I put my whole heart into the job. I wrote down everything that I was taught so I could remember for later reference, I took phone calls, I asked questions whenever I was unsure, started early to get through work when it was busy, did my best to run things when my coworker wasn't there (This happened quite a bit before I was trained and stressed me out since no one else knew anything about the job and I didn't feel confident running a head office of many other offices on my own before I could understand how- but I tried my absolute best under pressure) and just basically took on everything I could to try and do a good job.

    At first I was told I was great and for the first time ever the office was running smoothly, I was praised by the team and people there just seemed lovely, even my coworker.
    But over the three months I was there- I started getting emails with others CC'd in from my coworker/supervisor (same person)chewing me out for mistakes I had made- often in things that were still very new to me. I started getting berated by my coworker- told I was making too many mistakes, not "just doing things myself" fast enough and asking too many questions. Eventually it got to the point where nothing I did seemed good enough and that my coworker was micro managing everything I did and berating everything she could find.

    She also started snapping at me for asking any further questions when I wasn't sure about anything. Eventually she gave me the silent treatment and only spoke to other coworkers (not from admin) in front of me while ignoring me completely.

    I confronted her a couple of times about this behaviour (i am terrible with confrontation and extremely timid) and about what I could do to improve- but she would just say things to me like "what do you want me to do/say?" In an annoyed tone Or turn it around on me saying I need to communicate with her more if the work is too hard or just be more confident.- she would also make a point to then tell me I was getting too much wrong then go back to snapping or sighing if I asked anything or spoke to her.

    I took it to the state manager who was in the same office as us towards the end and told him I was severely uncomfortable and upset (id also broken down crying in the office a few times which was humiliating and he had noticed) he told me she probably was just stressed and that he'd try to work it out. I asked him if I was going to get fired and he told me I was doing great- and that my job was very "sink or swim" so if I wasn't doing well enough he would have told me-

    He set a meeting for us both but she refused to attend- stating "she was too busy- we could have a meeting of we liked" so I went in to him and detailed my mistakes, weaknesses and strengths, the things I knew well and what I felt I needed more training in- but the fact she refused to train/talk to me now and I felt unable to ask without feeling incredibly uncomfortable and being put down for doing so or ignored.

    He finished my meeting then called her in- she then left the office and didn't come back the rest of the day and he told me they "hadn't agreed" and to just continue on. When she came back the next day- he asked her if she was ok then she came back and did the same things- started with berating me in emails over things that hadn't been done (cc'ing in others) while she was away (when I was bogged down with the entire work of head office on my own)

    I felt so hopeless at the job and awful for asking anything that I would up driving home in tears everyday - one day after hearing her on the phone to someone from another office saying she was "sick of this ****" then looking in my direction- I packed up my things, left for lunch in tears and never came back. I went to a doctor (I was a heavily pregnant surrogate at the time) and handed in 7 days sick leave and a resignation stating my reasons for leaving (unable to work in that environment further due to stress)

    Now I'm looking for another job for the first time in months- I'm applying for admin because it's all I know that has reasonable hours with kids- but every time I apply for something I feel that sense of panic and fear come back. My anxiety goes through the roof and I start spiralling down with thoughts that I won't be able to do the work or learn quickly enough and will end up being treated the same, getting fired or just being completely confused and unable to do the work. I reach tearing up and feel all the upset, anger, hurt and feeling of worthlessness come back.

    I don't know how I can do better than my efforts in that job. I put my all into it and failed. I can only learn as fast as I can learn while doing my best and I follow every means possible always to improve this experience has really shredded any confidence I had (which being knew to the work wasn't exactly skyrocketed to begin with) I have this place listed as a referee and on my resume in a positive light since I did gain three months of experience there and have no prior experience in admin (what choice do I have) the state manager offered to give me a reference. I keep thinking I'm just not smart/accurate/fast/good enough for any job out there I could apply for and will ultimately fail anywhere I go.

    I know I have to try- I just have to keep trying until I succeed somewhere because I have three beautiful babies to support on my own and I want to give them everything.

    Is it possible I am just really, bad, at working? Was it all my fault or do I just need more time/more support to learn? For those in positions like mine- did you have support learning or were you just able to pick things up within a few weeks then take over? How do you overcome workplace bullying or making mistakes when there is no support and you become an "annoyance" to your workplace?

    I'm really not usually such a downer- this has just become a big trigger for me- and unfortunately it's one of those "essential" parts of life to work.

    Also any advice on learning quicker/doing better will be taken on board- thanks Bub Hub 💚

  2. #2
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    It is crystal clear to me from the way you write, the way you comprehensively described your time at the last job, the way you went about trying to be the best employee you could be, that you are a very intelligent person. Most unfortunately for you, it sounds like you were working with a total nutcase who - perhaps she was jealous - couldn't help but bring you down because she obviously has her own issues. I also think your state manager failed you in a way because he didn't pull that cow into line immediately. However, you MUST try your very best not to let this nasty woman decimate your confidence. We all have a steep learning curve to climb the first few months of any job, and usually most people are trained by another collegue who has the patience to do so that will eventually see you flourish. Questions are normally encouraged, so don't stop asking. Write this off as character building, I really feel for you because I've dealt with people like that before and I too have quit a job prematurely because of a similar situation, but I wish now I didn't. It's not easy because you know you yourself would never treat anyone the way they treated you. Please keep applying, you need to hold your head up high because you are smart and I promise you you when you find the right job/company you will excel!

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    Brain  (27-04-2016),Cue  (27-04-2016),yadot  (26-04-2016)

  4. #3
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    Default Severe anxiety over applying for work

    Thank you for taking the time to reply. I really do need to hear this kind of encouragement since now I feel that every time I apply for work I am finding myself questioning my ability.

    There's nothing worse than feeling like not just a failure, but also an annoyance and an unlikable, worthless human being. Those are all the things I felt during my last weeks in that job. I'm sorry you went through something similar

    I believe if I was a stronger, more assertive person it wouldn't have affected me so much, but my confidence was already low as I hadn't worked in so long (seven years SAHM) I'm happy to learn and try my best but at that point I just felt like a complete and utter screwup.

    Thanks so much for the encouragement, I want to believe it wasn't all me and with the right company/team I will do well! Just have to keep trying and cross my fingers that all will fall into place.
    Last edited by KiWolf; 26-04-2016 at 18:00.

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    Wow, your co worker/ supervisor sounded like a total bully. I agree with above poster she sounded jealous and your manager at the time should've pulled her into line.

    I'm not suprised you're feeling anxious after dealing with her. Sounds like you're very professional and you obviously were valued at your last place by the other staff.

    Good luck looking for another job, you will find something where people see you for what you're worth!

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    Wow, your coworker sounds like a right witch and you sound like a dedicated, hard working and valuable employee. Even if you were terrible at your job, noone deserves to be treated like that. This has obviously really knocked your confidence...would it be worth doing some assertiveness training /reading for yourself?
    Have a look at this - http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/reso...cfm?Info_ID=51
    Maybe some self- relaxation techniques you can use when looking for jobs and when interviewing etc.
    Keep applying hun...you can do this...don't let one awful person ruin your working life xx

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    Default Severe anxiety over applying for work

    Wow - that link might be very helpful to me- thank you! I might have a really good read of it tonight.

    I don't doubt that I was making mistakes and possibly more than I should have been? But I was three months in when I left which didn't feel like all that much time and I know I had at least been contributing a decent amount of completed, solid work too.. and I was trying my absolute hardest to learn under pressure.

    I feel awful when I think about it, I have thoughts like perhaps I am just THAT stupid that I was severely annoying. That I was asking too much or being too repetitive when unsure and causing irritation.. I got worse once things got stressful and personal - the more stressed over it I got, the more mistakes I made so it snowballed I felt like an idiot.

    But the way I was treated was the worst part. I just wanted a chance, you know? I thought if I was given more time and patience I could have improved- but then I have thoughts that maybe I should have been picking things up quicker than I was. It's hard to gauge when I have nothing to compare it to.

    The support means the world to me. Only since I've been applying again has this feeling all come back- perhaps I should try to seek some counselling while applying also- maybe that sounds silly for a job issue- but I worry my anxiety/panic attacks and the way I feel about myself (low self esteem in work) will impact my next job and - in a way, perhaps re-create the problem and cause my fears to come true.
    Last edited by KiWolf; 26-04-2016 at 18:40.

  10. #7
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    First of all, this is textbook bullying. You have been bullied. Second, the state manager wouldn't have given you a reference if you weren't any good. Third, non-assertive people don't escalate employee disputes to their state manager within months of starting a job. Personally, I think you've behaved impeccably. There's really nothing you can teach yourself to help you feel confident and not feel like hell when you're being bullied. That's why we have anti bullying legislation. This type of behaviour is insidious and can seriously cause harm to people.

    I went through something similar. I made it clear in my interview that I lacked experience in certain key areas. Was told no worries, on job training etc. My pay reflected that understanding. Got in and found my supervisor had been told I would need no training whatsoever. Cue micromanaging, whispers behind my back, closed door meetings etc. I was micromanaged to the point where I was actually unable to get work done by deadlines. This started on day 12 of my employment. Then I was sacked for not meeting deadlines. Stupid thing is that I learned fast. If I walked in with the knowledge base I left with 4 months later they would have loved me.

    It took a long time to recover from that place. I still don't know that I'm recovered.

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    I agree with PPs. It sounds like you did everything you could, and to be perfectly honest, the coworker probably didn't train you well, and add in the toxic environment. I don't blame you for feeling the way you did.

    I think counselling is a good start. You need to make sure the company is the right fit for you, too. In any interviews you should make note to ask about on the job training (because it should be provided everywhere since each workplace will be a little different - or a lot different), and maybe some directed questions about the office culture.

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  14. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sally1981 View Post
    First of all, this is textbook bullying. You have been bullied. Second, the state manager wouldn't have given you a reference if you weren't any good. Third, non-assertive people don't escalate employee disputes to their state manager within months of starting a job. Personally, I think you've behaved impeccably. There's really nothing you can teach yourself to help you feel confident and not feel like hell when you're being bullied. That's why we have anti bullying legislation. This type of behaviour is insidious and can seriously cause harm to people.

    I went through something similar. I made it clear in my interview that I lacked experience in certain key areas. Was told no worries, on job training etc. My pay reflected that understanding. Got in and found my supervisor had been told I would need no training whatsoever. Cue micromanaging, whispers behind my back, closed door meetings etc. I was micromanaged to the point where I was actually unable to get work done by deadlines. This started on day 12 of my employment. Then I was sacked for not meeting deadlines. Stupid thing is that I learned fast. If I walked in with the knowledge base I left with 4 months later they would have loved me.

    It took a long time to recover from that place. I still don't know that I'm recovered.
    I'm so sorry you went through that I think the damage it causes is incredible- I always thought once I broke in and got my first job my confidence would grow, but the exact opposite has happened, unfortunately. Do you have a better job now?

    The problem is I need to work to live so I can't just run away from this as much as I wish I could. I do think I need counselling- I didn't until I've been applying again- it's making me realise the extent this has hurt me you're right- you don't just recover from these things..

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    I hope you realise you did nothing wrong except come across a classic workplace bully. I'm wondering if she was threatened by how well you were in fact doing with little training and therefore she went out of her way to undermine you.

    I hope you manage to pick yourself up and dust yourself off and find a great job?


 

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