what if I can’t succeed in the world of work?

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A reader writes:

I’m a professional in my late twenties. I spent my twenties getting some degrees and doing fellowships, internships, and various contract jobs.

Through all of that, I landed a great full-time job – not my dream job, but maybe 60% my dream job. Coming in, I knew it would be a bit of a struggle, with a steep learning curve and a not-super-supportive environment, but I was confident I could learn and succeed. But it has been BAD.

My performance review was not great. I know people are annoyed with me for not being able to deliver or remember everything going on, and I don’t have a good reputation in the office now. Colleagues, some younger than me, far outpace me. And then I am filled with anxiety and then I can’t focus and so I make a mistake which makes me filled with anxiety … And so on. I’m constantly making mistakes and unable to get work done, even after almost a year here. Basic things too, like work processes I should know.

There is not a lot of empathy for low and mediocre performers in the “work blogging” sphere in general. I’m already full of guilt. I need an

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