The Rosie Bee

Starring Grizzy and Sophie

How do you build your confidence?

Sophie confidently laying on the neighbor's mat

Sophie confidently laying on the neighbor’s mat.

The past couple years have been pretty crazy as far as work goes. I was at a job I loved, then a massive, ongoing reorg started. The culture and workflow completely changed, which was very sad. Those who didn’t get laid off left. (Literally, two people from my department are still there, and we started with over 20.) I was promoted to a different area and the reorg (and a mass exodus) happened again. I started on a team of four. We were supposed to grow to six, but when I resigned, I was the only person left standing.

When I looked around and saw I was the only person left on the team, and I heard the whispers of “job elimination,” I began looking for something more secure. I took an opportunity that looked really promising, but is almost a complete 180 from what I was told I’d be doing. There’s also that culture of fear and finger-pointing. It’s been a really frustrating, upsetting situation.

Suffice to say, my confidence is shot. I’m currently employed, thank goodness, but I don’t know where to go. It’s weird, because I’m part of Toastmasters and I can run a meeting, delegate duties, train people, form committees, give speeches off the cuff, talk to groups of 100+ people, no problem. I’m very confident in that respect. I know I’m good at it.

I also have done quite a bit of helping people rewrite resumes and cover letters, and I’ve done random writing/editing freelance work, so I know I’m good at that, too.

I guess I feel like I’ve always hustled but I never really got anywhere. Grad school was a good experience overall, I learned a lot, but I’m not really doing anything with it. The past couple jobs I feel like I’ve really kicked arse and in both my supervisors encouraged me to move to a senior or lead position but then the reorg came and leadership hired their friends, like besties from college, regardless of abilities (true story), so as they say on Project Runway “you’re in or you’re out.”

And by saying I hustled and never got anywhere, I don’t mean I aspire to be an executive, because I don’t want that. Being a lead or a senior, that I would like. But more than anything else, I want a job where I can actually use the skills I’ve learned. A job where I can go and think “This isn’t too bad” and not have to worry about “Who will get the ax this week?” It’s upsetting because I really, really loved my last job. I knew I was good at it. The politics that took over, and the worrying about who would get “right-sized”…it still upsets me.

It also ticks me off because I hate feeling flighty. Overall, I don’t think I am. I’ve lived in the same place for several years. I’ve been part of the same groups for several years. I’ve been in the same career field for my entire career. Jobs have changed, yes, but it was never “Oh, I don’t like what I’m doing. I’ll see what else is out there.” It was “OMG reorg! It looks like I might lose my job so I will look like a madwoman.” In many ways I am a steady eddy. Which is why I am so stressed out lately. I want to find a job/career where I think “This. I can stay here until I retire. I don’t have to worry too much about layoffs, the people here are pretty OK for the most part, this is pretty decent overall.”

I know I can find it, but it’s tough when your confidence is shot and you’re terrified of making a wrong move.

Have you ever lost your confidence? Have you ever been scared of making a decision for fear of making the wrong one? Have any of you ever been at a career crossroads? I would love to hear your input.

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