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I am crap at my job, feel so depressed, dont know whether to pack it in

(12 Posts)
slowlylosingit Sun 02-Nov-08 21:04:02

Started a new job 5 months ago, in the same organisation, but a career change. Was really excited about getting job (lots of competition for it) and was looking forward to a new challenge. Enjoyed my old job which I was pretty good at, but when I went back after 7 months maternity leave, much of my work had been given to my replacement and things never felt the same. Felt it was time for a change. How I regret that decison now! Cannot do the work in new job, its just overwhelming. Lots of statistical analysis required which wasnt mentioned in the job description. I feel a bit guilty as should have found out more about what the role involved before applying for/accepting job but didnt, assumed it would be OK. Every day at work is a struggle, am constantly in dread of being given new tasks to do which I cant do, have to go to lots of meetings and feel the pressure to participate in the meetings but often find I have nothing to say, dont have the skills or confidence to chip in and there are a lot of meetings unfortunately.

Working on a piece of work now with a tight deadline which I'm struggling badly with. Its got to the point that even when I'm not at work (I work 3 days) I feel constantly sick at the thought of work. Dh, dd and I went abroad on holiday for a week but I spent the whole time feeling miserable, worrying about my return back to work. Its got to the point where I feel physically sick. I hate being so incompetent at my job and feel its not fair on my colleagues that they're having to carry me. I cant see a way out, without packing the job in. Theres no way I can change jobs in my organisation because I'd need a reference off my boss and the fact I've only been in the job for 5 months would be frowned upon.

Have brought work home with me to try and work on before I go in but am sitting here feeling hysterical, I just cant do it! Should I try and give it a few more months and accept that I cant do the job and it was the wrong career move for me, or resign? Financially, that would be a nightmare but I'm starting to worry about my health and the impact me feeling depressed is having on my dh and dd.

wonderstuff Sun 02-Nov-08 21:07:58

can you talk to your line manager? try to get more training?

LynetteScavo Sun 02-Nov-08 21:08:49

Well, you can't carry on doing this job......are you sure there is no way you can change jobs within the organisation? Your boss might be quite happy to give you a reference!

TotalChaos Sun 02-Nov-08 21:09:54

agree with wonderstuff - even if you are floundering a bit and underperforming, your employer should provide you with training. And possibly think about seeing your GP - you might need some time off sick to get your head straight if you are so affected by worries about work.

MascaraOHara Sun 02-Nov-08 21:12:47

arrange a meeting with your manager. bullet your concerns befor eyou go in so you don't get to overwhelmed.

takes some tissues, it's ok to cry.

start by saying you want to be copmpletely honest and that you feel like you are struggling.. and that before it gets any worse you'd like to talk about it with him/her and decided on wher eyou go from here...

explain your concerns, ask for their opinion and work together either on a training/support plan or on an exit plan to a new role..

you will be surprised at how much bette ryou will feel just letting them know how you feel.

I hope it work out ok for you smile

choosyfloosy Sun 02-Nov-08 21:15:32

OK you have got to talk to your line manager (but talk to a union rep/lawyer first, see below). Go in positively, say you feel you are underperforming and that you are hoping to discuss options. The simple truth is that life is far, far too short to feel so miserable about your work, but you shouldn't take all the decisions by yourself - your manager should help you.

I'm afraid the first words I thought of when reading about your post-maternity leave situation were 'constructive dismissal'. I guess you were into the second period of maternity leave where you're only guaranteed work of similar level or whatever it is, rather than your own job back, but the person who was doing your job was your maternity leave cover, not your replacement. Check your options with a union rep and/or employment lawyer and do it BEFORE any meeting with your bosses.

slowlylosingit Sun 02-Nov-08 21:16:22

Unfortunately my line manager is mega stressed himself, hes back at work after being signed off for 6 weeks with stress. He told me that he finds the work overwhelming which is worrying as he is very competent, any yet if he is struggling what hope is there for me! We have such tight work deadlines that theres no time for training, I'm literally being given about 6 working days to produce a chapter in a report which will be published. When I had my interview I asked about training, as my new boss knew it was a career change for me. He said training would be provided, what actually happened was I got a 30 minute induction and that was it.

I'm reluctant to get signed off as I know I will view myself as a failure and this will make me more depressed. Any yet this job is affecting my health so much that I cant eat, am having panic attacks and more worrying drinking every night. I dont want to start scrounging off benefits, when plenty of other people are forced to do jobs they hate.

Oh why didnt i just stay in old job, feel so sad about it all.

AnotherFineMess Sun 02-Nov-08 21:19:23

I empathise - I went through something very similar in a large public sector organisation within which I thought I'd have a lifelong career. I stuck it out for a few months but then saw a very different job in the voluntary sector and applied for it, on a whim.

I got the job, love the job, and don't for one second regret leaving my secure career, depsite the current uncertain times.

Is there a similar field to your old job that you could start exploring options in? That way, you can look on your current job more as a stop-gap than something you are locked into indefinitely?

wonderstuff Sun 02-Nov-08 21:28:59

Speak to your line manager, the fact that he is stressed and under pressure is his problem, not yours, you were promised training and if you end up signed off sick everyone is going to be worse off, it is in your companies interest to help you i think

slowlylosingit Sun 02-Nov-08 21:31:38

Thanks for all the advice. Have a review meeting with my boss this week so will try and be honest about how I'm feeling. Hopefully he will be able to offer practical advice. In my previous job, I did very well in my appraisals and often qualified for bonuses. I was encouraged to apply for promotion to forge my career further, and my new job is a promotion. I say this just to show that I havent always been incompetent!! This is the first job I've had in my adult life where I feel I am failing which is frightening for me, because I do define myself partly by my job. Its taken me a long time to get as far as I have and now I can feel it all slipping away.

AnotherFineMess Sun 02-Nov-08 21:38:46

Try not to look at it as a failure - if it's time to move on, it's time to move on, and this might just be a very clear signal of that.

Good luck with it, it's so horrible being this unhappy at work.

flowerybeanbag Tue 04-Nov-08 09:44:08

I know you haven't said you will, but just to emphasise please don't go running to see a lawyer as choosy suggested. There is no constructive dismissal here. You have no right to the same job after 7 months maternity leave, only to equivalent suitable job on no less favourable terms and conditions, and you haven't said anything to indicate that was denied you, only that things had changed when you got back.

The problems you need to focus on are the ones you've identified, about not coping with the job you applied for. I agree with everyone else, an honest up front discussion with your line manager is your first step. Talk through all your concerns with him, try to break it down into small bits rather than an overwhelming whole problem, and work out what support/training you need and what things can be lifted off your shoulders if at all possible.

If there is someone nice and sympathetic in HR, consider a chat with them as well, some pointers about dealing with the situation in the context you are in might come out of that.

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