I’ve fucked my career - how do I get out

(106 Posts)
Surfwomble123 Tue 19-Oct-21 23:40:56

I work in an industry where the pool of contacts is small and incestuous, it’s specialist so people tend to move within limited businesses and associated areas

I am hard working and conscientious but just can’t cut it, I feel like I’ve ruined my credibility through some poor judgement and a lack of confidence leading to procrastination and indecision

This is all I know and I can’t see a way out. I feel like I just have to write it all off - 12 years

I have some savings and can live frugally for a time, but I’m scared to walk away, even though it feels like all I can do

There are no contacts I can call on, I have made a mess in all areas. It’s made me act a bit odd when I have met people in person as I feel so bad, so personal relationships are non existent.

How can I see past the small pond I am drowning in?

I don’t feel I have many transferable skills, I just know how my industry works - no excel, project management, official type skills, no real training

Please help, I can’t get out of bed in the morning.

OP’s posts: |
Dreambigger Tue 19-Oct-21 23:44:05

Sounds awful. Life is too short for this. Could you completely retrain in something? So many sectors are looking for staff right now. What are you passionate about or enjoy ? Could you go part time or take a career break for some security. Dont think you can continue like this ... flowers

SimonedeBeauvoirscat Tue 19-Oct-21 23:44:32

I’m sorry you’re having a hard time of it. I have to ask, do you think you might be depressed? You sound as though you’re struggling with your mental health. Would you consider getting signed off work for a while? It would give you some breathing space.

MadeItOut21 Tue 19-Oct-21 23:51:00

It's extremely rare for that to be the case, you sound very insecure and also a bit depressed. Remember most people are not fantastic at their jobs- most people are just average, just doing what's needed, occasionally do really well and make mistakes along the way too.

Surfwomble123 Tue 19-Oct-21 23:52:32

Thanks for the quick replies - if you met me IRL I think I appear as quite normal, brave face every day. So getting signed off sick would be crazy, no one would believe me, it seem very odd to my colleagues and cause problems with my manager (very small close knit team)

OP’s posts: |
saltinesandcoffeecups Wed 20-Oct-21 00:01:23

It sounds like you are in a bad place.

It also sounds like you need some outside perspective, I’m sure there are some transferable skills. Have considered spending some money on a career coach or if your university (if applicable) has some alumnus services.

If yo are comfortable sharing some details here, you may get some better help.

At any rate, hope you find your way and find some help, either here or IRL.

DespairingHomeowner Wed 20-Oct-21 00:03:42

Has something specific happened, a project gone wrong, a bad appraisal? It sounds like you might need to think about when you’ve been happy in your work and try to move towards that - whether it’s a change of team, role, company, or change of career

Unless you really have to, avoid taking sick leave - as can cause problems with looking for a new job. Can you book a weeks leave to give yourself some space to think?


KeyboardWorriers Wed 20-Oct-21 00:07:55

This sounds like very fatalistic thinking? It doesn't sound like your work are trying to manage you out?

Are you sure it isn't depression/anxiety?

Alternatively, a sideways move would be an option? Think about what transferrable skills you have?

SimonedeBeauvoirscat Wed 20-Oct-21 00:11:14

It doesn’t matter if nobody believes you (I mean, it would matter in the sense that they would be callous uncaring arses). If you would benefit from the time then take it. It doesn’t matter if they’re disappointed or shocked or any other thing. What matters is your well-being. If you left they’d replace you; it’s business. Focus on what’s best for you. It sounds as though you’re being very hard on yourself.

SimonedeBeauvoirscat Wed 20-Oct-21 00:12:28

And yes - everyone has transferable skills. You just need some help in learning how to identify them. Tell us more in general terms about your job and we can suggest some ways of describing what you do as transferable skills.

PennyWus Wed 20-Oct-21 00:13:15

You sound very unhappy. Could you have an honest chat with your manager about how you are feeling? Getting another perspective often helps, and if you have really messed it all up then you have nothing to lose.

It is of course possible to change career, and entirely possible to find something you enjoy. What kind of things do you like doing

Elieza Wed 20-Oct-21 00:16:13

Sometimes things that seem like an absolute disaster to us aren’t seen like that by others.

You clearly want to do well and work at it however you haven’t gotten things perfect on a couple of occasions. Who has? We all make mistakes. Nobody’s perfect.

Did you bite off more than you could chew? Too much responsibility too soon? Lack of facts provided from which to make an informed decision so you did the best you could but there were reasons why it didn’t work out as you’d expected?

Work out what went wrong and don’t get in that situation again. If you need further training get it. If you need more info at the appropriate time ask for it.

You just need to get back on the horse and build your confidence up. I’m sure you won’t be the only one who has made mistakes. Others will have too. They will know what it feels like also.

Can you take on smaller projects? That are easy and give you confidence?

Re appearing odd when meeting people etc, that’s just nerves and trying too hard. Or being not neuro-typical. Something which people are aware of now and accept that people are individuals, so I wouldn’t worry about it.

Is there anyone like your line manager that you can have a chat with about things? Or are you like a self employed contractor without a line manager. Do you fear nobody will hire you and that’s why you’re running before you get pushed?

Don’t walk away from your job. You won’t get any dss money for starters and it doesn’t look good to future employers.

I honestly think it’s not the disaster you think it is. You’re probably just going through a rough patch. We all have and we came through. I think it will be fine. Truly.

It could be that some anti depressants will help you see focus better and see things more clearly without the blur of stress and the spiralling that can happen.

If the chemicals in your brain are misaligned due to stress the anti-ds will just realign them.

Perhaps give your gp a phone. You could also try counselling to help support you while you’re stressed out.

It’s always darkest before the dawn. Then it’s bright again. You can totally get through this. And once it’s all sorted you’ll look back on it all differently.

LanisHouseLot Wed 20-Oct-21 00:48:31

Is it the sort of thing where you could move to a distant-ish area and start afresh in a different pool of contacts and colleagues? But hopefully it's not a disaster requiring such a drastic solution. What has actually gone wrong - can you describe the mess a bit more? I've felt like this over some things that turned out to be very manageable once the panic was removed (easier said than done, I know).

SoundBar Wed 20-Oct-21 00:56:22

Signed off sick for mental health reasons - your manager doesn't need to "believe" you. You ring the GP and get signed off. There's paperwork to provide to one's employer.

Are you in a union?

It sounds like you are experiencing a mental health crisis and fixating on your job as an outlet for the negative feelings and anxious thoughts. Get signed off first of all and give yourself a chance to calm down, black and white thinking is a sure sign of depression.

Frazzledd Wed 20-Oct-21 01:08:08

Have you looked into Imposter Syndrome?

expat101 Wed 20-Oct-21 01:09:50

What sort of impact has this had on your working day at work?

Surely your Boss would be aware of what has happened. Has there been any discussion between the business and yourself?

Do you think you might be beating yourself up far too much and need some help in moving on from the event? Perhaps your employer is the best place to stay right now career-wise and prove that this was just a once-off bad event.

Frazzledd Wed 20-Oct-21 01:10:34


ThumbWitchesAbroad Wed 20-Oct-21 01:43:58

Oh good, Frazzled has already brought up imposter syndrome.

@Surfwomble123 - imposter syndrome is one option for how you're feeling. You may also be depressed, either because of your work or just in general - have you been to the doctor at all about it? Maybe you should consider that option too.

And if it genuinely is the job that's getting you down, and you genuinely are not suited to it any longer (for whatever reason) then yes - look at your transferable skills. These are not limited to your abilities with certain computer programs - do you have people skills, customer interfacing skills, technical skills in other areas - what do you like doing?

I can guarantee that there will be alternatives out there but I would certainly look into the "self-help" options first.

Surfwomble123 Wed 20-Oct-21 02:51:45

@Frazzledd Thank you for the link - this resonates with me for sure

@DespairingHomeowner - many things have happened, every week something I have done incorrectly in the past comes up and steals some time, it’s a fire fighting job anyway but this on top means I’m always behind.

@expat101- I work a lot of hours and I’m asked why, I’m seen as a hard but not ‘smart’ worker. My manager seems to despair a little as I check in a lot - all of this makes me quite needy as I am fearful of making more mistakes/problems. I feel very anxious and full of dread, can’t sleep well - it’s paralysing

Sorry to seem so negative, I just want it all to stop and go away. Some people are leaving and they’ve said the feeling of ‘this no longer matters’ is glorious

OP’s posts: |
PyongyangKipperbang Wed 20-Oct-21 03:29:25

What do you dream of doing?

Is it doable?

If it isnt, is a watered down version doable?

I felt like this (although for different reasons) 2 years ago. I was working 65-70 hour weeks and was on my knees. Now I work in a supermarket on the tills and filling shelves. I know some people judge it as a come-down but you know what? I never had a single stress migraine during fulough. Had 2 during the 2 months I was back during the 2020 reopening and then got made redundant. Not had a single one since.

I'll take humping boxes of crisps over 16 hour days, constant pain and a 2 hour commute to and from kids who barely recognised me as I was never there.

PyongyangKipperbang Wed 20-Oct-21 03:31:40

I should add that when I was doing the job, if someone suggested I leave (and many did) I would say that I couldnt. I needed the job, needed the money, wanted to progress etc. But when it was forced on me I realised that actually, it wasnt that bad! Yes we have less money but the bills are paid and we are doing ok.

laurenGame Wed 20-Oct-21 03:33:47

OP can you study online? I've just started an online degree in a completely different field. I'm still working full time. It's draining but I want to change careers so it keeps me going when I'm writing assignments late in the evening.

FlowerArranger Wed 20-Oct-21 03:37:34

Is there someone in your organisation who might be willing and able to act as your mentor?

tiredinoratia Wed 20-Oct-21 03:37:45

You've been given some great advice around anxiety, catastrophizing, and distorted cognitions. Can you get some executive coaching from an ICF registered coach? You could also see a therapist and look at Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).


ElftonWednesday Wed 20-Oct-21 03:41:22

It's not you, it's the job, it sounds far too demanding and stressful. Lots of jobs are like this, and jobs that are interesting and well-paid without making one ill with stress are not common.

What I'd suggest is getting some temporary/interim work, which will give you lots of chance to work in different roles and work out what works for you and what doesn't. There is not the same nag of ongoing and building responsibility because you can walk away at any time. It will also give you time to recover your confidence, health and self esteem. But certainly leave your current job for something less demanding, or take some time out if you can afford it. It's not worth sacrificing your mental health further. And the job market is good just now. I did interim work for a few years and took a month or two off in between assignments.

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