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I am rubbish at my job - school admin.

(12 Posts)
muchtooshy Sat 16-May-15 17:06:35

Re-posting from AIBU.

My probation period has been extended and I am really stressing.

I just don't seem to be good enough at anything. I really am trying and want to do well but it seems like it isn't enough and I keep getting picked up on things.

I am so scared as I can't afford not to have a job. I don't know what is holding me back from doing well but I need to fix it.

I don't know how to make changes that those above me can see. I feel like I am wrong all the time.

I work as an admin assistant / receptionist.

The complaints are not being quick enough, not forward planning enough and not seeming urgent when I work. The work I do is good but not fast enough. I need to learn how to push myself forward and to learn to be assertive which is totally opposite to my character.

Also that sometimes home stuff is a distraction - I really need to learn how to leave home at home as there is a lot going on there right now. In the 6 months I have been working here there has been cancer / chemo with a family member, the death of another family member, the decline of a terminally ill family member, and a house move.

I am just so scared as I need this job.

I work at a medium sized secondary school. The SBM does know what is going on at home but I need to leave home at home.

I feel like I am really trying to improve but it isn't good enough. Plus the lady above me is efficiency in human form. I can't stay late to catch up as I have commitments outside work but she often stays as she gets a lift later.

Sometimes it just feels like things are just thrown at me and I need to be able to cope better. And to anticipate what people want before they ask.

DriftingOff Sun 17-May-15 09:03:35

you probably are doing an OK job for a beginner, but some schools/management are just like this - they expect people to hit the ground running. I've seen it a lot with teachers - in some schools, some PGCE/NQTs are almost expected to just be able to teach, with no allowance for the fact that they are still training. You really shouldn't feel pressured to work longer hours (for no extra pay I assume) - I suspect you're on or not much above the minimum wage, in which case you'd be earning below the minimum wage if you worked longer hours, and they would be breaking the law. Obviously, your boss will be much more efficient than you because she's done the job a lot longer. There are lots of admin/receptionist type jobs out there for all sorts of companies, from garages, to solicitors, to pretty much any company that has an office, and they'll all have a different work culture. In schools, money is so tight, that all staff have to work at 110% all the time, whereas admin work in another field entirely will almost certainly be a bit more relaxing, and you'll be able to do a good job at your own pace, and you may even find, working somewhere else, that your bosses appreciate the fact that you take time over things and do it properly, rather than rushing everything.
Look for another job ASAP (this will help you to feel more in control), and stop worrying! With this kind of management, I suspect the chances of you being 'let go' are slim, because they'd have all the costs of employing someone else, and training them from scratch.

Labradiddly Sun 17-May-15 09:44:08

It's not possible to get everything done perfectly and at top speed when you are doing a new job. School admin is a really demanding job. Can you try to improve/ pick up just a few things each day? Write down what you did well and look back at this at the end of the week.

When you are stressed its easy to focus on the negative things and forget about what you are doing well. Even small things like speaking kindly to an upset child or reassuring a worried parent on the phone will make a positive contribution to the smooth running of the school.

You are clearly trying to improve. Hopefully your school will appreciate this and support you. If things don't work out, you will have still gained lots of valuable skills and experience that you can take to your next job.

momtothree Sun 17-May-15 09:52:49

There are lots of things that go `wrong` in a school day - you are dealing with people which takes time - phone calls chasing payments, trips, meeting, endless photocopying. You need a better boss or a boss with a training plan or one with clear objectives for you A good boss should not complain about your work unless they can help you improve or offer advise.

queenruth Sun 17-May-15 10:04:47

Let's deal with those three complaints:

1. Not being quick enough - this will come with time. You are only new. You will get quicker as you become more experienced in the role.

2. Not forward planning enough - again, this will come with time. It's difficult to plan forward when you don't know what's coming up. In a school admin role, you'd need to have been there a year (i.e., a full school year cycle) to be able to anticipate what comes next and plan for it. The SBM needs to help you with this rather than assume you know what's coming up.

3. Not seeming urgent when you work - frankly, I think this is ridiculous. Do they want you to go everywhere at a run? Panting and sweaty? Some people are like swans, they look all serene on the top of the water but under the surface their little legs are going 50 to the dozen. This is obviously how you work. I think it's too much to ask that you change your whole personal demeanour and they are being unreasonable.

I think it would be worth you looking for another job. They sound horrible. Tell any potential new employer that the hours of your current job have become unmanageable, perhaps. And when you get offered a new job, explain to the SBM that you would appreciate a good reference, but that you don't feel that this current job is the role for you.

ICantFindAFreeNickName Sun 17-May-15 22:22:59

That sounds like an awful school to work at, they seem to expect a lot of you after a very short time. What did you do before, were they expecting a more experienced person from you cv / interview. It's easy to get disheartened and get into a downward spiral, where you feel nothing you do is good enough. Could you spend a few minutes each evening reviewing how you did - and appreciate what you did well and try to improve what did not go so well.
You do seem to have had a lot home problems in a very short time. When you say home life is a distraction, what exactly does that mean. Do you spend a lot of work time dealing with home issues etc? When you get to work, you really do have to just concentrate on work. I know it's difficult, but when my dp was undergoing cancer treatment, no-one but my head teacher & a couple of colleagues even knew, as I just got with my job as normal.

MidniteScribbler Mon 18-May-15 12:12:45

From my many years in admin:

1) Start a daily schedule. Write down the jobs you have to do every day and how long they approximately take and write yourself a daily/weekly schedule.

2)When someone gives you work, tell them what time they should expect the completed task. If they claim their work is urgent, then pull out your schedule and ask what they would like you to reschedule to fit in their task (politely, not rudely). That puts the ball back in their court so that when another task gets set aside to do their task, the responsibility for it not being done is on them.

3) Leave home at home. Don't do home stuff at work.

4) Break down your work in to small tasks. Eg 30 minutes of filing. Set the timer on your phone for that time, and work hard for that time period. It will give you more of a sense of urgency as you are on a time limit for that task.

5) Get a lined notebook and draw it up with three columns. One narrow one called 'time', one large one called 'notes' and one medium one called 'outcome'. Each time you answer the phone, talk to someone about a task, or do something, write a note in your book. Eg 8:30am - Phone call from Mrs Smith about Johnny in 3B saying she would pick up at 1pm for doctors appointment. Then when you have dealt with it, put a note in your 'outcome' column - '10:30 told Mrs Brown'. It will not only help you keep track of your tasks, but also make sure you follow through on everything and it gets completed. It also gives you a diary of all the tasks you actually get done in a day which you can use when having discussions about your performance. I'm a teacher now, but I still use a notebook like this to keep track of every conversation with students or parents or other staff to make sure I follow through on everything that I say I will. I even have my own code - 'CO' is Call Out (Where I made the call), 'CI' is Call In, 'SM' is staff meeting which saves me time. Each night before I finish my work I go through and make sure that everything has been actioned. It also gives you a good record when someone says 'but you never told me!' and you can go back to your book and show where you did tell them, or whatever action you took.

Good luck OP. You'll get there.

ICantFindAFreeNickName Mon 18-May-15 18:30:08

MidniteScribbler - I like you idea in point 5 - I think I might give that a try myself

DrownedGirl Tue 19-May-15 07:09:45

Do you spend a lot of time chatting? Take a proper lunch break? You probably will
Need to cut back on those, it's not expected

Ask the SBM/person above you to help create a flow chart for tasks and a daily schedule

So for any tasks that flummox you a bit, get help with working out what the actions will be

Kennington Tue 19-May-15 07:12:21

Sorry to hear this
Do you put your phone away?
Answering texts is the worst for loosing concentration

Coconutty Tue 19-May-15 07:15:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

auntpetunia Wed 20-May-15 22:34:45

I'm not going to repost everything I said in AIBU. Expect to repeat you are not rubbish your SBM sounds incompetent and a bully and super woman sounds lazy! Please take on board the ideas we gave on AIBU and use them.

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