Anxiety and Depression Support

Quick Update

So last weekend I was super freaked about the mistake and how my boss will handle it. She took it fine. She hasn’t said anything more about it.

I’m trying to figure out what is causing such anxiety. I think it’s a couple of things:

1. This is my first non-secretarial job. I’m 42 but this is the first time I’m using my graphic design degree professionally. It’s nerve wracking because I will be working with students who 18-22 years old and in a graphic design program themselves. They seem to have learned a heck of a lot more than I did lol. It’s kind of scary. Technically, I’m only two years out of school. Traditionally I would be 24. But I’m as non-traditional as it gets.

2. I can’t read my boss. My boss is an introvert. She is very quiet around me unless there is someone she has known longer in the room. Then she directs most of what she says to them. So I try to be understanding about her introverted ways. But I’d like to feel more included. What little I’m learning about her personal life worries me. Our sense of humor is totally opposite. I think that says a lot about people and the connections they make. Today I learned that she loved Friends and hated The Office and Parks and Recreation. I LOVE those shows!

3. My self-confidence is pretty low when it comes to my abilities to do design work. I know I can learn a lot from her and the students I will be working with. I know that my ego is going to take some hits. I hope I can handle that if/when it happens.

Thanks for letting share!

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I can understand your worry and concern. What an awesome opportunity you have to do something different. Just keep remembering there is a learning curve to anything new. You are going to do great.

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Thank you. That’s what I keep saying to myself. LOL I always so happy to get home in the evenings where I feel like I can be myself.

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It's hard to be in a learning situation, especially with younger people. I'm in the same situation at school. I tell myself that it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with me, that it's all about an opportunity to learn. You got hired because they thought you could do the job, and your boss seems to like you! Introverts are hard to read, but usually they are thinking about things you'd never guess. She may be self-conscious about being a boss and shy socially, so she gravitates toward people she knows. Eventually you will be one of those people, too. It's not personal.

I love the Office and Parks & Rec too, Friends not so much. She just doesn't share our quirky sense of humor. Try not to read too much into it. It doesn't matter if she's totally different from you. That can make an interesting person to be around. My best friend and I are so different and we laugh about it at times.

It all comes down to determination. You worked hard to get the skills you've got. I get the age thing because most of my classmates are in their 20s and I'm 60! Finally this semester I have a class with two people who seem older than me. Try to look for what you have in common with this other generation. Just be yourself. It's pretty cool what you've done. I bet they'll think so too as they get to know you.

Hang in there and try to think CALM and do relaxation activities even at work - deep breaths, squeezing and releasing your muscles, picturing relaxing places. But most of all, try to assume that everyone will like you and that you have a right to be there. Here's some advice my very intelligent brother gave me about starting a new job:

1. Be nice to everyone.

2. Stay out of the gossip. Don't reveal anything about mental health issues to co-workers or even your boss unless absolutely necessary, even if they talk about their own issues.

3. Do exactly what you're told.

4. Don't make suggestions.

I thought #4 was weird because I always have made suggestions. I thought that was the sign of a creative, hard worker. Then when I thought about it, I realized no one really liked me doing that. They seemed to take it as me saying they weren't doing it right. So now, unless I'm asked for ideas on how to do something better, I don't say anything. It's made a huge difference. I realized my boss thought I was trying to make her look bad. That was the last thing I wanted.

Best wishes to you. You can do this! Go, girl, go!

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Thank you!

I should clarify: I wasn’t hired by choice. My old job was being eliminated. My boss’s boss knew I had some experience in design. She knew my new office needed help. She told them to take me.

I struggle with that the most. My new boss’s boss hasn’t liked anything I’ve done that was remotely related to what I do now. When I wasn’t in attendance at meetings she apparently cut down anything my office had done. Even though I was very clear that I have no background in marketing she has seemed to take some offense to my being involved with that for my office. On the flip side-if we had relied on her nothing ever would have gotten done. She was too busy.

So I do worry because I’ve been thrust upon my new boss and my new boss. I do think my boss is one of those that makes up her own mind about things. That is comforting.

Now it’s just relying on my skill. It’s so weird being in a whole new arena but I’m grateful for the chance. I almost said no when they told me about it. I am more comfortable in my 20 years of administrative asst roles. But I went to school so I could do more. If I didn’t take the chance I would have kicked myself every single day.

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Good for you. You paid your dues in school. Activate your inner bad-ass to protect yourself from whatever she brings your way. No more admin asst jobs for you - you've earned this!

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LOL! You are great for my ego!

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