Anxiety and Depression Support
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Job Anxiety

Hi. So, I just started my first job after graduate school about a year ago. It’s a rotational program where I change roles every 6 months. So I’m 3 month into a new role, and my manager wants to have a development conversation. She says I’m great at the work, but have soft skill issues and can’t “read the room”. We are having a more detailed conversation next week.

How do I stop myself from freaking out and over-analyzing this? I’ve already taken extra anxiety meds. I’m so freaked out that I found myself googling available jobs back in my home town. Getting feedback, especially from this manager, as she has a very blunt style, gives me enough anxiety that I debated quitting this job, moving home with my parents, and getting a job back home. That’s ridiculous, I know. But I don’t know how to survive the upcoming conversation without having an anxiety attack.

Suggestions?

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This sounds like criticism. It sounds like you have difficulty with criticism. What I wonder is why? I know why I have difficulty with criticism. What is interesting is that this causes you anxiety. I’m wondering if what your feeling is tied to many other feelings and emotions, which feels just like anxiety.

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I have GAD, so my anxiety is triggered by many different things, of various levels of logical. I dont take criticism particularly well, but I don’t think that should cause a paralyzing fear that I’ll get yelled at and then fired. That’s my struggle, the proportionality of the response.

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In order to get beyond the anxiety we have to be able to name the trigger and than deal with it, otherwise the anxiety becomes the issue. This is not your bosses fault. Even if you did leave the job is likely you will have the same issue with the next job. Knowing that we have anxiety isn’t the end in fact it’s just the beginning. We have to identify the trigger ( criticism) than investigate how this makes us feel. ( sad,angry,lonely,) than we have to check in and see if this has something to do with our self worth or self esteem. All of these feelings are what causes the anxiety not the circumstance ( your boss) it’s not what happened that caused the anxiety it how you perceived what happened that caused the anxiety, and that you have the power to change..

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Sounds like your manager wouldn't bother with you if you did not have what it takes. What type of work do you do?

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I work in HR, as part of an HR development program. Over 2.5 years we do 3 rotations of 6 months each and 1 rotation that’s a full year. I’m in my 2nd 6 month rotation.

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Take what she tells you ask compliments. I have done this in the past ans seems to work me. Try it.

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Hi SD13,

If I were you, I would write a self-evaluation. List your strengths and weaknesses. Be honest about your weaknesses and create an action plan. Do you prefer to work alone? Are you a team player? Time management? Communication? Conflict resolution? Decisive or indecisive? The list can go on and on but don't make it complicated.

Being proactive cuts some of the stress. Have your evaluation with you.

You can do this.

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