Mental Health Support
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AM I BEING STUPID!!!

So, started my new job yesterday and everything went really well. Came home walking on air and thinking "Yes!! At last back into employment and a steady regular wage. Something to get out of bed for" The first day of the training yesterday was really good and I enjoyed it.

Today however, we were put into our groups of who we are going to be working with. My group is a group of 8 including myself. The others all know one and another and spent all day chatting and laughing amongst themselves and don't get me wrong I did try and join in but I felt really out of place. They are all aged between 18 and 23. The youngest of the group is 18 and the oldest of "their" group is 23. I however I the VERY oldest at 51 and although I have been told on numerous occasions I dont look my age, I feel it amongst these youngsters. They are picking everything up really quickly and I feel like bloody "E OR" the donkey from Winnie the Pooh next to them. I have nothing in common with them and dont know half of what they are talking about. The training has to go on for another 5 weeks after this week and then we will all be moved to the actual room where we will be working with yet more people. I have spotted a number of older people floating about the place and am hoping that I will eventually be put with people more my own age.

My friend said if they thought my age was going to be a problem, then they would never have employed me!....

Just feel so out of place in this group but I know I have to stick it out. I just feel so stupid and ... well, old!!

AM I being stupid...???. (I have never felt like this before and I feel as though it is affecting the little confidence I already have - this was supposed to be a whole new start for me...).

XXXXX

11 Replies
oldestnewest

Oh how I know that feeling. I started a new job back in Nov 04 and we had 8 weeks training. I was the oldest by a few years and the rest of them all seemed to really pick it up quickly. Some of them did know each too. Not only that they gathered at each others desks quite a bit where I was on the other side of most of them with no one to 1 side of me and only 1 to the other. She left after a week leaving me quite isolated. I did eventually speak to the trainer and he recognised this but didn't do much. As a result I felt quite left out the group and didn't form any fledgling friendships which impacted on my work there.

I would have a word with your trainer and explain how isolated you feel and ask if there is anything s/he can do about it ie putting you in a different group if possible. Or putting your training desk in the middle of the young people and getting you to demonstrate things to help draw you in.

On the plus side you have done brilliantly landing yourself a job and your employers must think you are up to it. x

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I know... I keep telling myself that and hopefully it wont be forever but in my heart of hearts I am already dreading going in tomorrow...

I think I am a bit anxious about learning everything. I had a word with the trainer today (because I think she could tell) and she was lovely and said a lot of what we are being told is stuff we probably wont even use when we do eventually start doing the job for real. It was only my second day and the training is going to take 6 weeks. I think if I was picking things up as quickly as the others (although I dont think they have picked up that I feel as though I am already struggling) I dont think I would even give it a second thought, because just being able to do the job is what its all about, but I am scared that I am going to be the one getting talked about because I am struggling...

Oooohhh!!....Just want to have a good cry and I thought those days were over!!!

XX

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Hello again, and once again I agree with the wise Hypercat. Before I retired I was a manager and also chaired interview panels and advised people on how to apply for jobs, so I know a little bit about all this. What I would say to you is this - 1. Don't underestimate yourself. Any new job involves a very steep learning curve for the first few weeks (probably months) and then it plateaus out 2. Everyone learns at a different pace so please don't compare yourself to others 3. Other people are probably feeling the same apprehension as you. It's natural to be scared when you start a new and unfamilar role 4. As a manager, the most important thing I would look for in an employee is the right attitude and work ethic. That's not so easy to teach, so, as long as you have that (and I'm sure you have) the technical stuff you will pick up. Your work experience will count for more, as you will be a role model for the younger ones and, potentially, a 'leader' within the group. 5. Keep talking to your manager and colleagues, getting feedback and acting on it. 6. You probably know this already but it's true - you'll never know, unless you try. If after 3 months of giving it your best shot, you really feel this is not for you, well, at least, you can say that you gave it a go and all experiences are valuable as learning opportunities. It'll be alright, trust me. Take care,

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So, so kind of you to post this to me. My last boss always told me that I had a "fantastic work ethic" and I took this as a great compliment. I left my last "new" job after a short while but to be honest, I dont think that I was in the right frame of mind and really could not concentrate. I know it wasnt the right time for me to do that particular job because I do have "stickability" and to leave after such a short time was really not like me at all. I am in a much better place right now and the people I am working with are all really nice. We all had a wee chat at lunchtime today and I was relieved to know that a lot of them are actually feeling like me. I also spoke with one of the trainers who said I was not to get stressed about anything as the stage I am at is the part where most folk feel like getting up and walking out but once you get past this, that is when things start to fall into place. So I will try my best and see how things go.

(One thing I did realise though, I had mentioned in my post about feeling so much older than the rest of them? I AM older than them all but it seems it was bothering me more than it was bothering them - I dont think they really care and I seemed to get on better with them today because I made more of an effort!)

Thank you so much though for your post. Really appreciated that!!

XXX

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Hi I have friends of all ages and I get along with with them based on what we have in common and not what our ages I know that Iyounger people usually feel like older people are trying to tell them what to do so I always make sure that I don’t do that I would also try to solve this on my own without going to my employers if that’s possible if it’s going to take time alone nobody gets used to new people right away it it just takes time for relationships to form and probably by the time thiistrainimg over you’re going to feel like you know everybody there and you’re more comfortable with them I think it’s great that you’ve got a new job and you should probably make the most of this opportunity I wish I were in your shoes actually I wouldn’t worry about it too much I don’t think it’s going to be a big deal in the long run Pam

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Pam thank you for taking the time to reply to this, I really do appreciate it. I've been sitting here thinking the same thing actually, that I am lucky to have been given the chance and I SHOULD be making the most of it. I think I am panicking because if you remember when I first wrote on here it was to say that I had left a job (a job I loved) but could not longer work there because of my toxic workmate..?? I got a great job after that and I left after a few days because my confidence was so low that I actually didn't believe that I would fit it. I am panicking in case the same thing happens and I know I just need to give it time.

I will try to approach it from a different angle tomorrow. I just need to keep telling myself that the people who employed me obviously wanted me there (and they too were quite young.....if they had thought I was too old then they would not have offered me a position). Instead of making myself feel like I'm not good enough, I will try and be proud of the fact that I DID get offered a job...(there were actually 10 people interviewed, 6 people were shortlisted and 2 were offered jobs and I was one of the 2 so maybe I should be quite chuffed!!)

Maybe after a good sleep tonight I will see things differently in the morning!

Thanks again Pam for your good advice..

XXXXXX

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Keep reminding yourself of that. My oldest child is 51 you are a baby. He retired from teaching a year ago and is now looking for a different career. Things are so different these days. and you're part of it.

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Thank you again. I have taken a photo of your wee message and if I feel the "horrible feeling" creeping up on me I will have a wee read just to keep reminding me!!

Thank you so much..

XXXXX

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You are very welcome, feel free to pm me anytime. Pam

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Hi En! I'm sorry to hear you had some little wobbles during your first couple of days, but it sounds like you're doing really well now. I'm so happy for you that you've worked through it and are finding your little place in the team. Try not to think of yourself as any different to the others in your team - you can learn from them and they can learn from you. They are probably secretly pleased there is a more mature element amongst them - and even if they don't realise it yet, a situation is bound to crop up eventually where you can offer support in one of many ways with your experience and knowledge of stuff they've never yet encountered. Your unique value will have a chance to shine, I'm positive.

By the way, I was an HR Officer in a call centre in one of my last jobs, working mostly with much younger people than me, and I experienced many of the same issues early on in the job, but I eventually found my niche - and so will you.

Good luck with your second week, and enjoy yourself!

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Thats so kind! Thank You!!

We all left yesterday having had a good Friday and one of the girls has already mentioned "our end of training night out" and we were all asked for our opinions on where we would like to go and I was very much included.

To be honest, age was never something that bothered me before, so I really shouldn't let it bother me now. I think in this day and age I should be quite thankful that I have managed to get to this age without too many problems. They also say being around young people, keeps you young, so I'll go along with that.. :-).

I'm looking forward to Monday now I know what I am going into!!

Hope you are having a lovely weekend and thanks again!!

XXXXX

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