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OT- New job question

June's picture

I know this is completely OT but I could really use some advice on what to do since I'm torn over this one. I just got a new job a few months ago at a fantastic company. I basically landed the interview thanks to my DH who has strong ties to many people at the company because he has been doing business with them for many many years. They all think very highly of him so that's why I got the interview. Of course my skills and 'charm' is what actually landed me the job. This job is at a higher position then I am use to. It has what I consider to be, the worlds best benefits and excellent pay. My boss is super easy going as are most of the other employees. So what's the problem ? Well, they offered me almost no training what so ever. They just handed me a manual on there computer system so I've had to literally look up everything to train myself which has completely hampered my productivity. I am more times then not , lost on what to do and / or how to do it. I ask questions and do whatever I can to get help but nobody can help me because this is a new position at the company so nobody has done it before or knows how to. It is in a field I have experience in so I do know the basics but there are so many loose ends. In addition to that I've been told that I'll have to arrange some large meeting and do presentations for them. This terrifies me as I hate speaking to large groups. I've been obsessively worrying about it and it hasn't even happened yet. I also have to drive all over the place for meeting and such. I was told there would be some travel involved but I seam to be doing it allot which I'm not keen on. I'm worried that since my job is an important one , that all these unanswered questions I have and loose ends are going to bite me one day if we get audited or something. Ultimately it is my responsibility to make sure it's done and done correctly regardless if anyone has an answer to my question or not. I don't want to fail the company , and I don't want to look bad bc of my DH's connections with the company. That said , my boss has said she thinks I'm doing great but I'm not sure if that means much as she doesn't really know my job. I have made some headway in things. I just don't know if it's too soon to leave or if I should stay longer ? I don't want to lead them down a wrong path with anything. I feel unsure of myself with some things and I worry about having to do things (like the speech ) that are just way out of my element. Should I just try to do it and 'grow' or if I stay will I become increasingly unhappy ? I really love the company and the benefits I will not find anywhere else. I should also add that financially I am able to go without this job. It's not ideal, but defiantly doable. Please advise- I'm torn.


BethAnne's picture

This is what I was thinking. If no one inside your current workplace can help you then you need to start looking outside of there. Call in favors from old friends, old coworkers to help you out or recommend training courses. Call the company that writes the software and see if they offer any forms of training or support, most will love to help you as it is an opportunity for them to sell more and keep you happy with their products. Call your professional association. Network on linked in. If you find some courses that you want to go on that cost money to go on ask your boss. She will be impressed that you are looking to improve your skills so proactively and hopefully will find the funds for you to go.

Maybe you could use some of your contacts to help you with the big meeting that you have to organize, delegate different sections to a couple of other speakers so that the whole thing isn't on you, you could just chair it and present a small section. Or could you split your one big meeting up into smaller bite-sized portions? Most people learn and retain information better when presented in small chunks and it also means that rather than you standing and talking in front of a group of people for 2 hours in one stretch, you can do 4 smaller 30 min presentations which will get easier as you do more of them. Could you make your meeting more interactive by setting problems for the attendees or having tasks they can participate in, would you feel that could take the pressure off you?

Practice your presentation with your husband, practice with one or two close friends at work. Put yourself forward to present small chunks of other work/information (5 or 10 mins) in smaller meetings to build up your confidence. Presenting in front of people is a really great skill to have and quitting a job because you haven't yet had the opportunity to build on your presenting skills is not a great reason for quitting. Have you told your boss that you are not a very confident speaker? Perhaps she can help suggest some ways to build your confidence or to make your presentations less daunting, a good boss wants to help you learn and improve your skills. You can probably also find some public speaking courses locally.

Overall you are having a major crisis in confidence and that is normal in any job, but especially when it is all new. Think back to what you knew about at the first day at your old job, and what you knew by the last day...I bet that there was a major learning curve, but you got through it and were very confident by the end. You're in the middle of that curve right now. You have already taught yourself a new system which is very impressive in itself. You have sought help from your coworkers which takes guts to ask for help. Now you just need to keep going and expand your sources of help and push through the barriers that you put up for yourself. Think creatively about your problems and the things that scare you and come up with some tricks to make them less daunting. Keep tackling the problems one at a time and soon enough you will be flying. Fake it till you make it.