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Struggling with work anxiety

Hi, 

I graduated from my uni degree last year and I took a year off to go overseas and have a kind of gap year and ever since I have been back I have just been working at a casual job. It is an okay job but the pay isn't the best. I don't get much anxiety working at this casual job, just tired sometimes. But last term I applied for a job that relates to my degree and it is an on call job where I do "fill in work" for when people are away. I am only available for it a couple days a week but all year I keep avoiding the phone calls or saying "no" I cannot work because I am sick or unavailable. I haven't worked a single day in the job area for my degree because I am too anxious Smiley Sad I even procrastinate going to bed sometimes because i'm anxious about going to the job the next day. And when I end up doing that I end up being too tired and I use that as an excuse to not go. It's not helping me in any way because if I just worked the darn shift I would be earning lots more money and helping out my finances alot. And yet I can't seem to get myself to get up and get ready and say yes 100%. A few weeks ago I got up and was ready and said I was available and I didn't get any calls to work that day...so it was kind of pointless. And on the nights before the "on call" days I struggle to sleep or have nightmares or something. Smiley Sad

 

I studied 4 years for this degree and had successful placements and yet I cannot seem to cope with the actual concept of working the job. Smiley Sad Every week I keep telling myself that this is going to be the week that I work at least one day...and nothing. I'm really disappointed in myself and anxious and nervous and scared all at once. Smiley Sad I don't know how to cope with this and build up my confidence. I wish this wasn't happening Smiley Sad 

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Re: Struggling with work anxiety

Hi @mspaceK 

Thank you for sharing your experience, I think people may have had similar experiences once they finish uni and then finding it hard to actually work in the field because they feel anxious about it.

 

I know that when I finished my degree I felt really anxious about working in mental health and helping people, it felt like too much responsibility. So I actually went and worked in retail for a while and then when I felt ready I started my career in mental health. That's not a plan for everyone but it helped me, it sounds like you are doing something similar with your casual job.

 

It sounds really hard to be on call, in that you kind of are trying to be ready all day based on the possibility of being called in, that makes sense you would find it hard to sleep well the night before. It is really positive that you got ready the other day, even though you didn't get called in, that is a big step Heart Is this something you think you could try again?

 

Have you spoken to anyone about how you have been feeling about work? 

 

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Re: Struggling with work anxiety

@Claire-RO I think it is something I can try again and I have spoken to someone at headspace about it and trying to work on my confidence and being prepared, as well as my psych. It's super hard. It is also frustrating me because I could be earning more money if I just did it, but I feel so sick if I even think about applying for a part time position in the field or I hear the phone ring in the morning. I don't even know if this is normal. Does it mean I have chosen the wrong career? Smiley Sad Why do I feel so anxious about working? Smiley Sad 

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Re: Struggling with work anxiety

Hi @mspaceK,

It is great to hear you have spoken with your headspace supports about your concerns and can work on building confidence together. Taking that step is really important and one that I hope will help you feel more prepared Heart

Questioning career choices is something so many people here can relate to (myself included- my direction has changed many times!). Coming out of university and starting a career can feel really daunting, and feeling anxious to take that step to apply for jobs is a common feeling- you are definitely not alone Heart I would be interested to hear what drew you to the career and study you have chosen? Do you still hold the same value now on the workforce you have chosen as when you started studying?

You've mentioned feeling anxious when the phone rings for on call shifts, but not feeling those feelings of anxiety at your casual job. Is your casual job fairly fixed and predictable with shifts? I am wondering if you were in a position that wasn't ad hoc with shifts in the area that you studied if the feelings of anxiety would be reduced?

No career path is fixed and any decision you make, I hope that you find fulfillment in any avenue you choose Heart
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Re: Struggling with work anxiety

@Jess1-RO hey. The things that drew me to this area of study is because I like working with children/teens and being a positive role model. I like helping people and learning new things and teaching those things to others. I do value this industry and it is one of three that I wanted to go towards. People say that I am good at it and I get positive feedback and I do enjoy it for the most part. My casual job is the same type of job just in a different environment and less people. It is fixed with specific days and times and I know what to expect. I think having a part time job in the area relating to my degree would help alot it's just applying and the interview process. I've been asking people that I know for some tips to help me prepare. Hopefully they will get back to me soon and give me some insight. 

 

The other two career paths that I am interested in are more hobby based because it includes writing and films. 

 

But my self confidence has been really impacting me and I also have perfectionistic tendencies at times which doesn't help. I'm not really sure how to build my self confidence and self esteem. It has been shattered a lot. 

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Re: Struggling with work anxiety

@mspaceK sometimes we build something up so much in our minds that of course we have overwhelming anxiety when it comes to the real thing. Right now it seems like you are stuck in a loop that reinforces that shattered feeling but the important thing is you have taken that first step in asking for help to find your way through this as the first step out of this loop. Building your self confidence and self esteem will come with time, right now all you need to worry about is being kind to yourself while you are going through this growth process!