How do I not suck at life?
June 9, 2012 9:08 AM Subscribe
You procrastinate. You're disorganized. You make multiple careless mistakes weekly. How did you go from being a Bad Employee to a good one who actually contributes positively to your organization?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (34 answers total) 113 users marked this as a favorite
I'm two years into my professional career out of school and have somehow fallen into a career that involves an extreme amount of attention to detail, attention to numbers/finance/budget, spreadsheets, hyper-organization, and managing multiple projects/clients at once on tight deadlines.
I profoundly suck at all of these things. I feel worse because I have a feeling that a lot of these qualities are important for most if not all jobs, regardless of the industry, so even if I'm considering a career switch I still need to get my shit together for the time being.
I am at my second company starting fresh after my performance at my first one went south. When I started at my old job, everyone seemed to really appreciate my work, but as my workload and responsibilities increased, my performance got worse and worse. I had a harder time organizing more things and prioritizing tasks. I rarely met deadlines that my supervisor set. As work started piling up, desire to procrastinate increased. I started putting things off because I was horrified of getting started on them. I'd be on client calls and information would be coming at me so fast that I couldn't keep up with taking notes.
And then the careless mistakes started happening - I'd make so many errors on so many projects, causing my entire team to have to backtrack and cover my ass and producing more unnecessary work for everyone. The scary part is, no matter how much I think I am taking my time on something, and no matter how elaborately I thought I proofed it, I can not count the number of times I'd come in the next morning, the next week, or the next month to find out from my boss or a client that something was completely fucked up because of a mistake or a typo or a detail I overlooked. And I'll pull up the document/spreadsheet that I worked on from that day and THEN and only then will I actually see the error that led to the cluster that we're now in. And it feels like someone who blacked out from drinking too much only to find out the next morning they harmed someone but have no memory of it. It's horrifying, and no matter how much I try to take control over it, the mistakes keep piling up.
So a month ago I left my job to start over at another company. I'd do everything different this time! I'd take my time on things! I'll double check! I'll keep a to-do list and keep everything in folders and binders! Nope, none of this happened, and a month in I've already received my third email from my supervisor telling me "Please be sure to check your work to avoid this from happening again". I feel awful. Just like my last job, I am constantly apologizing. It has already begun - I am doing a Bad Job, and I can sense my supervisor is starting to feel the first pangs of regret for hiring me.
I feel like a shitty worker who sucks at contributing. I want so badly to be a "valuable asset" to the organizations I work for but am just the complete opposite - I screw things up and drag people down with me. I'm starting to feel like I just don't belong here, like I'm not cutting it.
My question: Does this sound like it was you at one point? How did you change your life in a positive way? Did you get diagnosed with ADD and get on meds/therapy? Did you keep at it and things turned around? Did you get fired and hit "rock bottom" forcing you to pull it together? I need to know stories about this with positive endings, because I can only focus on the negative right now. I would also love to hear perspectives from those who are managers and have dealt with people like me.
I want to change SO badly.