why can't I keep a job?
August 10, 2012 8:15 PM Subscribe
I keep getting fired from jobs, and I think my poor social skills play a major role. I don't know how to change this pattern.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (29 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I recently graduated from college and I'm struggling to find and keep a minimum wage job so I can support myself while I intern in the career of my choice and study to apply for graduate school. I'm a bit older than most recent grads, in my late twenties.
I have a pattern of getting fired from minimum wage jobs and even when I'm able to hold onto one, I often get bad vibes from my supervisor. I haven't been able to figure out what it is, because I work like crazy. After speaking to a number of people who know me, the only thing I can point to is that my social awkwardness and lack of confidence make people assume I'm incompetent even if I'm actually doing fine work.
Here is a recent example. I spent months trying to find a job working part time at a cafe. I got a number of interviews but only one of them turned into a job (as a barista) and the person who hired me expressed misgivings about my slight shyness during the interview.
I put my all into the job and I really thought I was doing fine (I only made a couple of minor mistakes that I can think of during the training), so I was pretty shocked when they fired me a few days after I started. They told me I never really found my "comfort zone." I think the problem is I seem to come off as really anxious. It's true that I do feel nervous when I'm starting a new job, but this isn't something I know how to control. I also think something about my body language amplifies whatever I'm feeling, because even when I feel relatively calm people will give me the cold shoulder. Basically I don't know what it is that I'm doing but people get weird vibes from me and either don't like me or assume I'm incompetent or both. It doesn't help that I'm not great at small talk. This has been a life long struggle. I have a lot of difficulty making friends as well, although the friends I have made seem to really value me once they see past the surface.
I worry that if I can't even hold down a minimum wage job I"ll never be able to advance in a career. I wish it was just a matter of working harder, but I already *do* work to the max and that doesn't seem to help.
Any insight or advice about how to solve this problem?