Doomed to fail
September 2, 2012 8:31 PM Subscribe
How can I force myself to apply for jobs when I know I will fail at any job I get?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (15 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
I'm 32, female, and was laid off two months ago after three years with my company. I also have severe ADD, which has consistently undermined just about everything I've ever wanted to do with my life. I loved my last job, and the job before it, and there were aspects of both where I excelled. But in other regards, I was terrible, despite trying my hardest and desperately wanting to succeed. My supervisors were constantly exasperated with me and regularly threatened to fire me; they kept me on partly (I think) because they saw that I was sincerely trying, partly because of my skills in certain areas, partly because training a replacement was too onerous, and partly (maybe mostly) because of the lengthy and complicated firing process required by the company (especially given the ADD diagnosis). But it was clear that they wished they could be rid of me.
I've tried everything: meds, therapy, skills groups, organizational systems, self-help books. They help, but I'm still seriously impaired. One problem is that the jobs in my field that are available to those without an advanced degree tend to have a lot of admin responsibilities. I could go to graduate school - that's what I really want to do - but who would ever write me a recommendation letter? And even if I did get accepted somewhere, who's to say I'd even be able to finish the program? Anyway, many of the things I struggle with are base-level expectations at any job: punctuality, reliability, consistency. I once discussed accommodations with my psychiatrist and he was basically like "Accommodate you how? Agree you can be an hour late for meetings? Promise not to get mad when you don't call people back?"
I was ultimately laid off due to lack of funding, and am receiving unemployment. But I'm having a really hard time submitting job applications because it all just seems futile. I feel dishonest trying to write a cover letter about how great of an employee I'd be when the truth is I'd be a terrible employee and they'd regret hiring me. There have been a lot of people who believed in me, my intelligence, and my talents, and I believed in myself too, and I've let us all down. Accepting that I'll never be able to do the things I'd hoped to do with my life is hard enough; how do I accept my inability to meet any expectations at all? If I fail at doing something I love, how can I expect to succeed at anything else? I feel like there's no place for me. When I know I'll fail at anything, everything seems pointless. Where do I go from here?
NB: I've tried MANY different meds (for ADD, depression, and anxiety) and am currently on a cocktail. I'm in therapy and have been for a long time (using a variety of modalities). The ADD fucks up my life in many other ways which aren't explicitly relevant to this question other than contributing to my general aura of failure.
throwaway email: email@example.com