Stop-gap strategies for work anxiety
March 8, 2013 7:10 AM Subscribe
I have on-going problems with work anxiety and impostor syndrome. The worst part? I’m starting a new, high-demand job in two weeks and need help now.
posted by anonymous to work & money (4 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
For various reasons, I’ve had increasing, crippling work anxiety over the past five years. These is not your garden-variety nerves. This is stomach pain and insomnia-producing anxiety that saps all of my creativity and makes my entire life miserable. I’ve left two jobs before reaching my first anniversary because of it.
This hasn't been too much of an issue in the last year because I'm in a lower stress, cushy contract position. However, this job is painfully boring and full of crazy-making politics, and it will likely be going away soon due to some restructuring. And even though it's low stress, I only made it this long because I took two months off last year to deal with depression and anxiety. I’ve been looking for a new gig for awhile, but I’ve been super picky about what I apply for.
Yesterday I received a job offer for an interesting new position with a start-up. It’s is a good career move with a lot of fringe benefits and a great manager. I think I should take it. However, I’d be nearly 100% responsible for an important part of the business. I’m the only one doing what I do at this company. Also, there are several aspects of the job that are new to me. It might be a fake it til you make it scenario.
I’m terrified. I don’t feel like I can do the job. I think while I have some experience, I’ve never really stayed anywhere long enough to learn anything. I seriously doubt my creativity and my ability to execute. I can't stop thinking I'm a total fraud. But on the other hand, I know I'd feel this way regardless of where I went. Sometimes it gets better; sometimes not. I have a surprisingly good track record and reputation despite the anxiety; I just burn out really quickly.
I’m on medication for bipolar depression and looking for a new therapist (I’ve dumped two in the past year). I also have Klonopin to fall back on. That said, I’ve never been able to properly deal with my anxiety and confidence issues. I’m working on it through meditation; exercise has been difficult because of unrelated health problems.
I know I need long-term therapy. What I could really use, though, are strategies for mitigating some of my fears over the next two weeks. What can I do to build my confidence and prepare for a new situation?