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Overwhelmed at work

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I used to do secretarial stuff, and I found it impossible to do. Some people are really really good at organizing things, keeping track of schedules, handling sudden emergencies that come up as they are organizing all these things, etc. They are self-directed, and can look at the big picture and think of better/more efficient/easier ways to do stuff.

I think I'm like you; I can't do that to save my life. I just get buried under it all. In the job I have now, I can do the non-administration stuff just fine, but when it comes to filing, or scheduling, or organizing things, or planning things, forget it. It never ever gets done.

I'd say that maybe your talents lie elsewhere. Please don't beat up on yourself for not being able to do this job. "Low-level" and "low pay" are really subjective; just because a job doesn't pay much doesn't mean that anyone can do it, and there's something wrong with you if you can't!

Your job would be easy for someone who's suited to it, but impossible for someone without the necessary skills.

Can you think of jobs you enjoyed more than this one? What do your siblings do--do their jobs sound appealing to you?


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What Lily said sounds good. 

And you don't sound dumb at all to me.  Just not happy.  I feel dumb too when I am faced with jobs or tasks that don't match up well with my interests, skills, or mental needs.  I often need others to pull my head out of my ruminating ass to remind me that I'm not dumb, I'm just not in a situation where I can make the most of myself.  Oh, and did I take my meds today?

I'm in a transition period that may lead to a career shift so the things I say here are also things I'm asking myself right now. 

Have you thought about what types of job-ish activites you do/might enjoy more than what you do now?  Maybe using your hands?  Whole body activites?  Visual creativity?  Helping people?  Helping animals?  The environment?  Research?  Being outdoors?  Pursuing a hobby as a career?  Working with numbers or money?  Speaking?  Writing?  Machines?  Computers?  owning your own business?  The list goes on.... I've found that there are a lot of really cool but really obscure (or downright bizarre!) jobs out there that capitalize on interesting or unusal combinations of interests, skills and experiences.  The job that might be perfect for you might not have a familiar name or category to look in the want ads for!

What kind of work environment/conditions would make you feel comfortable and productive?  Buzzing activity?  A quiet private workspace?  Being in charge?  Being part of a team?  Working with the public?  Staying behind the scenes?  Developing large projects?  Discrete tasks?  Variety of activities?  A set routine?  Many people?  Few people?  Working at home?  Set hours?  Flexible hours?  Early in the day?  Late hours?  What kind of people do you want to be spending your days with?

How much money do you need to meet your standard of comfortable living?  How important is it to make more?  How important is social or professional status to you? 

Are you able to relocate?

Personally I've so far found that I like having a combination of physically active and study research activities.  I dislike regimented routine but once in a while it's OK as a breather between more intense go-go-go constant change type projects.  I don't do well with computers or money. I excel at visual creativity and problem solving.  I don't do so well at interpreting social situations or personal problem solving.  Interacting with other creative people can be inspiring and motivational.  Working in a room with buzzing activity often gives me energy.  Of course I need private quiet time too but in my experience too much isolation leads to stagnation and procrastination.  I shy away from conflict and competition probably due to the usual depression related self esteem and confidence issues.  I can deal with public speaking and groups but definitly need down time afterward.  I feel drained by giving all the time, I need time to accomplish projects of my own to keep my skills, ideas and energy fresh.

The career path I have been following seems to suit most of these things, but one of the most important it's not fulfilling is the last.  I know there's no "perfect" job and no matter how much I believe in what I do it won't be thrilling/comfy/gratifying/etc every day.  But no matter what I do I don't want to just simply be "putting in time" or letting salary trump sanity and satisfaction.  So I went part time at the current career and started working part time for a friend who owns a visually creative small business to get a feel for what its like there.

Holy crap this got long!

Sorry if this is more of a threadjack than a help!

Good luck,

career-challenged Circles

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