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Topic: Work Anxiety & Impostor Syndrome as a New Graduate

2 posts, 0 answered
  1. displayname8
    displayname8 avatar
    1 posts
    4 November 2019

    Hi all! I'm a 23 year old new graduate working in the health industry and currently feeling extremely lost and stressed... I started working at my new job around 6 months ago but every single day I can't help but feel like I don't know what I'm doing here... especially when patients don't trust me or question my experience and I feel like I'm constantly playing a game of catch up to prepare and revise for the next day's work and caseload. Maybe it is that I didn't study hard enough and somehow faked my way into graduating with first class honours..(sounds nice, doesn't it??) but there's this extreme sense of confusion about how I got there when I feel like I can barely remember so much of the content we covered in my degree.. I feel like there's this disconnect between who I'm expected to be and the work I'm supposed to do.. I feel so lost and exhausted and I'm just terrified that I'm going to get found out and fired any day. I'm terrified of continuing to ask questions at work because I don't want to be "found out" as not knowing things that I think I would be expected to know :( I feel like the only time I can be stress free is when I'm asleep, or have my mind off work on my one day off a week. I'm finding more and more recently that I don't even find solace in food and I don't have much of an appetite anymore because I feel too stressed to eat :(

    It definitely hasn't helped that I was recently involved in an incident where a patient I was looking after had a rather bad fall and broke her arm... it was an unfortunate accident and I've been told time and time again by my very supportive team members that nobody is to blame but I still feel terrible about it considering that I was the only non-assistant staff member on site with the patients at the time.

    It's really difficult to discuss my concerns with my parents because they tell me I should be grateful that I have a relatively well-paying job that they can only imagine is "stress free" compared to the 3x minimum wage cleaning and domestic work jobs they had to work to raise me... and that if I had studied medicine I would be 10x more stressed so I should be happy with where I am.

    I guess I'm just reaching out to the void to ask whether I'm alone in feeling this? And maybe if someone has been in this situation before how to manage it? Are all new grads as lost as I am knowledge and experience wise or is it just me??

  2. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    411 posts
    5 November 2019 in reply to displayname8

    Hi displayname8,

    Thank you for your post. I actually want to start by saying I'm really glad that you titled your post 'imposter syndrome' - that in itself shows me that you know that you're not alone in feeling like this, that this is very much a thing, and that imposter syndrome gives us this fake idea that we don't deserve whatever we're doing.

    There was this quote that I read and I really want to share it with you because I think it's spot on and something worth remembering -

    "They pointed out that it was unlikely that I was clever enough to have fooled all of the people who let me into grad school, the experts who graded my work, all of the members of the hiring committee who shortlisted me for this job, and all 5 of the phone interviewers in my first round interview before I was invited for an on-campus interview. And if I was smart enough to have fooled ALL of these people, then I probably deserved the job anyway!"

    I think that there's some gold in this because even though I'm not sure what you did to get in this job, I know that you've worked hard to do it. You didn't pass your classes or get the job because people were sympathetic - you did it because you earned it.

    I know that most graduates have this sense of 'my course didn't prepare me for this!' and that's okay. Deep down in your brain I'm sure that there's some content that's stuck there (!), and even if you have truly forgotten - you can learn it again.

    I hope that this gives you a bit of reassurance. I really encourage you to keep talking with us and sharing - I can guarantee you we won't compare your work and honestly; I think there's more stress anyway!

    RT