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I don't know how to proceed

Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up?Posts: 16,688
I think it's going to be difficult to admit most of this. Even with all the confidence issues and the rest, I still have too much pride for my own good. I'm not sure if it fits better here or in another forum, as the problems are both practical and mental, but I think this is the place as practical advice is needed more urgently.

Last August, I finished a master's course on the subject I've wanted to work on since I was in high school, if not longer. I don't feel very confident saying what that is (although there's no logical reason not to), but it's more of a specialty. Before I went on the course, I had a job in the same field but a different specialty.

I began to look for jobs as soon as I finished the course, or technically I began to try to look for them. I realised too late that my lack of confidence makes my anxiety go over the top at the prospect of writing a cover letter, even worse at the idea of an interview.
It's not that I don't think I can do the job (or at least it wasn't -I'll come back to this) but I think I'm incapable of making a good enough impression when I first meet people. I'm good at being me, not pretending to be someone else, like a perfect employee who can do no wrong and knows the perfect thing to say or do at every occasion, which all advice on interviews I've read practically says I should do.

(Of course I did manage to get a job before, but back then the odds were more in my favour, for reasons that aren't really relevant here).

I signed up with an agency specilising in "my" field a couple of months ago but they took a long time to get back to me due to a communication error (or so they said; my insecurity/paranoia thinks otherwise, although even it can't think of a convincing other reason). The agency helped get me past the "cover letter" hurdle and now I have two interviews lined up, but there I'll be on my own, and the same problems exist.

By now my lack of confidence has made me begin to doubt whether I actually do have what it takes to do the job. My instructor in the course (which was unusual, it was like actually working somewhere) said numerous times that I'm good at it but my "other side" says that perhaps he only said that because I was paying him and that if he actually thought it he'd have used a better word than "good". This isn't going to make interviews any easier.

There's also the matter of time. If I can't find an income in the next couple of months, I'll be in trouble. I do have a "Plan Z" so I'll survive no matter what (barring accidents, which no one can predict) but it's Z and not B for a reason. It's literally the second worst thing than living in the streets and would require me to lose an important part of myself, so I'll do anything I can to avoid it.

Of course, by now (too late) I realise I have to widen my search. I'm not opposed to doing any kind of work but I'm afraid that my lack of experience in any other field will be big trouble, and also that the question "Why did you leave your last job" will come up. The answer to it is "Because I wanted to work in the field of my course", and of course (understandably) no company that's not in that field would like that answer.

I do plan to apply for JSA as soon as I can (which could be up to 2 weeks still) but even that would just buy me a month, maybe two. I couldn't live on it.

I know this text is too long for this section of the site so thanks if you've read this far. I also do know that the best answer to a lot of these problems is "Find an analyst" but that requires both time and money and right now I have neither. As soon as I can afford it though it will be at the top of my list.

What could I do?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Actually Indrid you might benefit from something like a short course of a treatment called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which is designed for these kind of issues and which you can usually access through your GP for free.

    In the mean time, do you have anyone you can practice interviews with? A lot of universities allow access to their careers centre after graduation do you think that would be an optionfor you?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    In terms of your interview, prep! If you think you'll show a lack of confidence, maybe write some notes of what you might want to say? Even a general run through of what you want to slip into interview questions, what you want to ask them at the end. I've done this on my last few interviews over the years with success. It's always a positive sign of you. I've always been told to and have eaten chocolate before an interview, I've found it has relaxed me and made me focus - have a water with you and some gum to un-dry your mouth though.
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    Thanks for the replies everyone. :)

    A bit of an update: The first interview didn't go well, mainly because they wanted me to know some things I've never studied before (or needed to, but I will now). The second went way better, but my agent just said that the project it would be about (it would be a 7-month contract) got put on hold for a moment but they said they'd continue with me if it hadn't. Pity, but it's good for my confidence. :)

    Also, I've contacted the university's services and am trying to make an appointment.
    piccolo wrote: »
    Actually Indrid you might benefit from something like a short course of a treatment called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which is designed for these kind of issues and which you can usually access through your GP for free.
    About that: Were you referring to my anxiety about covering letters, my attempts to convince myself I'm no good or both?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru

    About that: Were you referring to my anxiety about covering letters, my attempts to convince myself I'm no good or both?

    A bit of both, and the fact you seem to recognise something in yourself that could benefit from therapy
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