I Lack Confidence and Career Direction

I feel depressed and anxious about the state of my life.  I am out of work right now and even though I know I need to get a job ASAP I can't find the motivation to get out of bed in the morning nevermind apply to jobs.  I've applied for a few jobs and I had an interview last week which I thought went well, but I ended up not getting the job.  I asked them why and if they could give me some constructive criticism to help me in future interviews but they didn't respond to my email. 

My boyfriend, who works full-time, has now taken to calling me on his lunch-hour to make sure I am awake.  When he called today I was still in bed.  Normally I would have lied and said I was up, but I didn't because he could tell I was still 1/2 asleep.  It was 1:30 in the afternoon when he called.  I finally dragged myself out of bed after we got off the phone, but I still haven't done anything productive today: ie look for and apply to jobs.

I had big plans last month when I first lost my job to go out and hand out my resume to different places, etc, but I haven't gone into a single place because I lack the confidence to do so.  I am so afraid of rejection that I can't even bring myself to ask for an application form, etc. 

I'm 30 years old and I've been temping for the past 18 months, which I detest, but I do it because it pays the bills and I lack the confidence to do anything else.  I know that temping doesn't help with my confidence because the tasks that I do are so menial and basic that anyone--even a trained monkey!--could do my job.  I feel like the longer I go without doing 'real' and challenging work that utilizes the skills and education I actually have, I risk losing those skills and becoming so scared at failing that I'll never even try in the first place.

I have a university degree; I was a chef, a teacher, a fundraiser for a non-profit, and an office administrator.  Now, when I am working, I usually just answer phones or photocopy stuff.  I have such low self-confidence that even though I know I could do so much more with my life I can't even take the first steps to making it happen because I have such low self-esteem and I am so afraid of failing and further damaging my self confidence.

I don't know what to do with my life.  I come from a family of over-acheivers (my siblings and parents are doctors and lawyers) and no matter what I do it never lives up to what they are doing.  Unless I go back to school for 4 years (which I would do if I was absolutely sure that I would be happy in the evenutal career, but unfortunately I am not so sure) I won't be able to get a job that has the same status or income that they have.  I try not to compare myself to them, but it's difficult to do when we go over to their palatial houses and see their fancy cars parked in the driveway and listen to their conversations about stocks and bonds and luxury vacations they're taking.  And then they patronizingly ask what I am doing these days and I have to come up with a humourous answer and then change the subject before I start to cry.  It's not easy to be faced with their career fulfilment, success and material wealth when I am struggling to pay the bills and rent every month. 

I know I could do anything and be successful if I just focused and made a decision about my career.  At this point, however, I feel so scared of failing that I want to be 100% positive that the decision I am making is the RIGHT one.  I don't want to go back to school (I've already done countless courses and programs and certificates and diplomas that haven't lead anywhere) because I am afraid that I'll do the program but then won't enjoy the work or be able to find a job in the field once I finish the schooling. 

I'm so exhausted from years of thinking about this issue and talking about it and crying over it that I just want to give up.  I want to stop looking for a job; I want to stop seeing my family so I am not constantly reminded of my under-achievements; I just want to give up.

I've seen a career counsellor in the past but it didn't help.  I've conducted informational interviews with people who are in careers that I think I might enjoy.  But at the end of the day no one can make this decision but me.  I just feel so overwhelmed that it's making me feel crazy. 

I don't know what to do anymore.

oneyewonder oneyewonder
Mar 11, 2009