How My Anxiety Affected My Job Search

I’ve been looking for a job for almost a year and I still haven’t got a job. I suspect the reason is because I’ve got no experience which led to my mom always nagging at me for not doing those holiday or part time jobs when I was younger and still schooling. The reason I didn’t take up any holiday or part time jobs then was because of anxiety.

I’ve suspected that I have social anxiety. Although I’ve never seek medical attention, through research I’ve found that most of the symptoms of social anxiety apply to me.

-Being introduced to other people
-Being teased or criticized
-Being the center of attention
-Being watched or observed while doing something
-Having to say something in a formal or public situation
-Meeting people in authority
-Feeling insecure and out of place in social situations

The above list are the symptoms that I’ve found applied to me.

It’s not that I didn’t want to work when I was younger and still schooling. It was because I feared interviews, most likely because I feared being teased or criticized by the interviewer, I feared being the center of attention, I feared being observed since the interviewer will most likely be looking at me as I speak and the interviewer will be someone in authority who I fear meeting. With all these fears, I completely avoided finding a job.

After I finished school, I still avoided finding a job. Since I wasn’t looking for jobs, my mom went to look for jobs for me but all I did was yelled, cried and created a din to avoid whenever she recommended me jobs. At that time, my mom didn’t understand my anxiety so she was very angry but one day she finally understood my fear and decided to help me overcome it.

My mom spoke to a friend about my condition and he agreed to let me work at his shop. Even though I knew that friend, I still cried and created a din when my mom told me to go to his shop to work. Since I knew him, the fear wasn’t as great as meeting someone completely new and I eventually built up the courage to go for the interview.

It wasn’t really an interview though because I didn’t speak much and he was already going to let me work at his shop. Since it’s a retail job, I eventually overcome my anxiety after meeting so many customers, being criticized and observed by them.

To me, that job was just to help me overcome my anxiety and I didn’t actually like the job but I’ve stayed on until now for almost 2 years because I couldn’t get any other job. Although my level of anxiety has greatly reduced, I’m still very much affected by it which has caused my lack of work experience.

Although it’s difficult for me to get a job now with the lack of experience, I don’t regret not taking up any holiday or part time jobs when I was still schooling because the past 2 years overcoming my anxiety was not an easy journey. I’ve shed so much tears working at that retail shop, especially during my first few months.

I remember hiding in the washroom to cry, holding back tears and even crying in my sleep, mostly because of criticism from customers which I couldn’t accept at first and also because I didn’t like the job. Every time I had to work, I’ll start to feel nervous the night before. I was in an emotional turmoil during those few months.

I’ve come a long way to overcome my anxiety, gone through difficult roads to where I am at now. Although I’m not completely without social anxiety which I think can never be completely cured, at least I’m not avoiding any social situations like I used to, especially job interviews which has been my main problem that inspired this post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *