My confidence is shot. I suddenly feel like an outsider in the place I’ve been working for the past year. Is this my own fault?
A candid consult with my favorite executive last week has left me questioning my abilities. My reputation means more than it should to me in the grander scheme of things but, I can’t seem to shake the notion that even with mine being great in my company, there is a glass ceiling here I’ll likely never break.
I have always said I just wanted to get a year under my belt here but, comfortability came easy in this company (shout-out to God for that break) and I have honestly gotten complacent. I’ve grown loyalty for the executives I work under- which is a joy to me because I crave stability like any other functioning adult does- but now, when I’m ready to take on more here, I’m reeling from being overlooked.
Let’s unpack a few things now: I willingly accept that I may not have the formal experience for the role I wanted to apply for, but with all the ‘thanks-for-being-so-great’s I get daily, I thought I’d naturally be considered for promotion at this juncture. Maybe it was my fleeting youth and naiveté that had me believing my trajectory as an executive assistant would have more hills and valleys than plateaus. Maybe it was my narcissism fooling me into believing I can skip ahead quickly- or maybe it was my rational mind logically leading me to the conclusion that consistent, diligent, and high-quality work gets one to the next level.
This stress over my career direction has been grueling- I can barely sleep these days, much less contain my anxieties about my position in this company and beyond. Do I still want to work for others or should I carve out my own niche for myself? Is the insanity of running your own business the answer to un-offered opportunities in the workplace?
All things considered; I think of myself as a pretty great employee. I’m intuitive- foreseeing my executives’ needs effortlessly and efficiently. I work with little to no supervision and take initiative and project-lead roles as necessary- always with little to no prompting from superiors. I join projects that need assistance to get completed when we are short-handed. I offer a daily helping hand to all in my practice groups (I assist three practice groups- 20+ people total) on tasks outside of my job duties to the point they expect the help (another problem I seem to have created for myself). At this point I have a few options: I can stay here and wish they finally notice me, I can leave and go to another company (under a similar title for slightly higher pay but with likely similar mobility sentiments), or I can use all these skills and talents for my own business and freelance.
I started this position thinking that my current employer would be my last. Certainly- my work ethic and command of random relevant knowledge would be seen and awarded accordingly- or so I thought. I felt that my role in my groups was a facilitator and made it my business to perfect my task-processing so I’m as effective as possible. I was often cajoled with the ideas that I am too skilled for the level position I have by my supervisors- the admission and confirmation, I felt, of my over-qualification for my current role.
This miscommunication has led to questions that I may have been trying to run from facing for a while now though: Maybe it is time I branch into some work that doesn’t feel like work. I need to gather my confidence and forego the egotistical pride that prods me to keep trucking along in an industry I may not see a happy future in. The choice is mine, and this time, I think I may take a different route. (Glass Ceilings Grant Clear Perspectives: Part Two coming soon)