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    • Cloudane
    • By Cloudane 16th Apr 19, 11:10 AM
    • 502Posts
    • 356Thanks
    Approached by a recruiter but lack confidence and have other issues
    • #1
    • 16th Apr 19, 11:10 AM
    Approached by a recruiter but lack confidence and have other issues 16th Apr 19 at 11:10 AM
    Don't know if I'm seeking advice per se or just want to type out my thoughts to help with processing them. So I apologise in advance if people read the thread and think "well that's 20 minutes of my life I'll never get back".

    I'm currently in the 12th year of my second job, working in the IT department of a small manufacturer. It pays pretty poorly (£20k), way below the potential pay for my skill set if I may say so without sounding arrogant (I enjoy automation projects when they come up, e.g. writing little scripts to make things easier for people. Dedicated programming roles, for example, tend to command like twice that.)

    I've been messaged by a recruiter on LinkedIn asking if I'd like more information about a job he's working on for a large company in the area doing desktop support. He only alluded to the company (as is normal) but I'm 99% sure I know what company he's alluding to and with it comes good career development prospects, decent pay, share scheme, etc. Without asking, I have a feeling they'd be paying at least 10k more (my current company would never dream of this).

    Sounds like a no brainer right? Well I'm fretting about even responding to hear more and the feeling of obligation to carry it forward to application and interview, and leaning more towards saying thanks for thinking about me, I'm best off with stability for now but keep me in mind in the near future (when, if I put my mind to it, maybe I'll get my s*** together). Here's the thing, or several things:
    • First and foremost, I'm deeply in a comfort zone at work and at home. Sure I'm not very well paid but as things stand it's enough, I don't really need to be, and past experience tells me that expenses simply find a way to expand to meet your salary anyway, like a gas in a vacuum. I have enough to live, have some leisure, save a small amount, and pay into a pension (reluctantly, so that I don't risk wanting to top myself at 70). People tend to pour scorn on the following hence the wall of justifications but... I still live with my parents. It's another comfort zone. They're happy to have me there (talked me out of it when I was last toying with the prospect of "maybe I should move out as it's the Done Thing in our society"), I like being around them, I share the costs and do my best not to be a burden, expect I'll probably be looking after them as they get elderly, and of course, it's much much easier than trying to live on my own. Mortgage is paid off etc. We have a driveway (a luxury I don't think many of my generation enjoy) so I can home charge my car etc. It's all one big ball of comfort.
    • One could argue that with no real responsibilities I can take more of a risk, but in connection with the above, I don't want to ever burden my parents by treating them as a safety net.
    • I have some sort of undiagnosed problem. One way it manifests itself is that I'm absolutely terrible at eye contact (it feels like same poles on a magnet to me), a must for things like job interviews. Somehow when I got this job I managed to wing it, but seem to have gotten worse rather than better over the years. I have a strong suspicion that I have some degree of autism, but have never got diagnosed (partly I don't want to know, partly I don't want to be labelled, partly I don't trust myself not to use it as a crutch). I think this also feeds into the comfort zone / familiar routine thing.
    • My self confidence has nosedived over the past 12 years. In part this is a good argument for leaving as it's largely the workplace that has dragged me down (I work with one of those people who is always negative/contradictory when you try to have some input and just makes you feel inferior), but it also makes it difficult to countenance a situation, like applying for another job, going through probation if accepted etc, where self confidence is paramount. Heck, I'm plain terrified, all it is is a recruiter message (some people get loads) but it's all I can think about, lost sleep etc.
    • I'm always tired (and with that comes poor motivation). Have spent my whole adult life failing to improve my sleep schedule etc but just never really got it right.
    • A benefit of my current workplace: it's just down the road. Walking distance, if I could be bothered. The other place isn't far away by any stretch of the imagination, like 10 miles which the extra pay would well outweigh, but being able to roll out of bed and down the hill to work is nice.
    The result of these issues is:
    • I don't feel that I deserve anything better. In fact, I feel very lucky to be employed in the first place - normally people like me, with the grand list of personal flaws above, are some statistic or other. I think I'm fortunate in that in my current job we're a classic IT department straight out of The IT Crowd, just kind of left to our own devices in our 'lair' and called upon when someone needs help, so the bunch of flaws are less noticeable and more tolerated. I might be more "in plain sight" in some other job.
    • I think I could improve if let's say I took this to heart as a "missed opportunity" and set my mind to self improvement, but it would take time. It'd certainly not be realistic to transform into a different person within the timeframe of a recriutment pre-selection process.
    • If I went to interview at $big_company now (a major local employer who yes, it would be nice to work for if/when I sort myself out) then the present version of me is what they'd see and remember. As it's not very good, I fear that would damage my future chances there in the likely scenario that they detect my lack of confidence etc from a mile off and reject. This isn't a "once in a lifetime" opportunity, I'm sure others will come up there in the future, and I'd like to be fully mentally prepared and really get it together to at least leave a good impression. Not that it's easy, but I think even in my current job, I could work on the motivation issues, confidence, eye contact problem etc with a concerted effort.
    So at the moment my draft response boils down to, I'm best off with stability for now but that the company I believe is being alluded to is one I'd be very happy to consider for similar roles at a later date if they'd like to keep me in mind and get in touch again next time. It's unsent, at the moment, while I think about whether I'm about to make a terrible mistake and whether I could in fact "fake it and make it" and am just kicking the can down the road.

    Because this has made me seriously reflect though, I think I'm now freshly motivated towards self improvement to better "deserve" something like that (or even my existing job to be honest), but that it'll take time before I'm ready to present myself in front of an interviewer, prove myself in a new job, get to know a bunch of strange new people etc. Where to start, that's another question, but I feel a bit better for getting that off my chest in the first place so that's step 1.

    Edit: 500th post. At least churning out textwalls on the internet is something I excel at.
    Last edited by Cloudane; 16-04-2019 at 11:20 AM.
Page 1
    • Pension Geek
    • By Pension Geek 16th Apr 19, 12:55 PM
    • 160 Posts
    • 119 Thanks
    Pension Geek
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 19, 12:55 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 19, 12:55 PM
    Well, a new job might provide a small confidence boost, but not getting it might have the adverse effect.

    Recruiters are out there trying to fit people into roles, as that's how they get paid. Why don't you speak to the recruiter about your concerns? They might be able to help you one to one and its in their interest to do so.

    Re the confidence and other issues, there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of in seeing a Dr for a bit of help with that.

    If you are happy where you are, then there is no reason to move on, but if its just because you are comfortable, and don't want to move out of the comfort zone, then perhaps a change might be a good idea.
    Not an expert, but like pensions, tax questions and giving guidance. There is no substitute for tailored financial advice.
    • Cloudane
    • By Cloudane 16th Apr 19, 4:45 PM
    • 502 Posts
    • 356 Thanks
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 19, 4:45 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 19, 4:45 PM
    I suppose there is a natural feeling that "I should be fulfilling my potential", but of course it largely comes from societal expectations. There's the "you should have big dreams, let go of your parents and vice versa and go chase them" kind of messages everywhere as well (especially American media.. Disney movies etc) which makes me feel a bit abnormal and even quite guilty for settling for a quiet simple life. But indeed I don't feel a burning desire to go chasing higher paid jobs.

    It's as good a cue as any to work on some self-improvement stuff though. I think sleep may be the first thing to fix, as that'll leave a clearer head and more energy and motivation for the other things.

    Thanks for the input!
    • jonnygee2
    • By jonnygee2 16th Apr 19, 5:55 PM
    • 1,128 Posts
    • 1,107 Thanks
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 19, 5:55 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 19, 5:55 PM
    I think you need to see a GP about your mental health.

    It may be a poor time to switch jobs. Your current position is stable and secure. You may need time off for appointments, therapy or for recovery.

    Moving jobs is unlikely to cure your mental health issues. It may make them much worse.
    Last edited by jonnygee2; 16-04-2019 at 5:58 PM.
    • eamon
    • By eamon 16th Apr 19, 6:51 PM
    • 1,747 Posts
    • 1,235 Thanks
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 19, 6:51 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 19, 6:51 PM
    I've got a slightly different tack on this.

    Good developers & programmers get paid good money, those that are excellent get the big salaries apparently offered by Google & Amazon or they contract and equal similar or more. A few years ago I did get to know a developer and he billed £90 per hour and imho was well worth it.

    I have no idea re your skills etc but I would say go for it and make contact. One of three things will happen

    1. You realise that right now leaving your comfort zone is not the correct choice.
    2. The recruiter is really looking for a candidate with better, different skills, personality than you

    3. It really is the right time, the recruiter likes you and you meet the brief.

    But if you don't respond then you will never know and will be left with that nagging question.

    You currently have a comfort zone and thats perfectly fine. Not everybody has a driven personality trait and the career, life ambition to match. Perhaps ask yourself some questions such as

    Am I happy and content with things (work, home, social) as they are now?
    If not what can I do to change things?
    Where do I see myself in 5, 10, 15, 20 years? Try and use your imagination.

    You mentioned that you may be on the Autistic spectrum. If you think that, its possible to get referred and get tested. Your GP should be able to help with that. You wouldn't be the first or last adult to get a diagnosis and finally get to understand why you are you.
    • jonnygee2
    • By jonnygee2 16th Apr 19, 7:03 PM
    • 1,128 Posts
    • 1,107 Thanks
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 19, 7:03 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 19, 7:03 PM
    Good developers & programmers get paid good money
    The OP indicates they are in IT support ('desktop support') as opposed to development. The normal range for IT support is probably 15 - 30k.
    • Cloudane
    • By Cloudane 16th Apr 19, 7:29 PM
    • 502 Posts
    • 356 Thanks
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 19, 7:29 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 19, 7:29 PM
    Thanks all for the input and advice. My current role is quite a generic "everything IT related" for the company - desktops, servers, website, business software, report generation, custom projects etc. I'm not sure what sort of salary that commands since most are a specialist area.

    Quite a few recommendations for mental health referral, I think maybe I make it sound somewhat worse than it is, particularly as I was beating myself up about nervousness etc but I'll certainly give this some good thought.

    As it happens I've done a bit of digging on Google and uncovered a bit more about the opportunity. It appears I would technically be employed (permanent) by a company at the other end of the country but stationed at the aforementioned large company 10 miles away I.e. subcontracted. I think that's enough to tell me to leave this one as I don't want to be subject of a successful ongoing relationship between companies A and B. I've seen here how volatile such relationships can be. But this has been very useful to think about - at least I can improve some things, maybe tidy up some social media, refresh the CV etc which is all good to do, and be better prepared if similar things come up in future.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 16th Apr 19, 7:43 PM
    • 3,127 Posts
    • 3,148 Thanks
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 19, 7:43 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 19, 7:43 PM
    “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”

    It sounds like you want a change in your life. This sounds like an excellent opportunity. You should go for it.

    One of the best things you can do is adopt a "growth mindset". That means seeing things as an opportunity.

    Even if you don't get the job - applying for it, getting your CV together, practicing for an interview, cleaning up your linkedin profile. Those things are all personal development which will help you improve your skills and hopefully your mental health.

    Please stop googling and second guessing. Go talk the recruiter. Your googling could be completely wrong. The recruiter should be able to give you details.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 16th Apr 19, 8:22 PM
    • 39,700 Posts
    • 36,857 Thanks
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 19, 8:22 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 19, 8:22 PM
    I feel that you lose nothing by talking to the recruiter. Having said that, I wouldn't necessarily feel that you'd been particularly 'singled out' for this opportunity - for all you know, that personalised, warm cuddly email went to 1000 others whose LinkedIn profile met their search. (I'm not fond of LI so do discount this thought if you like ...)

    [*]I have some sort of undiagnosed problem. One way it manifests itself is that I'm absolutely terrible at eye contact (it feels like same poles on a magnet to me), a must for things like job interviews. Somehow when I got this job I managed to wing it, but seem to have gotten worse rather than better over the years. I have a strong suspicion that I have some degree of autism, but have never got diagnosed (partly I don't want to know, partly I don't want to be labelled, partly I don't trust myself not to use it as a crutch). I think this also feeds into the comfort zone / familiar routine thing.
    Originally posted by Cloudane
    I know you say you don't want to know, and I know others have suggested you could get a formal diagnosis. However, my suggestion would be to do some reading yourself and see if lightbulbs start firing up all over the place. National Autistic Society might be a good start, with their page on Asperger Syndrome another. Note I'm not saying this is or isn't your problem, but from what you've said it might be.

    My feeling is that it might help you to know that this might be the explanation for your particular difficulties, without going down the route of formal diagnosis. Whether or not you use it as a crutch or a spur is really then up to you.

    BTW I do understand what you're saying. DS1 was an 'interesting' child (for 'interesting' read 'very difficult at times!') but no-one suggested that he might have AS until he was 12. We'd survived until then without making adjustments for that, simply because we didn't know. I've always felt that if we HAD known - and I think it was suspected right back when he was in nursery school! - he would have a been a very different person.

    It didn't stop him holding down a 'proper job' for a few years, although he's now a digital nomad, an independent itinerant game developer, and as a result he's doing all kinds of things which I find completely unexpected based on how he was as a child.

    Another thought is that you sound as if you WANT something to change, even if it's not your job, and it sounds as if you're starting to give thought to what and how you might do that. I think that's good: you could also look at hobbies, voluntary work, expanding your social circle, and see where that takes you.
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats, 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself, multiple poppies, 3 peony flowers, 4 butterflies ...
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    • Les79
    • By Les79 16th Apr 19, 8:36 PM
    • 1,140 Posts
    • 1,317 Thanks
    You clocked up 1,320 words in this post.

    Ever thought about enrolling at university? The essays are 1,500 - 3,000 words usually, plus or minus 10%, so it should be a breeze for you.

    I jest, but there is a point to be made that you are, for whatever reason, investing an insane amount of time about THINKING about this opportunity instead of either:

    1. Going for it

    2. Declining it and focusing your energy elsewhere

    Could be autism or something like that, or it could just be that you are paralyzed with fear.
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