New job overwhelmed

Hi all- I started a new job that pays very well and was my top choice. I’m just very overwhelmed. I’m 3weeks in and just honestly feel lost. It doesn’t have a steady job description as it’s corporate - project based and most co workers have a PhD (I have a masters). I somehow passed interview even when I said my faults were certain aspects they have as a requirement. They said I have immense soft skills that they think the other skills can be learnt. I have co workers say they still feel not completely their head on things. But I’ve always been a person who needs to somehow “know it to the best of my abilities” or think they are lying. It was easy for me back in school but now the concepts are not clicking in. It’s like I have brain fog. I’m so hard on myself that I cry at home and even abuse myself. I just cry and panic when I try to learn it I dislike statistics and it’s always been a weak point but now its concepts are in some of my workload. I got A s in school but now I feel it’s gone and my head or brain just can’t get it. I’m abusing myself (skipping meals, actually slapping my face when frustrated, etc). It’s embarrassing to admit but I’m mad at myself for not grasping things quickly, please help I’m going crazy and feel scared I’ll be seen as incompetent


This is such a difficult thing to deal with. You’re very brave for reaching out and sharing what you’re going through. To feel like you’re completely lost and unable to find your path back to a time when you felt like you were able to succeed must be so terrifying. So many people deal with this. It sounds like many of your coworkers are also dealing with this sense of imposter syndrome. I know I’ve been there so many times and personally the thing that helped me was failing over and over and realizing that the world didn’t come crashing down around me. In fact, once I accepted that no one expected me to know everything, I became a much more valuable part of my team. Your value isn’t in what you can give people. You are what is valuable. It’s totally understandable to fear failure, but failure doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you human. The fact that you want to do a great job says more about you than your complete understanding of every concept you eventually need to understand. From the sound of it, you’re going to do great! And if you stumble, that’s totally fine. It’s supposed to happen, and if you need to talk, we’re here for you. Thank you again for sharing!

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Hi @Eskimo95

Thanks for reaching out on heartsupport forums and opening up about your new job concerns. You may feel like you’re stuck in this situation where you don’t feel like you belong in this area. You’re not alone here there will be more advice on the forum you will help through others here. This area may feel like a highrise building with multiple levels it take time to adapt to going up each level of the building as you go higher and higher. It ok to feel like you’re not ready to go to the next floor yet. You’re surrounded by alot of people and it going to face difficulties. These things take time to go up each level. You may do things that make you feel like it not possible to have the success of this new job. Don’t beat yourself up for it and learn tools to help building up the levels even if you needed the help from others. You’re not alone and hope this helped explain the situation abit.

Hold Fast.

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Hello and welcome to HeartSupport! First of all, I’m so proud of you securing a new position, huge accomplishment. However, I’m so sorry you’re feeling overwhelmed. You’re still learning the position at only 3 weeks in, show yourself some grace. Many positions have “learning curve” periods last 1 to 3 months. When I started my current position as an assistant area manager, I definitely struggled at this same period. Soft skills were actually where I struggled, so you’re already miles ahead of where I was. That’s a big win! What you’re feeling sounds like imposter syndrome, like you don’t belong. However, you obviously do belong if you were offered the job! Play to your strengths. Use those soft skills to network and learn from your more-experienced coworkers.

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Hi @Eskimo95,
Thank you for writing to us. I am proud of you for coming forward and telling us how you are feeling. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to do. I understand the your feelings about being lost at a job. Jobs are incredibly hard, especially where you are, in the corporate sector and surrounded by people who have a degree ahead of you. It’s a huge step to adjust, and you are just starting out. It’s perfectly okay to feel this way, because it is very new and they are things that need to be learned on the job as you pointed out. I, like you, tend to be a little bit of an overthinker. I constantly ask myself being a volunteer replier if I’m replying “the correct way”. I’m overly critical of what I write and make so many edits to the point I get overwhelmed. I beat myself up for not doing enough, and then it becomes a loop where it doesn’t stop. You’re not alone for feeling this way. This is something we all deal with to extent, it’s called imposter syndrome. The important thing I think for you is to take things one thing at a time. With all the overwhelm and constant change at a job, it can feel like you’re more behind than you’re supposed to be. However, it’s important to remember that this is all a learning process. You’re on your own journey, and constantly comparing yourself to other people around you won’t help you get to where you need to be. I’d like to say we are indeed our own worst critic a lot of the time. One thing we can do at least in my view to go and get through this is asking for help.
I know that may not sound the best, but knowing where you need help can be a tremendous strength. People are looking to help you and reaching out is sign of strength. The best bosses I worked for on my job always were willing to guide me through a new job or position. It also shows humility and I know my partners at my job appreciated me coming forward. We’re here for you every step of the way and we all want what’s best for you. It’s a learning process and it takes time, but with the next right steps forward, we can get somewhere better. Please take care of yourself during this time and please don’t be afraid to reach back out to us.

Much love,

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Hey, @Eskimo95 ! Thank you for taking the time to share, and it’s exciting to see you’ve been able to find an awesome position!

Even though they say you will be able to learn the hard skills, but you’re still feeling over your head. You’re used to being able to pick things up quickly from when you were in school, but learning the skills is coming as easily as you’re used to. You’re left feeling like you don’t belong, that you’re an imposter.

Imposter syndrome is more common than you think, even among your PhD coworkers. As a woman with a PhD, I was feeling a lot of imposter syndrome at my last full-time job. I was surrounded by engineers, and I didn’t know how to apply my skills from graduate school to the work. Probably the most comfortable I felt at that job was looking up research papers that we could build upon. I think it also helped to be able to have friendly interactions with my coworkers.

I did a quick internet search, and one article on Indeed that the training period can last 90 days or more. It’s okay that you don’t feel confident at this job yet; you still have time build that confidence as you learn what you need. The article also shared some strategies to help with the training process, and if you think that any of them would be useful, you can self-advocate to your supervisor to implement them ( Some of the ones that I would appreciate at a new job is having a mentor, having what’s expected of me clearly lined out (for your work, it sounds like it changes from project to project, so maybe it would be better to have your expectations set for each project), and working with my supervisor to create achievable goals.

You are doing better than you think you are, and you are going to be able to pick up the skills you need with time. You don’t need to be able to do everything right away. When it feels too much, it’s okay to take a step back and recenter yourself. Focus on one thing at a time, and you will be able to accomplish great things.

Hold Fast. We Believe in You.

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Hey friend,

Thank you so much for sharing this with the Heartsupport family. We’re here for you and it just happens that there’s a lot of people, myself included, that have gone through this before.

I firstly want to say that it is okay to feel this way.

In fact, I’m proud of you for reaching out and opening up about this. It’s obviously important to you and means a lot. I wouldn’t have reached out (in the past) even though I needed to, so I’m not only proud of you, I’m inspired.

There’s been so many times in my past where I’ve been given the opportunity to do something I really wanted to do, to only have that be the thing that is the sole source of insane stress and overwhelm. It always confused me through my early and late 20’s as to why I would always fail when given chances that I’ve been searching for. to the point where I kind of felt like the universe was playing a cruel joke or something.

I’ve realized then that this was my own ego trying to keep me “safe.” Thankfully through the Heartsupport community, friends, and family, I’ve come to understand that in these moments in my past, I stepped outside of my comfort zone. By stepping out of the confort zone, in a way, we’re giving our nervous system a bit of a shock. It’s not used to it. Our brain and nervous system seeks consistency and comfort. (our brains are lazy by nature lol). That my ego was doing it’s natural part in making sure I was safe - stepping into the unkown presents unknown threats, a new enviornment, and new factors.

My ego, though, always would pull me back down to where I was. I’d tell myself things like “Andy, you’re such an idiot. Why did you think you could do this?”

I came to understand I had a deep fear of success. That when I finally had an opportunity to rise and shine, I would self sabbatoge myself to make sure I wasn’t “found out.” Found out in the sense that I’m not as smart as people think I am, as hardworking as I promised to be, etc.

Self sabbatage is a real thing and it can be tricky to deal with. Here’s an article to elaborate more… Self-Sabotaging: Why We Do It and How to Stop the Cycle

This leads me into impostor syndrome. You may have heard of it, maybe not. Regardless it’s a REAL thing.

This has been something that, like the above, I dealt with for a long time and until recently have I been able to navigate those waters. One thing that kind of snapped my mind out of imposter syndrome (i still deal with it, but it’s far less potent) is a quote where someone said something like, “We all feel imposter syndrome. All of us, to a degree, are kind of just winging it through life and non of us truly have it figured out.”

I also follow this Airforce Thunderbird demostration pilot (the airforce version of the blue angles). This woman is an absolute bad a** and is considered one of the best pilots in the world. Flying at THE HIGHEST level of piloting. I read an article from her that blew my mind in the sense of, well if this person feels imposter syndrome…that makes me kind of normal… if SHE deals with it, than I can get through it.

Here’s some more info on imposter syndrome. Imposter Syndrome | Psychology Today

To wrap this up - I’ve been blessed with having an incredible network of individuals from around the world. Some of them are people who own businesses at the highest levels. In conversations with them one common theme that I hear from them is, “I don’t care where you went to school or even what you really studied. If you have the mind, the compitence, and the personal skills I’ll hire you because success is contigent on your ability to work around things, not necessarily what you know.”

That opened my mind a lot and honestly I’ve had jobs in like 7 different industries because I applied that thinking.

I share that to say that, sure you’re surrounded by PHDs when you have your masters… but that says more about you than it does them… like YOU were selected because they see something in you that is glowing that gives them confidence that you don’t need to go on and get a more advanced degree. This also gives you the opportunity to learn a lot of those technical things from those individuals and in a way you kind of get your PHD without having to drop PHD tuition money lol.

with that, though, is to be okay with being vulnerable and opening up to your co-workers. They all, like you and me, have gone through periods where they feel like this. telling them that you feel lost, that you need help, etc. is actually a great way to bond with your co workers. Not all of them will be receptive to it, but this will pave the way for a support network within work for you.

I hope all this helps a little bit.

I believe in you and trust that you will make it through this period. That you’ll look back at this post and smile at yourself with the sense of accomplishment of, “I did it.”

Stay in there friend. Stay Strong.

Hold Fast



Thank you for sharing, i fully understand how you feel about being stuck and foggy. Is ok if you dont have the requirement just develope the skills you need for your own experience for your resume. Ask for help if you need to is a way to learn or research if you feel stuck.

Sorry if you get overwhelmed amd feeling foggy it takes time to get back to yourself. Also depends on your diet of what you eat. It has happened to me for a while. Yes, it was fustrating I didn’t like it at all. So I spoke to my therapist she said certain food can trigger brain fog, i had to change my way of eating to reverse my brain fog.

Have no fear, this happens to the best of us, dont be ashame at all, be more positive. Feeling stress also can trigger Brain fog or anything stressful on a daily living.

Be more productive, eat healthy meals, stay hydrated, dont be afraid to ask for help in your job, verbally communicate with your boss if possible to figure out some things to grasp your memory and be patient with you.

Stay bless, stay humble, stay strong, stay positive, eat healthy, stay hydrated.

If prayers works for you use god to huide your way, or meditate. Take deep breathes. No need to abuse yourself. You got this.


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