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Signs You Have Started Feeling Incompetent Professionally & How to Overcome It

Have you ever felt you don’t have that potential in you to complete a particular task? It used to happen to me quite often when I was new to the corporate world. It used to be an overwhelming affair, and I know how difficult it was to deal with it. I used to wonder time and again if I was fit for the job that I was offered but, failed to understand. However, with time I realized that it was my thought that was making me unfit for the job, and not the potential in me.

As many of you, who are offered a new job or post or, are new to the corporate world tend to face thoughts related to incompetency, I decided to discuss this situation with you, and help you overcome these thoughts.

Warning signs, you feel incompetent

I remember this one time when I changed my job. I was handed over a completely new department based on my experience or, that’s what they thought was my experience. As soon as I joined my new role, I could not understand a word of what I had to do. I was so overwhelmed at that time, I believed I would not be able to do justice to the role at all. Here were the warning signs for me.

⦁ Too many new words were thrown at me all at once. I had never heard or, I could not remember knowing them at that time. The entire meeting, I felt like an outsider, and though I pretended to understand every word being said, I felt like breaking down from within. This was my first cue, and I am sure a lot of you go through the same.

⦁ Sometimes, when you join a new place, the people there assume you are aware of the internal processes. However, what they don’t realize is that you are new to the corporate world or, the processes differ from company to company. When you are unable to say that you don’t know, due to the fear of sounding dumb, and you don’t really know, you slow down in your job. As a result, you are hardly able to cope with the pressures, and this makes you feel all the more incompetent.

⦁ Caught unaware is something that makes you all incompetent in the corporate world. For instance, you don’t know the situation, and you were not given the facts pertaining to the situation yet, you are being asked to make a decision. You could ask for facts but, as a newcomer or someone who has just changed their first job, you won’t feel like doing that. You want to believe that you are smart enough to understand every word that is being told. Yet, when such a situation does arise, it makes you feel dumb, and you question your worthiness in the company.

⦁ When you are new to a job or a post, you want to do everything on your own. It is good but, after a point you need people to help you out. Imagine working on something that is not your area of expertise. That’s when the feeling of incompetency breaks in. you believe that you ought to know everything needed for the job, and suddenly you are not able to work on the simple task handed out to you. This feeling is highly unsettling, and you are never sure how to overcome it.

⦁ You are asked to jump the wagon from day one but, you are not sure what you are supposed to do. The skills required for the new job are nothing like what you had for the old job, and suddenly you want someone to dictate you. This happens specifically when you are asked to lead a team suddenly, and you have no prior experience of how to go about it.

⦁ The last sign is when you are asked to handle a particular job but, you are not sure what it is that you are supposed to do. This happened with me during a particular project. I was asked to take over from another teammate, and thinking I knew everything about the project, I did not bother to ask. After a period of time, the burnout began, as I was unaware of what I am supposed to do and things started accumulating. I missed my deadline, was asked to withdraw from the project and began feeling highly incompetent.

These are a few signs that I am aware of, and it has been a common occurrence for people who are new to corporate or new to leading a team. Here are a few things that you can do to overcome the signs of incompetence.

Overcoming incompetency

Here are a few mantras that should help you overcome incompetency.

⦁ Accept the things which you are supposed to know and eventually you do not know how to do it.. In a new role, sometimes the seniors at the job expect you to know the things. However, it is not necessary for you to know them all. That’s where acceptance plays an important role. Tell them you are not aware of the role that you are supposed to play at their organization, and what your role requires you to do. Once you have this discussion, clarity seeps in, and makes your life much better. The first step to gaining better knowledge and improving facts is acceptance.

⦁ Don’t depend on your self and your skills to complete all the tasks. Make sure you ask someone for help when you are stuck. This way your job becomes easier. As a newbie, we feel shy to ask people to help us but, the more open you are to asking for help, the easier it is for you to tackle the things. Make sure you don’t try to complete the tasks designated for others on your own. You should try to handle only your part of the job on your own, and seek help from others for other things. You can always learn on the job about things that you don’t know, and make your life easier. Productivity will obviously increase as a result.

⦁ When you enter a meeting, enter with facts. Ask the agenda of the meeting, note down all the points you are aware regarding the agenda. Discuss the facts that you don’t know with someone who is knowledgeable enough and get details that you should know before the meeting begins. Once in the meeting, make sure you have discussed all the points and clarified all the doubts. Make sure your decision is ready only after you have noted all the essential points regarding the facts.

⦁ You have to start improving when you find that you don’t have the required skills to complete the job.It is important that you learn as and when possible about the job in hand. If you don’t learn, you will never grow. If you think that you have got the job to use the skills you already know, then you are mistaken. With a new job, you are to learn new skills, and only then will you be able to grow to the next level. Don’t make the mistake of believing that you should know everything. No corporate expects you to have knowledge of their processes or the skills for the new job. You are expected to learn and ask for cues on the new job. The proactive ones who tend to show some interest in learning the new ways are given more opportunities at the new job.

⦁ When you are at a new job, and you are not sure what will work for you, keep trying new ways and methods to get the job done right. You never know what will click for you. The only way to overcome incompetency is to believe in what you do, and how you do it right.

Summing up

My final thoughts on incompetency is that it can only be cured with the right kind of belief and faith in your job. If you lack faith, then you lack the courage to grow and become a better person at the job. Your lack of skills can be overcome with the right kind of attitude and learning abilities.

Want to discuss how to overcome your incompetency at the new job or how to excel at your new job and get things delivered, connect with me. I would love to discuss and help you settle in your professional life.

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