Skip links

Feeling Incompetent at Work? Top Lessons From Web Series ‘Suits’

Have you ever felt you don’t have it in you to complete a particular task?

Things get worse when you get an ‘opportunity’ to work with a senior/team leader/boss who expects to have the delicious Boeuf Bourguignon from the candy store!

Their bullheaded behavior kills your ability to lock horns with any new emerging challenge in the workplace.

It used to happen to me quite often when I was new to the corporate world.
With time, I realized that my thought was making me unfit for the job, not the potential in me or any external factors.

As many of you tend to face incompetency thoughts, I decided to discuss this situation with you and overcome these thoughts.

5 Warning Signs that You Have Started Feeling Incompetent at Job

I remember this one time when I changed my job.
I was handed over a completely new department based on my experience or what they thought was my experience.

My feeling was the same as an unlicensed lawyer would have on his first day at the job.

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.

  • You feel everybody around you talk nonsense!

Too many new words were thrown at me all at once.

I had never heard of them, 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.

  • You keep mum because you don’t want to sound dumb!

Sometimes, when you join a new place, the people 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 even 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.

  • You don’t feel confident about the questions you have.

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 you won’t feel like doing that as a newcomer or someone who has just changed his first job.

One of the reasons for not asking any questions is that you don’t see value in your questions or are just overreacting to the situation.

  • You found yourself cheating yourself!

When you are new to a job or a post, you want to do everything yourself. 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 cannot work on the simple task handed out to you.

  • You follow orders (not tasks) blindly!

The last sign is when you are asked to handle a particular job, but you are not sure what you are supposed to do.

This happened to 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.

I missed my deadline, was asked to withdraw from the project and began feeling highly incompetent.

How Can You Overcome Incompetence? – Top Lessons From Web Series – Suits!

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

  • Be transparent and loyal – first at yourself!

Accept the things which you are supposed to know.

In a new role, sometimes the seniors at the job expect you to know the things.

However, you don’t need 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.

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 being transparent and loyal to yourself and know your limit.

Even the best lawyer – so-called best closer – in New York City knew his limit and denied the job!

  • People are always ready to help me – think this way!

Don’t depend on yourself and your skills to complete all the tasks. Make sure you ask someone for help when you are stuck.

This way, your job becomes more comfortable.

Without this lady’s help, this unlicensed lawyer would not have survived a single day at the new workplace!

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 them.

  • Enter a meeting with facts, leave with a smile!

When you enter a meeting, enter with facts.

Ask the agenda of the meeting, note down all the points you are aware of the agenda.

Discuss the facts that you don’t know with someone 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.

  • Once you stop learning, you start dying!

When you feel you are not too aware of the skills required to handle the job, begin learning.

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, you are mistaken.

With a new job, you have to learn new skills, and only then will you be able to grow to the next level.

No corporate expects you to have knowledge of their processes or the skills for 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.

An unlicensed lawyer got such compliments from his senior because of his endless persistence towards learning new things.

This was the only quality that made him the best and most expensive lawyer in the city!

  • Make ‘get it done’ approach your best friend!

When you are at a new job and 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 incompetence is to believe in what you do and how you do it right.

This was the only quality that made him the best and most expensive lawyer in the city!


“Win a no-win situation by rewriting the rules.” – Harvey Specter.