Where should I place my anxiety?

Source: https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/stress-benefits.jpg

I hate to admit this but I have higher anxiety than the average. It largely comes from ‘changes’. I have a mixed feeling for ‘changes’. I love the opportunities that it brings but also hate the instability as well as uncertainty.

Change of social network

Since early on, I could strongly feel the changes. I don’t have any friend entering the same higher schools with me. They either move to another city or go to different schools. Every time I join a new school, I have to start making friends from zero. It’s always frightening for me on the first day of the school. I don’t know who to talk to and where to sit. I still remember me looking at new classmates and trying to find kind people who want to talk to me. It’s probably nothing for me now. But back then, I hardly had any social skills and you know, it’s always stressful for kids to talk to strangers.

Change of career path

In the final year of uni, I made a big decision in my life. I gave up the opportunity for further study (Yes, at that time, graduate school of my major in my uni would directly give some undergraduates chances to study master or phd without applying). The reason is simple: I don’t like it. The ultimate destination for this pathway is being a researcher or lecturer. Well, this is a road that you can clearly see where you will be in the rest of life. It is just so certain that I don’t want.

That decision was so big that it changed a lot of things. I had to think about what I really wanted to be. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any career education before job hunt. There are two types of jobs in the market, one that matches my degree and one not. Jobs that match my education were so few then. As I studied earth science, only government and public institutions offer those positions. On the other hand, they favour people with phd degrees not people like me. I had no choice but to consider other alternatives. Job searching was a long and painful experience. Everyday I could see people post questions about which offer to accept on school BBS. It was in the last semester that I got my first job offer, a consulting firm specialised in IT.

I worked in that company for two years, during which I learned a lot. The first three-month training introduced main financial and procurement modules of ORACLE ERP product. I often worked late to figure how modules interact with each other. ‘Have you seen the stars at 1 AM?’ That was my life back then. Undoubtedly, intensive training made me quickly pick up accounting knowledge and develop an overview of enterprise management. Interestingly, my first and following projects all use another ERP product, SAP.

Change of location

Extremely intensive work made health a problem. I had to change. Then I flew to a place thousands of miles away from my home, which is called Australia. My new journey didn’t start very well. Right on the first day arriving at Australia, my companion lost a luggage and my suitcase was broken due to the driver’s carelessness. My housemates treated me so bad that I had to spend most of my day in school to avoid seeing them. Probably at that time, I firstly realised that I was not as happy as before. For the first winter break, I chose to take a winter subject rather than returning to family. I remembered very clearly that I was alone at home. I seldom talked to people, no matter face to face or online. I only had one proper meal per day as I didn’t feel like eating. I felt blue. Partially it was because winter blues but the main reason was that nothing went well for me.

Change of interests

I have changed my career interests a few times in the past couple of years. What I gradually realise is that career selection needs to align with the market demand and your own skill set. I had some unrealistic dreams before, some with only a few openings out there and some not matching my skill or experience. Meanwhile, with rapid development of science and technology, new jobs will be created and old ones will be outdated. Under this circumstance, we have to change our skills accordingly.

Closure

Through analysing the problem in such way, problem seems become measurable and controllable. Since anxiety is common among career changers, I’m trying to use my own experience to illustrate a solution to minimize the negative impact of anxiety. However, it is also true that everyone is different and I cannot represent everyone. So this is only for your reference.

Originally published at http://geekladysite.wordpress.com on November 27, 2019.

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