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Topic: Started my first job, anxious out of my mind

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. Cokeaholic
    Cokeaholic avatar
    2 posts
    10 June 2018

    Hello! I'm a forum newbie, so bear with me haha. So I make things clear, I'm 20 and have been dealing with clinical anxiety and autism my entire life.

    I started my first job at a small fish and chips store three months ago, working 2 shifts a week, 3 hours each. I got this job through a friend referral, which meant I skipped the job interview. This job has been causing a lot of anxiety for me however, despite the leniency from my manager and my co-workers, and most customers being very friendly people.

    All the time, I worry that I'll do something wrong, like mess up packing an order or mishear a customer's order. I haven't gone near a single phone order due to this. The messing of packing an order has happened once, which has resulted me in getting a temporary panic attack, leaving me out of commission for 30mins. My manager had no idea how to handle it, since he had never worked with someone with clinical anxiety.

    The anxiety only ramps up the closer it gets to time for me to leave for work, and it's gotten to the point where I had to lie to skip work one time because I was too frozen in my own anxiety to move. Despite the work itself being relatively easy-going, calm with not a lot of customers, my brain thinks otherwise. It's also caused me to dip somewhat in my schoolwork, just because I can't stop worrying about work.

    It doesn't also help much that miscommunication is a thing that happens very frequently with my manager and coworkers, as they are not from an English-native background. I feel like I annoy my manager every time I ask him to repeat something to me. I have raised this issue to be more direct to me to him, but I don't think that got through clearly.

    My last issue is the pay. Although I know I'm doing this for the experience, I am being heavily underpaid by casual working standards for an adult, so my main source of income is from my youth allowance. I'm too scared to raise it to my manager for fear of something worse happening. My job agency said that I should rely from my youth allowance instead until I get a full-time job, because my workplace can get into huge legal trouble for this.

    This has been plaguing me ever since I started working. Any help would be appreciated, whether I should continue working, change jobs, quit entirely or find ways to cope around this. I have never taken medication for my anxiety before, and have been visiting a psychologist. Thanks for reading!

  2. PamelaR
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    PamelaR avatar
    2740 posts
    11 June 2018 in reply to Cokeaholic

    Hello Cokeaholic

    Welcome to Beyond Blue forums. It's good you've found your way here. The community is caring, friendly, supportive and non judgemental.

    There are many aspects to your post Cokeaholic and I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to cover off on everything, but I'll give it a go.

    I have had PTSD, anxiety and depression for the past 50 odd years. In all that time I've had several jobs, all successful, as well as completed a degree at university. Let me say though, there were times I thought I'd go crazy, but didn't.

    You're only very young Cokeaholic and you have a long life in front of you. I know it's easy for me to say - don't be in a hurry. Life will go at a pace that you'd like to have slow down once you get on in years. Enjoy your 20s.

    The job agency you go through - are they aware of what's happening for you? That is - that you are being under paid, that you have anxiety most of the time?

    From what I've been reading, it would be good if you had a job that you really like. Maybe draw up a list for yourself about:

    • the job - what you like about the work and what you don't like about the work?
    • the anxiety you feel - what can you do to help reduce your anxiety? For example, slowing your breathing, grounding, mindfulness. If you want further information about these you can find information by doing a search in Beyond Blue. Alternatively let me know and we can talk through things.
    • your school work - is the work you are doing interferring with your course? Think about which you think is the most important for you.

    Do you have anyone you can talk to about the above dot points to help you come up with a clear direction for yourself? For example a trusted family member or close friend? Maybe the friend who got you the work in the first place?

    Keep reaching out to us, if and when you want to. You are not alone Cokeaholic.

    Kind regards


  3. PamelaR
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    PamelaR avatar
    2740 posts
    11 June 2018 in reply to PamelaR

    Hi Cokeaholic

    Here are some contacts for you if you need to talk to someone and there is no one around for you:

    • Kids Helpline 1800 551 800, or go to their website www.kidshelpline.com.au to chat online
    • eHeadSpace - 1800 650 890 or go to their website www.eheadspace.org.au,
    • HeadSpace - www.headspace.org.au/headspace-centres to find a HeadSpace Centre in your State

    Kind regards


  4. JackMack26
    JackMack26 avatar
    1 posts
    13 March 2019 in reply to Cokeaholic

    When I first started my job, I felt the same way. So what I did was paid close attention and told my Boss, She understood and even helped me. Now I have more hours and even got a pay rise not long ago.

    P.S. I work in hospitality too in a kitchen at the local pub.

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