I feel like I can't do my job

Discussions relating to jobs and working, including finding work, interviews, the work place etc.

Moderator: Moderator Team

Post Reply
Racoon735
New member - welcome them!
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:59 am

I feel like I can't do my job

Post by Racoon735 »

In January last year I got a new job as an executive assistant for a political figure. The role is fast paced, I had previously worked in politics and when we were working in the office I really loved the job, I had glowing reports that my work was good and I was progressing well. Then in March, we all started to work from home and things have gone downhill ever since. I'm currently 34, was only diagnosed when I was 31 and struggling at university - I managed to finish my degree two marks shy of first class honours (so annoying!).

My job involves attending a lot of meetings and taking notes and actions during them. I also have to work with two directors to manage their diary and their preferences on meetings etc and keep track of the work they are doing and the progress of ongoing projects. After my original 6 month probation, it was extended by another 6 months as the feedback was that I didn't communicate enough and was 'dropping the ball' a lot. When I got to the 12 month mark, my probation has been extended again (citing coronavirus extenuating circumstances). This time, the feedback was even worse, now I communicate too much, apparently in internal meetings I 'look bored' and 'seem to have no idea what's going on'.

I went back through my diagnostic report to refresh my ever failing memory, and it lists my diagnosis as 'a profile of specific learning difficulties in the areas of auditory processing, sequencing and memory and visual processing' as well as traits of dyspraxia.

I'm feeling like, essentially, my difficulties are in direct contradiction with what I have to do for my job. I have strategies for overcoming various things. For example, I type fast, so in meetings that I need to minute, I type everything that's said (and record the meeting audio as a back up, which I often have to refer to as I seem to fall behind at around 45 minutes in - I think this might be a concentration issue) and then when complete I go back over and pick out key points and actions as I am unable to pick them out while the conversation is ongoing. I can listen and type at the same time, but I can't listen and process at the same time which causes me issues in that when typing actions into a shared document during a meeting as I can't keep track and it is perceived that I am simply not listening. Similarly, one of the things I am asked to do is plan my time and plan my directors time, but I have real issues with timing and planning. I have no idea how long it takes someone to read a report, and therefore have no idea how long to schedule and what else I can fit into the day. I think I do need a routine, and while some parts of my job can be so, a lot of it can't. I don't deal well with last minute changes and they happen all the time.

To top it all off, my social skills are not good. I struggle to read people, struggle to communicate with them, and am quite introverted. Working from home has made me realise how important physical proximity is for me in getting to know someone and being able to learn about them. I am expected to have developed a relationship with someone I have spoken to face to face probably for around 15 hours in the last 10 months. I also struggle to communicate how I feel verbally. I am much much better with written communication. If I was speaking this board post it would be about 3 sentences.

I've been asked to come up with a list of support structures for my manager to help me meet the expectations of my role, but I'm struggling. I have no idea what could possibly help me other than perhaps some understanding of my issues - in which case what if I just cannot do this role? I find it so difficult to get a job, I don't want to leave, but I'm at a point where work is making be utterly miserable. I think my boss has got to a point where she just assumes the worst from me.

Can anyone offer any advice please?
Tom fod
Administrator
Posts: 2457
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 9:05 pm
Location: SW UK

Re: I feel like I can't do my job

Post by Tom fod »

Hi and welcome

You don't work for Priti Patel at the Home Office do you?

It's good that they seem to have acknowledged that the new ways of working have made things much more difficult and I'd challenge anyone to hold it together doing what you have to. It may not be the same as being a doctor or nurse wight now but trying to keep plates spinning people and their diaries organised

How long a report takes depends on the report and the reader. Are you required to provide summaries of them. I imagine you're spending time more time on the phone and minuting online meetings and these are naturally going to be more difficult than physically being in the same room.

I'm wondering lif ooking into support through Access To Work with strategy training provided by an organisation like Genius within. They work with Neurodiverse individuals on workplace strategy and possibly coaching with assistive software/tech. They can also hopefully help you provide your colleagues with some better awareness appreciation of the challenges you're facing.

Hope that gives you some possible ideas ?
Tom
Moderator/Administrator

With a foot full of bullets I tried to run faster but I just hobbled on to the next disaster.
(from Peter and the Test Tube Babies, Foot Full of Bullets)
Racoon735
New member - welcome them!
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:59 am

Re: I feel like I can't do my job

Post by Racoon735 »

Ha. I can confirm I do not work with Priti Patel at the home office (thank goodness?)

Re the example of a report, I dont provide summaries and some reports are much longer than others. Typically I learn quite well from experience (as many do) in that, if one report took X time and another took Y time, after a few times I would be able to make a pretty good estimate, but it feels like my asking to be informed is almost not allowed?

Thank you for the suggestion of Genius within - I had no idea there were actual organisations to help with this stuff and it didnt even occur to me to look! I will definitely look into it.
Tom fod
Administrator
Posts: 2457
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 9:05 pm
Location: SW UK

Re: I feel like I can't do my job

Post by Tom fod »

You've very welcome.

GW are listed on the Help Resources Post in the Getting Help & Assessment Section of this forum. See: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=7385

It very much depends on the reader, their interest in and prior knowledge of the subject as well as the quality of the report too in terms of how quickly they will be able to absorb the key info.

Equally you might have a Neuro Divergent boss. Our kind pop up all over the place:
https://sociostory.org/impact-stories/m ... cial-evils\

Watch his TED talk How To Turn Criticism to Your Advantage
https://youtu.be/qNvs3GcXefk
Tom
Moderator/Administrator

With a foot full of bullets I tried to run faster but I just hobbled on to the next disaster.
(from Peter and the Test Tube Babies, Foot Full of Bullets)
Post Reply