I find myself in a very strange position these days. You see, I spent a large part of the last decade getting rather specialized (and expensive) degrees. I now have a Bachelor’s degree in computer science and a Master’s degree in the complicated field of bioinformatics. Following my graduation I got a job with a big player in the pharmaceutical/bioinformatics business and thought I had it made.
Little did I know.
I worked hard. I was the new guy, and I was nervous pretty much all the time.
“Am I good enough?” I’d think. “Am I as smart as everyone else?” I had constant worries that my contribution paled in comparison to everyone else’s. But then again, doesn’t everyone feel this way at one time or another? Aren’t we all afraid of failure?
As it turned out in my case, it didn’t matter. A few months after I started work, they laid off 50 people, but not me. I wondered why. Maybe I was doing something right. A week later, 25 more people were let go. I was one of them.
I live in a small country, and there are no other companies in my chosen field. Luckily, I got hired to work as a programmer for a fun little software company a little later. Fast forward two years and through some strange twist of fate I am now in the marketing department, part of a two-man team that does all the marketing for a pretty big player in the online flight-search market.
And here is my conundrum. As it turns out, I am actually good at this. And it’s fun. Does that mean I am now a marketer, and that all of my work in school was for nothing? In this new place I am no longer afraid of failing, since I have little to compare to, everything being new. If I make it here, this will be how I define myself from now on, won’t it?
I have now become afraid that I might succeed.
Submitted by Johann Thorsson