|I joined one of the big-4 tech companies a month ago after years of freelance work. Since joining, I’ve had trouble “hooking in”. For one, it doesn’t seem like I have all that much to do. I’ve submitted a few very simple bug fixes, and I have some larger feature work coming up, but it’s all on the order of maybe a few hundred lines of code. I’ve also spent maybe a week more than I should have on a fairly simple feature, just from fighting with my tools and trying to figure out where to put a few sparse calls in the codebase. It’s really embarrassing.|
The other issue is that I’m riddled with anxiety every day. For one, I’m worried that my coworkers might think I’m slacking off, or that I’m incompetent or a bad hire. Everyone around me is always on point though many of them are younger than me. Their thoughts are completely clear. I rarely hear them make mistakes or misunderstand anything: they seem to have no weaknesses. In contrast, my thoughts tend to be extremely muddled. I often take in information without making much sense of it at first, and it seems to take me a while to clarify these thoughts into some whole. (And even then, I’m not always able to talk about it clearly.) I think this has always been my way of thinking, but it feels out of place here..
The other big issue is that I don’t really know how to reach out to people. I’m not a collaborator; I’m a recluse. In my life, I’ve always done things from scratch. Now I have to make meetings, ask people for information, decide that something needs to be done and tell another team to do it, etc. To get good at this, it feels like I basically have to rewire my entire personality, and I don’t know how to go about doing this. I’ve also found myself not asking clarifying questions when something doesn’t make sense in a meeting—see “muddled thoughts” above—and then I’m stuck figuring out whatever it was that I misunderstood on my own time (or not at all).
I don’t know if this is impostor syndrome, because I might actually be an impostor. Deep down, I think I’m riddled with fear that I’m just not good enough to be a “Googler” (or your favorite FANG here).
What do I do? How do I get better?