Lately, I’ve been feeling quite under pressure at work. As well as being an author, I work professionally as a VFX (Visual Effects) digital compositor in Dublin. If you don’t know what that is, I’m basically the person who puts all the bits and pieces together for a film/TV series and makes them shine. Done well, the work is invisible to most people. It’s challenging, but also very rewarding when you get to see your name on the big screen!
I absolutely love my job and have worked a long time to get to where I am. I am so lucky to have landed an industry job mere months after my degree a few years ago. My studio trained me from the ground up and I have truly never stopped learning. My career is going strong, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
This has been my dream for so long, yet now and again, I fall into moments of self-doubt, wondering if I had been fooling myself all along in believing that I could do this kind of thing, or be good at it.
I know it’s all in my head, for the most part. I am supported and have people to help me, but any time I feel the need to ask for help, I feel like a failure, incapable and useless. Asking again and again doubles this feeling tenfold. Does that sound familiar?
The past few weeks have been very tough in that regard. It’s something I am really trying to work on in myself. Funnily enough, just when my self-doubt was threatening to swallow me whole, I happened upon a post on LinkedIn that could not have been more poignant.
It was a screenshot of a tweet written by Adam Grant (@AdamMGrant), an organisational psychologist. The tweet reads: “Seeking advice doesn’t reveal incompetence. It reflects respect for another person’s insight. Requesting feedback doesn’t signal insecurity. It demonstrates that you care more about your learning than your ego. Asking for help doesn’t display weakness. It builds strength.”
Reading this also made me recall the times someone had asked for my advice in work and no matter how small, it honestly made me feel great to think someone could see me as the wise mentor, someone to learn from. It made me feel a lot better to see this willingness to ask for help as a strength and desire to improve, rather than a weakness or failure.
I am still so early on in my career, I still have so much to learn, and will truly never stop learning as time goes on. I vow to be kinder to myself and to stop being too proud to ask for advice (although, yes, that’s easier said than done).
I just wanted to get this off my chest. If you’ve ever felt like this, recently or in the distant past, please share your stories with me, and let others know they’re not alone.
Be kind to yourself. You got this!