How long does it take to be “good” at a part time job?


This summer (starting in May) I got my first retail part-time job. I mess up A LOT. My anxiety tends to make me panic and rush things instead of taking the time in front of a customer to assure everything is correct. Halfway through the summer, my boss pulled me aside about some continuously missing money (I had been ringing things up wrong, not stealing) and when I apologized she told she it was fine because she “half-*ssed my training”. I worked there for 4 months, most of the time not making a full 20 hours a week.

I went back to university in the fall, but I have recently been home for winter break this month. Every time I go home after I work a shift, I just remember every little thing I did wrong that I’m sure will bite me in the butt. I start getting panic attacks and constantly think about how my boss and coworkers will react to my incompetence.

I just don’t know if by 5 months, I should be understanding everything to the max or not. I need to know if I’m just a terrible employee or I’m still too “new”. I had to email my boss this morning to notify her of a mistake I made while closing last night and she said she appreciated my diligence (which I guess is a good sign, but I still made more mistakes outside of that).

Also, how do I cope with my work anxiety??

Category: Tags: asked January 3, 2015

1 Answer

Every human being on this planet has messed up. But perhaps the difference is that not everyone beats themselves up over their mistakes. It sounds like you do that--inside your head, do the circular talk consisting of, "ohmigosh I messed up. I'm too slow, I can't do it. I always mess up." All this inner-beating up makes it hard for you to work. So first, pay attention to your inner language. When you hear your inner critic start attacking, Say aloud or inside your head--"Stop. I am learning everyday." And picture yourself doing well. Your subconscious takes you seriously, so when you say to yourself, "I can't do this." You subconscious will work toward that end. Next when you are doing something at work, tell the folks who you are assisting that you are relatively new and may be a bit slow. Most folks will say 'sure.' Ask for help from a co-worker if you need to do so. Remember SPB, repeat them SPB, SPB, SPB--it stands for STOP, Pause, Breathe. You sound like an intelligent person and an honest one-those are wonderful attributes. Go slow, know you can, and do.