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Self Doubt In A Start-Up

Self Doubt In A Start-Up

It has taken me a while to say it aloud, let alone write it on screen. After my second interview wrapped with a start-up company, I got scared. Waves of uncertainty crept into my thoughts.

Will I flourish in a start-up's culture?

Have I become too institutionalized from my corporate gig tenure?

Am I truly ready to take the leap I've craved for so long?

A Start-Up Opportunity

Lets go back to the beginning. I saw a Content Strategist position for a firm I've had my eye on for about a year. Their business model was intriguing, in addition to the virtual workforce and the role's responsibilities. Finally! I threw my hat in the ring. This is when the differences between an established brick and mortar and a start-up began to appear.

The application was not a standard resume "cut and paste" submission.  Questions such as "What are you most proud of?" made me reflect before typing an answer.  I choose to reveal the content products I was most proud of launching in the past 18 months. My blog Finding Passion At 38 and a LGBT+ series I launched for my current organization. To be frank, I put myself out there to this prospective employer. Both products disclose my inner thoughts, flaws, strengths, and who I love. When dealing with other gigs, I put my best foot forward. For some reason, for this organization, I led with my truth.

The next day, a recruiter reached out, via email, to set up an interview. We met two days later via Skype, to discuss the role and my potential fit in the organization. After a productive discussion, she mentioned I should meet with the Director of Operations as a next step. Two days later, I chatted with the Ops Director, who gave me an inside view of the culture.

Self Doubt Creeps In

After the call, my brain would not settle down. At first, I thought the organization's culture had me rattled. I wondered how well I would fit into it. Then, I thought the negative reviews on benefits, from Glassdoor, gave me pause.. But, they weren't deal breakers. And, I have to expect trade offs if the work and the company aligns with what I'm looking for. This was fear, pure and simple. Fear I would not live up to my dreams, after spending so much time searching for the path I want.

Strength Wins

I decided to take the gig, if offered. At the end of the day, I'm confident in my abilities and it would be the challenge I was looking for. I also had to admit that self doubt crept in for a bit, but I did not let it set up shop. Ultimately, I did not get the gig, but I learned yet another lesson on this journey. Change can be scary and a signal you need to assess a situation. But, self doubt can easily disguise itself as a rational concern.

Don't let it.


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