Starting a new engineering job is exciting, but also stressful. That stress can be compounded when you settle in and think you may be underqualified for the new role. If you feel you are in over your head and suspect you might not be qualified for your job, here are some things to consider.
Hiring Managers Are Difficult to Fool
Hiring managers are adept at reading people and unless you lied about your qualifications and experience, you were hired because you were the best person for the job. Think about the number of hoops you had to jump through in order to secure an offer. Somewhere along the line, you’d have been removed from consideration if you were not qualified.
However, that doesn’t mean you will know how to do everything perfectly in your first few weeks on a new job. Every company has its own processes, procedures and methods for doing things. It takes everyone a few weeks to settle in, so give yourself time before you let your self-esteem take a hit.
Doubting Yourself Will Only Make Things Worse
Negative self-talk will not help you in your current situation. If you feel overwhelmed, don’t blame or bash yourself. This will just cause your negative feelings to compound and will make your anxiety worse. Rather than doubting yourself, focus on the things you do well and make a plan for closing the gaps that are making you feel underqualified.
Feeling Underqualified Means You’re Pushing Yourself
No one can grow in their careers without pushing themselves beyond their limits. If you feel slightly underqualified for your new role, embrace it. It means you’ve taken a step forward in your career and you are growing your skills and knowledge base. Rather than assuming you are underqualified for the role, take the proverbial bull by the horns and get proactive. Find a mentor, take an online class to get comfortable with a new skill, buy books or read journals. Do whatever it takes to rise to this new challenge.
You Might Have Been Hired for Your Ability to Learn
You may, in fact, be slightly underqualified for your role. But don’t let that get you down. Hiring managers often bring on a new employee who may be lacking a few skills but have the personality to be trained and coached to get up to speed. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and solicit help if that’s what you need. Just don’t doubt yourself. Clearly, the hiring manager saw something in you.
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