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Serious confidence problem

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    I graduated a few months ago with a Bachelors in C.S. but I'm terrified of failing my first job because I've failed every job I ever got and it's been traumatic for me.

    You see, at university, during my curriculum I've had exemptions for modules from freshman year and half of the second year, due to credits received elsewhere from a previous college.

    Now here's the big problem: in the other college I still knew my theory, I still knew what I had studied and I was a decent programmer/computer scientist. However, that was 6 years ago and I don't have any more knowledge about those modules I took, I'm back at zero, I don't know anything anymore. I don't even know half the things of my degree; I've forgotten it all.

    Not only have I forgotten that knowledge and practice, but I also forgot almost everything I learned in my degree, which is worse!! Every job I will apply for will expect from me the most astounding skill set ever. What am I supposed to say to them? "I'm sorry but I can't really program or do computer science because I've forgotten it all"?

    As if this wasn't enough, I have my family putting pressure on me to get a job, so I can't really sit down and study everything I want in my pace.

    The only solution I came up with is.. well.. re-studying everything that is crucial for these jobs and getting back confident into the computer science game. Until then, I am a below-zero confident undergraduate who won't try to get any decent job he wishes because he is too afraid of failure.
    I hope to avoid the nightmare where I will have to do some crappy low-class job just to make ends meet until I get my skills gathered up. That kind of situation will only slow down my career and worsen it because I'm not young anymore.

    What should I do to overcome this?
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    (Original post by 571122)
    I graduated a few months ago with a Bachelors in C.S. but I'm terrified of failing my first job because I've failed every job I ever got and it's been traumatic for me.

    You see, at university, during my curriculum I've had exemptions for modules from freshman year and half of the second year, due to credits received elsewhere from a previous college.

    Now here's the big problem: in the other college I still knew my theory, I still knew what I had studied and I was a decent programmer/computer scientist. However, that was 6 years ago and I don't have any more knowledge about those modules I took, I'm back at zero, I don't know anything anymore. I don't even know half the things of my degree; I've forgotten it all.

    Not only have I forgotten that knowledge and practice, but I also forgot almost everything I learned in my degree, which is worse!! Every job I will apply for will expect from me the most astounding skill set ever. What am I supposed to say to them? "I'm sorry but I can't really program or do computer science because I've forgotten it all"?

    As if this wasn't enough, I have my family putting pressure on me to get a job, so I can't really sit down and study everything I want in my pace.

    The only solution I came up with is.. well.. re-studying everything that is crucial for these jobs and getting back confident into the computer science game. Until then, I am a below-zero confident undergraduate who won't try to get any decent job he wishes because he is too afraid of failure.
    I hope to avoid the nightmare where I will have to do some crappy low-class job just to make ends meet until I get my skills gathered up. That kind of situation will only slow down my career and worsen it because I'm not young anymore.

    What should I do to overcome this?
    Be realistic and stop catasrophising! No employer expects you to have 'the most astounding skill set ever' they write an advert as though they want the world, but they accept the best of what they get offered, ie whoever applies.

    Stop being afraid of failure - be realistic, everyone fails, read the biography of any entrepreneur ever, take a look at the people around you - are they all at the absolute top of their world with perfect academic records, perfect careers, perfect families etc? No of course they aren't. The difference is, they don't frame no having those things as failure - they either haven't striven for some unachievable perfection in the first place, or they have understood the imperfections in the world, and most of all, they've taken their chances.

    Apply for jobs, pitch the best version of you that you can, in light of what the job is asking for, and learn from each application and each interview, so that your applications strengthen.

    Jobs don;t have a curriculum, they rarely have exams, they are about completing tasks, usually in a team. There is plenty of learning allowed on the job, you aren't expected to come into any job and be perfect from the start.

    Just be confident that if you passed an exam in something once, you can brush up on it years later and apply it, when required in a job situation. That's what everyone else is doing!
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    Yes, I'm always astounded as to how these nitwit classmates of mine got great jobs, while they are a hundred times less knowledgeable than I am. I mean it, I know tons more than they do and they still get the job. Not only that, I've striven my entire academic career for the top results and I got them in my final year. I gave up my social life for perfection.

    I'd like to add that at my internship (right before graduation), my supervisor (the local IT lead) constantly looked apathetic and me and called me into private sessions to say how much of a failure I am and things like "You don't know what you're doing...". It made me feel horrible, incapable and It was really unnerving to experience that kind of thing.
    Another one I had was where the CEO called me into a meeting and told me I had to "stop lying" because I kept assuring them that I would do my best to get the job done and apparently it wasn't enough for them. I got fired right after and mocked by their employees as I left.
    I hope you understand how traumatizing these experiences can be and how I think that this is likely to happen in my next job.

    Anyway, it looks like I will have to take my chances. Thank you for your wise words.
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    (Original post by 571122)
    Not only that, I've striven my entire academic career for the top results and I got them in my final year. I gave up my social life for perfection.
    This is potentially the issue, they can see you as too much of a risk, as whilst you may be academically brilliant, perfection is not something that is often factored into development cycles, as to do so would severely impact budget concerns.

    Outside of that, Job adverts are produced by HR people, not development teams. They will literally add every relevant buzzword to the advert just because they can. On average most graduate applicants meet 30-40% of any criteria on those adverts at best. You will get training, because otherwise you will not be able to be a useful member of their teams, so it is in their best interest to provide it.
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    (Original post by iainvg)
    This is potentially the issue, they can see you as too much of a risk, as whilst you may be academically brilliant, perfection is not something that is often factored into development cycles, as to do so would severely impact budget concerns.
    Yes, this was one of the issues at my internship: I would always screw up certain builds because I was focusing on details no one cared about for far too long (scope creep).

    You will get training, because otherwise you will not be able to be a useful member of their teams, so it is in their best interest to provide it.
    I know that, but while many (corporations, really) companies I've seen have the budget (millions) to provide training for their developers and consultants, others do not. Perhaps I should stay away from those that will hate me for asking for training because they don't allocate budget for training. In fact, at university they told me to stay away from such companies. I've also experienced them using the current economic recession as an excuse not to promote or hire employees that don't match their criteria.

    One crucial issue I should mention is that my productivity is the lowest in the industry. When I graduated, my university warned me of this: they told me I shouldn't go for companies that require the very best of the best, but companies that allow you a learning environment.

    I've also applied for the best of the best companies out there (even international ones) and they refused anything but a perfect life. The minute I started telling them that my life wasn't perfect and that I had to struggle through university and payments, they looked ugly at me and cut my interview short. It's those type of companies I want to avoid.
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    (Original post by 571122)
    I'm always astounded as to how these nitwit classmates of mine got great jobs, while they are a hundred times less knowledgeable than I am.
    (Original post by 571122)
    I don't know anything
    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
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    (Original post by 571122)
    Not only have I forgotten that knowledge and practice, but I also forgot almost everything I learned in my degree, which is worse!! Every job I will apply for will expect from me the most astounding skill set ever. What am I supposed to say to them? "I'm sorry but I can't really program or do computer science because I've forgotten it all"?
    I am not really sure what you expect. If the job required you to drive, but you didn't have a driving license would you expect them to hire you? If you have forgotten all your degree stuff, what would you do on day one if your boss asked you to write a module to interface with a mainframe?

    If you haven't got the skills or knowledge for a job, you won't get that job. It is harsh but the truth. You can therefore either revisit your course notes and self study or look to do something completely different. Sadly the world owes you nothing I'm afraid.

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    I am not really sure what you expect. If the job required you to drive, but you didn't have a driving license would you expect them to hire you? If you have forgotten all your degree stuff, what would you do on day one if your boss asked you to write a module to interface with a mainframe?

    If you haven't got the skills or knowledge for a job, you won't get that job. It is harsh but the truth. You can therefore either revisit your course notes and self study or look to do something completely different. Sadly the world owes you nothing I'm afraid.

    Good luck!
    Why aren't more people brutally honest like you are? Why is everyone always sugar-coating the truth?

    Online, I've read enough examples of students who graduated from their degree and forgotten most of it, only to come to a job where they were expected to build software and couldn't, up to the point they got fired. Their boss fired them because even though they tried hard like everyone else told them: "If you have a problem, just look the solution up on the internet", they were still too slow in comprehending and working and it wouldn't cut it for the boss.

    This is exactly what happened to me twice (fired). Why can't people understand that? I think the people giving advice haven't been in that situation themselves, where they tried their hardest best and it just wasn't good or fast enough for their boss. Just like my dean said before I graduated: "We do educate you to be flexible enough pick up on new, unknown software in fast pace, but the business world expects you to already know their required technologies before you even set foot in there".

    It's a harsh world out there.
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    For starters, quit relying on academia. It's useless for the most part in this industry. Now start learning one particular skillset that you're passionate about or were. Get a portfolio, side projects, GitHub profile, LinkedIn networking, freelancing etc. and start from a bottom low-level trainee/junior job then work your way up fast - you only need to be there for the X amount of 6 months - 1 year commercial experience before applying to another job - bingo, you have the experience which attracts the recruitment agencies provided that your CV is done properly and you don't screw up at the interview. Then it's just a matter of rinse and repeat until your CV is truly appealing in terms of employment history outlining your skills and experiences before finally settling into a job with a comfortable salary. Time-scale approx. 3 years if done correctly.

    Students are so naive in this industry thinking their top grades, academic background and ego/arrogance automatically assumes the top job. Experience is king.

    The real world is different, cruel and brutal (once you attain a certain level, it won't be that way, it gets easier and more comfortable). Deal with it. You're not a student anymore.

    If you came applying to our company, I'd look for what you can do, have done in the past (recently) and your potential. I'd also want proof, and you can be damn sure that I'd catch out on any BS. Prob give you a coding test or something server/network related.
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    (Original post by Final Fantasy)
    For starters, quit relying on academia. It's useless for the most part in this industry. Now start learning one particular skillset that you're passionate about or were. Get a portfolio, side projects, GitHub profile, LinkedIn networking, freelancing etc. and start from a bottom low-level trainee/junior job then work your way up fast - you only need to be there for the X amount of 6 months - 1 year commercial experience before applying to another job - bingo, you have the experience which attracts the recruitment agencies provided that your CV is done properly and you don't screw up at the interview. Then it's just a matter of rinse and repeat until your CV is truly appealing in terms of employment history outlining your skills and experiences before finally settling into a job with a comfortable salary. Time-scale approx. 3 years if done correctly.

    Students are so naive in this industry thinking their top grades, academic background and ego/arrogance automatically assumes the top job. Experience is king.

    The real world is different, cruel and brutal (once you attain a certain level, it won't be that way, it gets easier and more comfortable). Deal with it. You're not a student anymore.

    If you came applying to our company, I'd look for what you can do, have done in the past (recently) and your potential. I'd also want proof, and you can be damn sure that I'd catch out on any BS. Prob give you a coding test or something server/network related.
    I'm not sure if you know this, but I went to the best university in the country and I'm not joking when I tell you that all companies drop their jaw at getting fresh Bachelors hired from there and I've automatically been enlisted as top priority for hire. This has been shown by the tons of e-mails I've gotten from the country's top corporations but 9 out of 10 I just let pass by because I'm too damn afraid of my lack of skills.

    The great advantage about our university is that when we graduate from there, we actually have real-world skills. We are pioneers in the fields we study. I know more about programming than most programmers but again, my confidence just sucks hard and yes, my skills have watered down.
    Thanks to my university, I've already been years on LinkedIn
    Not only that, but I've done tons of professional projects for uni and they are actual real-world projects, not some fake dummy projects. Our university works hard at preparing us for the real world. Graduates fight blood, sweat and tears for that degree. I've also been to a ton of developer conferences.

    Do you realize corporations want to hire Bachelors from our university without working experience? Yeah, they give us a company car, all the benefits, high salary (if you call 2.5K a good IT consultant starter salary) and everything. It's not for nothing the best university in the country, but I screwed up, I let my skills weaken and I haven't practiced or studied as much as I wanted to.
    I probably won't need the three years, ideally I could start right now. I actually got a job offered at my second interview a few months ago, right after graduation. They wanted to offer me the job until I panicked and I told them I suck at programming, which led them to opt out from me. What do you want? My confidence is at an all time low.

    Anyway, I've searched around on LinkedIn and all the great companies now have more than 500 classmates of mine already working for them! I'm one of the only (and probably only) losers who was too afraid to take a chance.

    I'll do my best to fix this situation. You have a point in that I need some relevant IT experience on my CV or my chances of getting hired won't be that high, even though my university's reputation should tremendously increase that. We have the best connections with all the corporations in the country. It's all one big happy family. I couldn't have a better situation going for me and here I am moping around about my situation.

    Thank you for your advice.
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    (Original post by 571122)
    I'm not sure if you know this, but I went to the best university in the country and I'm not joking when I tell you that all companies drop their jaw at getting fresh Bachelors hired from there and I've automatically been enlisted as top priority for hire. This has been shown by the tons of e-mails I've gotten from the country's top corporations but 9 out of 10 I just let pass by because I'm too damn afraid of my lack of skills.

    The great advantage about our university is that when we graduate from there, we actually have real-world skills. We are pioneers in the fields we study. I know more about programming than most programmers but again, my confidence just sucks hard and yes, my skills have watered down.
    Thanks to my university, I've already been years on LinkedIn
    Not only that, but I've done tons of professional projects for uni and they are actual real-world projects, not some fake dummy projects. Our university works hard at preparing us for the real world. Graduates fight blood, sweat and tears for that degree. I've also been to a ton of developer conferences.

    Do you realize corporations want to hire Bachelors from our university without working experience? Yeah, they give us a company car, all the benefits, high salary (if you call 2.5K a good IT consultant starter salary) and everything. It's not for nothing the best university in the country, but I screwed up, I let my skills weaken and I haven't practiced or studied as much as I wanted to.
    I probably won't need the three years, ideally I could start right now. I actually got a job offered at my second interview a few months ago, right after graduation. They wanted to offer me the job until I panicked and I told them I suck at programming, which led them to opt out from me. What do you want? My confidence is at an all time low.

    Anyway, I've searched around on LinkedIn and all the great companies now have more than 500 classmates of mine already working for them! I'm one of the only (and probably only) losers who was too afraid to take a chance.

    I'll do my best to fix this situation. You have a point in that I need some relevant IT experience on my CV or my chances of getting hired won't be that high, even though my university's reputation should tremendously increase that. We have the best connections with all the corporations in the country. It's all one big happy family. I couldn't have a better situation going for me and here I am moping around about my situation.

    Thank you for your advice.
    I'll try a more detailed reply - but I've got work, so gotta catch some sleep. Remind me if I forget. But for now: stop bloody telling everyone that you suck at programming, you will learn it on the job and you will be using Google / StackOverflow / manual/code-base most of the time anyway like most programmers do. Learn from your damn interviews in the past - get it through your head, drill it in there and stop screwing up your interviews with negativity. ****ing hell mate. For someone so supposedly smart, you completely defy the most basic of reasoning and logic. Learn to exaggerate, sell yourself, a white lie here and there, bla bla. Just get the offer and then learn from there, even in your own time if you have to.

    Goodnight.
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    (Original post by Final Fantasy)
    For starters, quit relying on academia. It's useless for the most part in this industry. Now start learning one particular skillset that you're passionate about or were. Get a portfolio, side projects, GitHub profile, LinkedIn networking, freelancing etc. and start from a bottom low-level trainee/junior job then work your way up fast - you only need to be there for the X amount of 6 months - 1 year commercial experience before applying to another job - bingo, you have the experience which attracts the recruitment agencies provided that your CV is done properly and you don't screw up at the interview. Then it's just a matter of rinse and repeat until your CV is truly appealing in terms of employment history outlining your skills and experiences before finally settling into a job with a comfortable salary. Time-scale approx. 3 years if done correctly.

    Students are so naive in this industry thinking their top grades, academic background and ego/arrogance automatically assumes the top job. Experience is king.

    The real world is different, cruel and brutal (once you attain a certain level, it won't be that way, it gets easier and more comfortable). Deal with it. You're not a student anymore.

    If you came applying to our company, I'd look for what you can do, have done in the past (recently) and your potential. I'd also want proof, and you can be damn sure that I'd catch out on any BS. Prob give you a coding test or something server/network related.
    Excellent advice. Fair play for sharing.
 
 
 
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