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I Have No Idea What I’m Doing: Why That Is and What to Do About It

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Maybe you’re sitting in your new office at this moment, wondering: Why am I here?

I have no idea what I’m doing. I think I’m going to fail at this job.

If this is how you’re feeling, now is the time to stop doubting yourself and start learning how to achieve your goals in life.

However, I get that this is often easier said than done.

So, this article will help you understand why you’re feeling helpless, how you can deal with your situation, and so much more.

Is It Normal to Feel Like You Have No Idea What You’re Doing?

If you’re going through a significant career change, it’s completely normal to feel like you don’t know what you’re doing.

This is particularly true if you don’t have enough experience in the field.

Even though the feeling itself is normal and rather common, you’ll probably end up anxious about what other people have to say about your job performance.

Ultimately, these feelings don’t do you any good, especially when you’re discovering a purpose for life.

Why Do You Feel You Have No Idea What You’re Doing?

Every case is different, but there are some common reasons why people might feel clueless at work:

Lack of Proper Training

Without proper onboarding and training programs, it’s difficult to know where and how to start your daily tasks.

Plus, inadequate training can make you hesitant about what you can accomplish, which only leads to poor job performance.


Sometimes, the issue isn’t with the onboarding program.

If you’re unqualified for your role, you’ll probably feel lost.

You might have to ask for help from others with almost every aspect of the job.

So, if you always find yourself asking others for help with simple tasks, maybe it’s time to consider looking for a position in a different field.

Sure, it takes time to find a job worth applying to.

However, figuring out how to get a job will be worth it once you find something that matches your qualifications and aligns with your interests.

Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome pushes you to doubt yourself constantly without valid reasons—yes, even in things you’re actually good at.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how common this syndrome is in the workplace, but it seems to increase in marginalized groups.

So, if you always feel like you don’t deserve the job you have right now, imposter syndrome might be the culprit.

What to Do When You Feel Like You Don’t Know Your Job?

Although cluelessness and self-doubt are common, they can hold you back.

That’s why you need to gain back some control as soon as possible.

Here are some handy tips to help you combat these feelings:

Ask For Help

Asking for help isn’t only for those who are new to the job.

Even the most experienced employees still need guidance every now and then.

The truth is that no one knows what they’re doing in life all the time.

Plus, seeking advice from colleagues can help you build stronger relationships around the office!

Fake It Until You Make It

This might sound like a cliché, but sometimes you need to fake a positive attitude to push through self-doubt.

However, you still need to tread carefully with this approach because the last thing you want is to fake competencies.

Stop Thinking Everyone Else Doesn’t Feel This Way

Every worker started as a newbie, so it’s not far-fetched to believe that even your boss could have felt the same way you’re feeling right now.

Keep in mind that social media creates a false sense of reality where people always have everything figured out, but it’s not true.

Don’t Panic

I know feeling lost and clueless in the workplace can be daunting.

As an employee, you’re expected to carry out your duties the best that you can.

Self-doubt compromises this and pushes you into a state of panic.

However, panicking won’t do you any good.

Without a clear mind, you won’t be able to figure out what you should do next.

So, if you spiral, try to take a breath, keep calm, and go back to the first step to ask for help.

See It as a Challenge

As comfortable as that sounds, you won’t always get handed familiar tasks.

Instead of giving up, try accepting the challenge.

Suppose your boss asked you to make a promotional video.

This could be an opportunity to acquire new skills and expand your role.

You can research your product, learn the tools you need to create a video, gather a team to help, and ask your colleagues for suggestions.

Ask Specific Questions

A generic question like “what will I do with this project?” won’t really help your situation.

Instead, specific inquiries like “what should my next step be?” and “how can I avoid this mistake?” can nudge the conversation in the right direction.

If you don’t even know what questions to ask, you can try job shadowing first.

This way, the questions will pop into your mind as you watch your colleagues perform certain tasks.

Check In With Coworkers

Communicating with your colleagues is essential for confirming that you’ve understood the instructions given to you.

You can also ask for feedback to help you identify areas where you need more improvement.

How to Tell Your Boss You Don’t Know What You’re Doing?

It’s definitely hard to admit (especially to your boss) that you have no idea what you’re doing.

However, being honest is the key to a healthy and happy work environment.

Admit Before It’s Too Late

If you’re having difficulty understanding an assignment, just say it.

It’s better to let your boss know early on rather than mess things up beyond salvaging.

Keep in mind that admitting your weaknesses demonstrates that you’re a reliable and trustworthy person.

It shows that you’re willing to learn new things and develop your skills for the sake of the company’s reputation.

Be Specific

Make sure that you’re specific when addressing your concern with your superiors.

This makes it easier for them to figure out how they can help you.

Frustration might push you to say something like: “I don’t know what I need to do in this project.”

However, a different approach would be more helpful in this situation.

For instance, you can say: “I’m currently doing this project, but I need some advice to reach the desired outcome.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What is it called when you have no idea what you’re doing?

Employee confusion is a state of being overwhelmed and intimidated by the assigned responsibilities.

It doesn’t necessarily indicate laziness or low job engagement. However, it still compromises the workflow.

How do I bring a new idea to life?

To bring a new idea to life, you’ll have to start with thorough research to gather reliable data that supports your idea.

Next, you can plan how you’re going to introduce your idea clearly.

Generally, breaking the concept down into actionable steps works best

Wrapping Up

It’s normal to feel clueless in life, especially when you’re starting a new career.

Whether it’s impostor syndrome or lack of proper training, you might end up doubting yourself and your goals.

The good thing is that there are ways to regain some sense of purpose and control, from faking confidence to asking for help directly.

If you have questions about approaching your boss, feel free to leave a comment below.

Remember that this feeling is way more common than you think, and sharing your thoughts can go a long way when you’re trying to build up your confidence!

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