I’m scared to take this job because I’m afraid of being intimidated.

I recently graduated and am looking for a job. Recently, I ran into an old teacher and we chatted for a while. I was quite close with her while she was my teacher. She mentioned that her husband’s company is in need of a receptionist and that I should call him. It’s a cool company that I think I’d like to work for.
The reason I am hesitating is that I worry that if anything doesn’t turn out right, things could become awkward between us. As a person my former teacher is very kind, sensitive and generous, but I remember her husband to be, while a very nice person, rather competitive and intimidating. I’m a reliable worker but I tend to be a slow learner, and I worry that this just might not be a good fit. I just worry that things could become awkward between me and my former teacher if for some reason I don’t fit in at this job and her husband (who would be my boss) does not like the way I work. I wouldn’t want to lose touch with my teacher over this. Am I overreacting? 
There are about ten billion people in this country looking for jobs right now, and they actually need them in order to feed their children and pay for heat. If the least of your worries is that you might be intimidated, then you’re really lucky. My first boss out of college was one of the scariest people on earth, and I went into work full of terror every day for like three years. Sometimes I cried in my car while I ate lunch. Sometimes, when I heard him walking down the stairs, I hid in the bathroom. One time I was late and so terrified that he was going to murder me with his penny loafer that I actually considered driving straight into a tree because he wouldn’t emotionally torture someone who was in a body cast, right?
Suck it up, please. Take the job, and be grateful, and work hard, and show yourself what you’re capable of doing. The best way to get a job is through people you know, anyway; perhaps you should look up the term “networking.”

1 Comment

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One response to “I’m scared to take this job because I’m afraid of being intimidated.

  1. e

    Take the job & bear in mind that many of the skills you may use to cope with ‘being a slow learner’ will be perceived by others as positive personality traits e.g. being conscientious, being detail oriented, a good note-taker etc. Furthermore, many of the job functions a receptionist performs are fairly repetitive once you get the hang of them – so even if you are not a quick study on multiline phone systems, it will not be an issue for long 🙂 If your primary concern is the relationship with your friend/mentor, she should understand if it turns out to be ‘not a very good fit’ and would likely help you move on, if it comes to that, with a good recommendation and a resume line that you didn’t have before taking the position. I have to agree with the previous post to some extent, but at the same time it seems to me that your question is not whether you should take the job but rather a request for some advice on handling yourself in an intimidating environment. As far as that goes, I often have to remind myself that what others think of me is none of my business. Take the job. Do the job. Cash the check. Buy your groceries. Try not to fret about it.

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