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Feeling worthless at work/self-doubt



Feb 6, 2015
There are two other admin girls in my dept and we do the processing for our respective work. L is the newest among us (2 years exp) while N is the oldest and team leader of the admin girls (L and Me) L has the least workload she was hired to be back up for N and I and to provide support to anyone around the office who needs help with marketing etc ( she had no exp in our work and we had to teach her) L takes over only when I'm sick or on leave (even then I come back to half arsed work/ mistakes that I have to finish/fix/apologise for and a load of paperwork put to the side claiming it was busy and that she has no time to sort even with N helping too!!!) whereas she actively helps N with her work on a daily basis. in between they spend hours gossiping/whispering together, going to lunch together (sometimes asking if I want anything on their way out or just telling me they are going out) If I want to go for lunch I have to clear it with them first as my desk always has to be manned as clients can drop by in person anytime for the work I do. in other words N's workload is now done by two people and when I'm away the both of them do my job together. They have both told me they don't like doing my work while I'm gone (which has to be done on the day or at least responded to) and it makes me feel terrible to leave even if I know I'm allowed to be sick or go on annual leave.

N gets paid the most followed by L and then me. L earns 20% more than me and I can't help feeling like our value to our dept is in our salary. I got a pay raise recently but then so did she and N. I don't have healthy self-esteem and in low moments my head tells me I'm useless worthless and if I'm gone all I would be is an inconvenience to replace.

It hurts too because we are the only girls in the office and before L came along it was just N and I, we helped each other with work and we were both equally busy. I feel like L has pushed her way in and I'm exhausted. I want to say I don't care but I do. N used to teach me her work in our spare time but with L here she doesn't anymore because if she's not here L will do itThey even type and send emails together (!!!!) whilst gossiping in between.. takes them 30 mins to send the email... I can still do the basics of N's work if L is not here either.

Sometimes N and I hang out after work like before and I feel so happy because it feels like old times and then back in the office it's her and L again I think she's just using me for gossip with L or to see what I think about work etc and I feel so foolish.

I hate asking them for help with my stuff if I'm busy with even the littlest thing because in our meetings they make it sound like they helped 50/50 when in reality I did all the grunt work and they do the easy/surface part(like printing!!!!) or the work was 90/10. And sometimes even before I can say what I've done they speak for me. I don't think I'm that slow a speaker ...

I don't see any progression for myself because logically the next step for me is N's job and then for N to take A's old job which is vacant since he left. Our other male colleague C said our manager should offer L, A's old job which is stung. A' old job is pretty much an in-depth extension of the research and advice that I do in addition to my admin. I'm not saying I should get the job or that I'm qualified ( I'm not but definitely more qualified than L) but the fact is C disregarded my experience and knowledge. I've been here even longer than C. L has the least knowledge in the office in regards to A's job description. I used to do research and ask A for confirmation and that's how A taught me a little. It's not just this but a few other instances where it seems L is more valued or I'm worth less. If I'm the only one who sees it/feels this way the problem must be me and I must have a huge ego. To think I'm better. And then I cry because I feel so worthless even if I know I am good at my job and know what I do (clients tell me this too) and feel horrible for thinking so badly of N and L. My feelings is stronger than what I know.

Today was just so bad I think it's not the money it's the work. I don't have confidence and it took me a lot if courage and self pep talk to mention to my manager during our one-on-one that I've been doing this for so long I know it inside out and have even been doing things more than just the admin side of it giving advice and research which I like and would like to do/learn other things. I don't have time to do anything while still doing my current work load. Yet my manager has been asking N and L to do other admin-research type things while they then complain to me about the extra work load that I have no sympathy for because it's something I would love to do. They are now referred to as a collective N and L and there's just me at the side. I think that my manager didn't ask me because he can see how busy I am (whereas N and L are sitting talking when he walks past) but my head tells me it's because I'm useless and lazy and I could work harder if I could walk or type faster or get to work earlier or just something. Something about me I have to fix. I guess I just needed to put all this down somewhere. I'm not nice to myself
Purple Chaos

Purple Chaos

Well-known member
Oct 23, 2014
Hi Quietsecret and welcome to the forum.

Sorry to hear that your situation at work is causing you such grief and upset. Unfortunately, work places are not all fair and equal. I don't think the problem is you and I don't think you've got a big ego. In fact, you sound as though you could do with more confidence and higher self esteem.

I hope typing it all down helped a little. You seem to know that you are good at your job. Is it bad enough there that you would consider looking for a job elsewhere? If not, to improve how you feel there, I suppose some of it will come down to being kinder to yourself, ignoring the antics of N and L (as much as possible) and building up your self esteem.

If you google 'self esteem building' you will get many helpful results. Mind's website also has a section: How to Increase your Self-esteem. I hope it helps a little.


Feb 6, 2015
Thank you Purple Chaos for your reply and SomersetScorpio for the hug too. Typing it down did help with venting and to sort my thoughts though it didn't really make me feel better about the situation (your reply and hugs did make me feel less invisible and weary so thank you so much once again)

I do suffer from low self esteem among other things and have been thinking of quitting and moving back home because I don't feel like I'm approaching a manageable place mentally anymore. Sometimes I think the only way for me out is to stop eating till they put me back in hospital or worse. I feel so bad about myself I don't have an appetite while at work because this little voice nags me I don't need/deserve food or I can move faster or work better without I do eat (more of a binge) when I am home.

People do tell me I'm good but I can't help feeling so worthless and isolated when N and L are sat there gossiping away in hushed tones/wasting time surfing the Internet for hours or talk about things in front of me together that I have no idea of but say it in such a way that I know they are being purposely vague because I am there and can hear. There are other instances like where they have thrown paperwork onto my desk/at me and that doesn't feel very good either.

The intense fear that I'm really not good at anything and will never get another job kept me here despite being so bad for the past 10 months. I'm always really anxious about job interviews to the extent I feel sick and throw up and only lucked out with this job because the old manager who hired me was very kind and I like to think saw potential in me past the nervousness.

I know I'm going round and round in circles it's just hard when I know something but my negative emotions and feelings are so intense I question what I thought I knew.

Thank you for the link. Google is a good source of information I actually only found this forum because I googled feeling worthless at work one night and found an old post about someone else who was going through something similar at work.
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