I'm a very lucky recent law school graduate, who, despite terrible grades in law school and having not even taken the Bar exam yet, managed to get a dream job in the exact niche of law I always wanted to practice in. The law firm is small, relatively new, and I'm the only legal intern. I take the bar in July and the firm even paid for a review course for me. I love the people I work for, but I'm constantly in fear. I have so much anxiety and lack of confidence because I feel like I must have gotten this job by pure luck or some kind of cosmic mistake. They are well-known and highly respected within our area for being the best at this particular niche of law. They are always having law students and recent grads offering to work for them for free even (just for the experience). I'm not sure why they hired me or why they've kept me for almost a year now. Is it possible they just don't have the heart to fire me? They say I do good or even great work, but that I'm slow and I don't take enough initiative to anticipate what they need before they ask for it. I want to take more initiative, but I'm paralized with apprehension and lack of confidence. Is this normal? Does anyone else feel extremely stressed out about not living up to their employer's expectations? or do I just need therapy or something?
It's probably true that if they feel you're not doing a good job, they'll let you know. It's possible that part of the reason that you feel so insecure and nervous is that the other people around you, being partners, have a much better handle on what they're doing and are therefore more confident than someone who's just starting out. If they say you're doing "good/great" work, take note of why they may have classified it that way, and believe them! If they tell you there are areas where you can improve, work on that. If you stay on top of your game, you should have less reason to feel insecure.
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