Big Work Opportunity

Hi Brooke,

I’m a product designer in hi-tech in the Bay Area. Last week, I was offered a great job opportunity at the company I’m currently contracting at. It was a great offer (more than what I asked for) which was surprising and awesome! Part of the offer included a lot of acknowledgement for the work I’ve done there so far (6 months) and that felt fantastic. This is a very competitive industry and I’ve learned over the years that accolades are rare and not to expect them. So when he praised me so much, it felt amazing. 🙂

But now the project that I’ve been working on has suddenly exploded. Now my product is becoming integral and used by several of the other products on my platform. (Its hard to explain but its a cloud suite of products.)

Anyway, when the scope and impact of the product that I’m working on suddenly dawned on me today (I read the requirements), I started to feel really freaked out, scared, and totally intimidated.

Its a very technical product and I am not very technical. I’ve been OK so far because the piece that I started on was less technical. But the functionality I’m working on now is becoming very technical and honestly over my head.

I’m just not sure I’m the right person for the product anymore. And I’m not sure I really want to step into this role. Though it will be exciting and using cutting edge technology, I don’t know that I want to be working on something where I constantly feel like I’m in over my head. Btw, the other people on this product (all male engineers), are really smart and very intimidating.

I think I felt like I could handle it when the scope was just the product but now that the scope is increasing in magnitude across the platform, I’m just not sure I’m up for it. Ughh.

I rarely doubt myself in my job. I’ve been doing this for 20 years and have taken on designing all sorts of different products in lots of different industries. But I haven’t felt this intimidated and doubted myself this much in a long time.

Btw, I’m the one with the shoe business with my brother. So now on top of that huge entrepreneurial challenge, I now have this huge professional one that I’m also feeling totally intimidated by.

I’m not sure what to do. My usual natural inclination is take on work challenges like a bull dog and just go after them and get it done. But this feels really scary and over my head and maybe if I didn’t have the shoe business to take on as well, I’d feel more up for it. But even then, I’m not sure.