Why Am I Afraid of Elevating My Job Title: Replacing the Negative Feedback

Joseph Rios EdD
7 min readJun 27, 2022
Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash

I am exploring the fears I face as I continue my job search in a field I have worked in for the last 20 years. In the original post, I identified three fears that grip me and have influenced my job search over the past few years. Some of the fears are decades-long, while others are more recent fears. But all of them have influenced my career development.

As I jump back into the search, after taking some time away from that field, I want to confront these fears head-on so I can move on — and move ahead.

In many ways, allowing this memory to continue to impact my current reality has led to me staying stuck in the past, rather than working on myself in the present. Little Edie, in the documentary Grey Gardens, says it best: “It’s very difficult to keep the line between the past and the present.”

I am resolute in making this line more pronounced.

“It’s very difficult to keep the line between the past and the present” — LIttle Edie from the documentary, Grey Gardens. Photo by slagheap on Flickr.

The Lasting Impact of Poor Supervisors

We held similar positions in different offices when I began my job at the college where we both worked together. She even threw me a birthday party, before she became my boss.

I thought she was a friend.

Fast-forward three years and she became my supervisor. And we had an ill-fated conversation about my job that I kept to myself for months and months.

Her name is Sunny.

Before today, I never talked about her by name. Maybe out of some sense of professional courtesy or perhaps to protect her privacy. I thought that keeping the story focused on me would help me share the story with a wider audience.

I chose to sacrifice a more authentic version of this personal story to be a teacher. In that choice, I left behind the villain but carried the shame and doubt to be transparent and vulnerable.

But the fact of the matter is that she is as much of this story as I am. In naming her, I am no longer carrying this story on my own. This is our story — whether she remembers it the same way or…

Joseph Rios EdD

I believe leadership is the expression of values. Career Coach | Educator | Writer | Social Justice Advocate | Trainer. leadershipandvaluesinaction.com