In this counseling answer:
• Many recent grads take jobs in their fields of study doing work that is related to their profession but not works that are their exact dream position for which they studied.
• We need to look for the positives in our workplace and build upon those strengths. Rarely, some office cultures do not have any positives and are truly toxic.
• Examine why you feel this happens and what words or actions support your feelings.
• Consider seeing a counselor on a regular basis for possible anxiety.
As Salam Alaykum dear sister,
Thank you for trusting us with your most important concerns. I am sorry to hear about all you are going through. It must feel really frustrating as well as scary not knowing if these situations are just due to life test and trials or an evil eye. It seems that you have had to struggle to attain many of your goals and have been experiencing social difficulties as well, especially in regards to your career.
Career & Job Difficulties
Your choice of a career (attorney) is a very difficult path which requires much study, exam taking as well as persistence and dedication. Congratulations to you on completing this very strenuous education!
You described the difficulties in sitting for 13 law exams to “regain” what was already taken. Sister, I am not sure what you mean by this, but I do know that when studying in one country and trying to transfer degree’s and licenses to another, problems may arise. Perhaps your country had different requirements than the country you studied in, I am not sure. Nonetheless, it is not uncommon for people to have to redo a portion or even all of their studies when changing countries.
In regards to your experiences of being rejected for jobs, I am curious. Are the hiring managers telling you it is because of “age, the possibility of marriage, lack of showing emotion in the workplace, makeup, lack of makeup”? If so, is this legal in your country to do so?
If they are not giving you reasons and you are guessing why they are not hiring you, perhaps these reasons are not related to the hiring process. Perhaps these reasons are your own fears and insecurities, sister.
I know that after graduating, one often has a hard time finding a good job. This is usually due to lack of experience, sister. A lot of companies prefer to hire those with some experience. This is a difficult situation because as a new graduate, how are you going to get experience if no one will hire you due to lack of experience? We call it a catch 22 situation.
To resolve this issue, many recent grads take jobs in their fields of study doing work that is related to their profession but not works that are their exact dream position for which they studied. It is looked at as a way to gain experience and get your “foot in the door”.
The Value of Feedback
Alhumdulillah, you did obtain an internship with your father’s attorney at his law office. However, he stated you need to look elsewhere to finish your internship. This must have hurt you as you do not know why he has terminated the internship.
I would kindly suggest, dear sister, that you speak with him and ask him why. Explain to him that as a professional just starting out in your career, constructive criticism is important for your growth and development. You need to know if there are areas in which you need to improve upon so you can fine-tune your professional demeanor.
Sister, we all need constructive criticism and guidance from supervisors and other professionals in our field. It is how we grow and learn. Without it, we are left wondering why certain things don’t work out or why we let go from a job or why others pass us over for someone else. We do not graduate knowing everything. Even though all the hard years of study, there is always much more to learn.
In fact, when we actually begin practicing in our chosen field is where we learn valuable career-related education.
I remember when I graduated I was overwhelmed by the amount of information I was learning from my supervisors and colleagues. I actually looked forward to supervision and the critiques of my work that came with it as it helped me become a better practitioner. I learned so much from those who had much more years of experience than I. I am still learning; it is a never-ending process.
I kindly suggest, dear sister, that you seek out critiques of your work, listen to the feedback and apply it towards your next internship. When we enter the professional arena, we should be open to having not only positive feedback but constructive criticism as well. It is how we develop as professionals.
The fact that your supervisor did not provide this for you is bothersome. He should have been meeting with you on a regular basis to discuss your progress. Perhaps as he did not, this is a blessing he let you go. Insha’Allah, Allah will open a door for you to intern at an agency wherein adequate supervision and feedback is provided.
Office Culture & Acclimation
Every workplace has its own “office culture”. The workplace you were in had gossip and you felt others did not like you. As professionals, it is up to us to try to be friendly, get along and focus on the positive aspects of the office interactions.
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Granted as Muslims, we know gossip is haram. However, we do not have to partake in it or listen to it. We can refocus our thoughts and energies on what is positive.
For example, maybe an office you are in has very dedicated employees. Perhaps an office has an atmosphere of support for each other.
One agency I worked for was very stressful due to staff quitting, not enough resources to serve our clients as well as a loss of hope among the remaining staff. When I came on board as director, the remaining 3 staff (which served over 100 women a day) informed me that every morning they met for 15 minutes, had coffee/tea and gave each other positive affirmations for the day. I immediately knew this was the place for me despite the other negative aspects of the job.
The point is, sister, we need to look for the positives in our workplace and build upon those strengths. Rarely, some office cultures do not have any positives and are truly toxic. It is then that it may be in our best interests to seek work elsewhere.
In retrospect, please, do assess your internship experience and make a list of the positives and examine where it may be that you could have contributed to a healthier work environment. Again, this is our process of learning and growing!
Perceptions vs Reality
Sister, you stated that “without a reason, people’s behavior changes from respect to hatred”. Can you find any reason as to why? Is this a fact, or is it your perception? Do you engage with people in a friendly manner or are you shy and stay to yourself? There can be many reasons why we may perceive that others “hate” us.
No, everyone will not like us, but if you feel that everyone firsts like you and then “hates” you, it could be your own internal interpretation and not a fact based on reality.
I would kindly suggest that insha’Allah you examine why you feel this happens and what words or actions support your feelings. Often times we can misinterpret other people’s feelings for us based on our own fears, insecurities, and low self-esteem. I am sure you are a lovely, wonderful young woman, sister, and perhaps your hardships and frustrations as of recent, have worn down your self-confidence and or your ability to relate to others. This is a common issue when we have been disappointed and let down time after time.
The same issue occurs when we feel we are “blocked in every aspect of life” as you stated. We may go through hard tests and trials that come one right after another. It may seem as though we are being cursed, that evil eye is upon us or that Allah does not love us.
While yes evil eye is real, it is most likely that what we are experiencing is an emotional drain and hopelessness due to our tests and trials. As you are making duaa, praying Ayetel Kursi and seeking Allah’s help and protection, I would look at these occurrences as part of life’s tests and trials.
I kindly suggest that you keep seeking Allah’s mercy and protection while at the same time seek to rejuvenate your outlook and perspective. If need be, take a few classes in social relations, self-esteem as well as start to keep a daily journal of your feelings.
Insha’Allah sister, please do try to analyze your feelings in regards to what is a fact and what is a perception. Regarding perceptions, further, break them down to see what may be causing them. Insha’Allah, strive to redirect your thought patterns towards positive views and ideas.
For instance, instead of saying “I am still single and I know that I will never be married” say to yourself I am still single but I know I will be married by Allah’s love and mercy”. By turning your negative thoughts into positive ones, you are beginning to reprogram the way you think about yourself and others. In time, insha’Allah, it will also change behaviors and perceptions into healthier ones as well.
You may also see a change in your dreams. What we feel and experience in life as well as how we perceive things often manifests in our dreams. It is no surprise you see doors shutting in your dreams as that is what you see and feel in your waking times. However, with a concentration on doors that are open and looking at what you have and will accomplish, insha’Allah you will be relieved of these dreams soon as you fill your thoughts with positive outcomes and perceptions.
Seeking Allah’s Protection
As you discussed a fear of jinn that goes beyond a normal fear we should have, and you are doing correct seeking of Allah’s protection, please, consider seeing a counselor on a regular basis for possible anxiety.
Anxiety can make us feel and fear many unpleasant things, sister. Anxiety has a way of turning our lives upside down and we cannot see any relief. I cannot say that this is what it is, only a counselor who assesses you can make a diagnosis. As with any prolonged fear, you should be evaluated for a possible anxiety disorder.
Regarding your concern about getting sleepy when making duaa, when we make sincere duaa or other acts of worship such as dkhir, we can sometimes get sleepy. It is a blessing to us and can induce relaxing feelings. In fact, some Muslims will do dhkir and make dua to reduce feelings of anxiety and fear because Allah is so merciful and there are many blessings in it.
Sister, please do seek further counsel on jinn, evil eye and magic if you still have questions. As I am not an Islamic scholar, you may wish to consult our Ask the Scholars section.
We wish you the best, sister,
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.