I have been with my current employer for a bit more than 2 years. In theory I like a lot about my workplace- there are interesting projects, I can learn a lot, people are nice in general.
But there is one thing: I feel like the black sheep of my team. That somehow I cannot really make a difference. It is like I could just leave and never come back and nobody would ever notice. I have pretty strong colleagues who are very experienced in their field and have obviously very strong communication skills. One of them has many many years more practical experience in our working field than I and the other has a huge self-esteem. Somehow both are always invited to all meetings and asked for their opinions. I have trouble catching up with them because I lack both the experience and the communication skills/confidence to apparently make the same impression on others. That is why I always feel like I live in their shadows and can only step out if one (or better both) of them are not there.
I tried to explain this to my team lead but he just smiled and did not really provide any useful feedback or guidance. Basically he said, it will get better with time when I feel more confident about my position in the team..but how could I? Everything that I try to mention is smashed down by the other two because they feel so great about themselves, leaving me even more insecure.
I started thinking about looking for another job but I am not sure this will solve the problem because I might encounter a similar issue. Also what should I tell as reason for change? That I could not handle people? Does not sound like a great reference...in times were team players are valued so much...
It would be better to deal with such situations but I do not even know where to start. I would like to have the same longterm experience as that one colleague but unfortunately I cannot turn back time to catch up (he is older than me anyways). And confidence-wise I also cannot catch up because I do not want to be one of those pretenders with a big mouth but nothing behind.
I wonder if this is one of those "woman in male-dominated career" things or just a personality issue...in any case I am not sure how to improve my situation. Perhaps anybody has encountered a similar situation at work and can elaborate how to deal with it?