Welcome to entry 2! If you’re reading this, I hope it means you enjoyed the first entry!
I’ve been very lucky with my work. On my university course, it was required to undertake 4 weeks of work experience in order to pass. At the end of my placement, I was asked to continue on, working part-time and from home. Once I’d finished my degree a year later, I was asked to work full time and in the office for the summer. My temporary contract ended up being extended until the end of October and as it came to an end, I got very lucky again. I was offered a job by another company that worked very closely with the one I was already at.
This doesn’t sound like this would happen to someone who is incredibly shy, I hear you ask. I know. That’s why I’m lucky. I’ve been to many job interviews over the past year and a half, all of them excruciating and ending in failure. Out of the hundreds of jobs (literally hundreds) I applied to and the maybe 5 I got an interview for, I heard nothing back. Sure, this is normal for the current job climate but it doesn’t always feel that way, does it?
Being shy and somewhat anxious makes job interviews hard. I stumble over my words, struggle with small talk and forget anything I’ve ever done that’s relevant to the job on offer. I often feel like my shyness makes me come across as rude, standoffish and sometimes even stuck up, as I’ve been told before. These traits are, of course, not particularly desirable by employers. I wish it were acceptable to come with a disclaimer: “sorry if I appear rude, I’m actually excruciatingly shy.”
What makes it worse is that every single one of my colleagues are so lovely and it frustrates me that I might come across as rude to them. But as I said in my first post, I am shy and that’s okay and it’s okay that it takes me a long time to properly settle and feel comfortable with people. When I was doing my work experience placement, I’m pretty sure I said a maximum of about 100 words that weren’t to do with work and it terrified me to be alone with any of my colleagues because one on one small talk is so daunting. But when I went back to work in the office full-time, I was completely comfortable and wouldn’t stop talking!
Not only does being shy make job interviews hard, but also being at work. Along with being shy my voice is also incredibly quiet, I completely lack the ability to shout or to talk above a murmur. I remember the register being taken at school being a real challenge, because not only did I have to say my name loud enough to be heard by the teacher but I also had to say it right. If my voice came out gravelly or too squeaky, it would torment me for the rest of the day. Of course, this meant I completely over thought the whole process and did it totally wrong. More than a few times, I’d be concentrating so hard on when the right second to say my name was that I’d accidentally say the person’s name before me in the register, rather than ‘here’.
Something I’d really love to do at some point in my career is work with Roosterteeth even for a week for work experience (if you’ve not heard of them you should absolutely check them out!). They do some really cool stuff on the Internet and I love their marketing strategies. If I ever managed to work with them, even for a little while, I’d be over the moon. But then I think, how on Earth would I cope? I wouldn’t be able to speak to anyone who works there, I can barely say hello or my name without freaking out, how could I work in a different country by myself? I just couldn’t do it. I mean I’d probably force myself to if the chance ever arose but I’d be in a total state of anxiety until it was over.
Sometimes, I do feel that my shyness holds me back from a lot, but at the same time, I seem to be pretty successful at this working thing so far. Maybe because I just keep my head down and work but who knows. Certainly not me!