Are You Too Shy To Find A Job? How To Deal With Shyness During Job Search.

Are You Too Shy to Find a Job? How to Deal with Shyness during Job Search
March 31st, 2010 by Kate Seidametova

shy businessmanDo you feel nervous when meeting new people? Do you hesitate when making a phone call or starting a conversation?  Do you feel awkward when another person is in proximity to you?  Do you experience lack of confidence when talking to a potential employer?

If you experience any of above, chances are, you are shy.  Shyness is a social psychology term. It is used to describe the feeling of apprehension, lack of confidence, or awkwardness, especially in new situations or with unfamiliar people.  Shyness may be a result of personality introversion, genetic traits, or the environment in which an individual is raised.

You don’t have to be a psychologist to understand that shyness could be a major obstacle in your career.  Unfortunately, in most cases it is not something that is easy to overcome and it doesn’t just go away on its own.  Shyness could be a big hurdle on a way to your professional success.   It can prevent you from achieving your goals.  It can keep you from getting a job of your dreams, climbing the carrier ladder, or even building a professional network.

 Understanding Shyness

To overcome your shyness, you first need to understand it. Shyness usually takes roots in fear, oversensitivity, and insecurity.  It is often caused by fear of being embarrassed or ignored by others, or insecurity of not having anything of value to contribute.

Usually, shyness is rooted deep in an individual’s childhood, caused by adults reacting negatively, angrily or dismissively to the child’s attempts of self expression.  It is quite natural for children to blame themselves and take their mistakes personally, even if it has nothing or little to do with them. Unfortunately, once seeds of shyness are planted in one’s childhood, they grow and flourish throughout their life. 

Overcoming Shyness

There is a very simple strategy to overcoming shyness. An important step is to understand that all people are basically the same.  Other people are not smarter or better.  They are the same as you are.  They just don’t show their insecurities as much.  Every person has them; the key is whether you know how to deal with them.  The following five steps should help you deal with yours:

1. Try behaving in a confident manner, even if you don’t feel confident.  Learn to act confident even if you have to force yourself to portray the confidence that you don’t have.  Practice in private in front of a mirror and then publicly, until you begin to see results.  Learning to project confidence is a sure way to overcome your own shyness. The idea is simple: just like with great Hollywood actors, the better you act, the more believable you become. Once you learn how to portray confidence, you will feel more confident inside.

2. Observe others by paying attention to how they act and how they relate to others.  Observing someone who projects confidence is a great tool to pick up little techniques that other use to act confident: firm handshake, looking straight in the eyes, etc.  Next time you see someone that seems to be very confident, just pay attention to the things they say and do to make them look confident in your eyes and try mimicking it.

3. Try to look your best. When you know you look your best, it raises your self-esteem and makes it easier for you to act more confident.

4. When someone reacts to you negatively, don’t take it personally.  Don’t let bad experiences shy you away from achieving your dreams.  If you are rejected, try a simple technique of imagining an even WORSE rejection and then think about how you would deal with it. Dealing with an imaginary situation is always easier than dealing with an actual situation and after this exercise, you current situation will seem like a walk in the park.

5. When all fails, and you don’t have the confidence to do something (start a conversation, for example) try this: just smile and act approachable. Let the other person take the first step.  In general, people are friendly and are open to communicating. In most cases they will respond favorably to your attempts at making it easier for them to take the first step.