I just realized that if I want to keep up with my blogging resolution, then I need to post two times in the next three days. Sheesh. This year is not off to a good blogging start. I blame my sister—she encouraged me to re-read Great Expectations and I can.not.put.it.down. Even though I know what happens! Even though I want to shake Pip and tell him to not be such an asshole! It’s one of those books where I’m sort of tempted to close my office door and just pull out my kindle, but that would be bad news bears and my momma raised me better.
Speaking of work, I have a bit of a professional development/mentorship type lunch today, and I’m nervous. I’m looking forward to receiving some tips and advice on how in the hell I can break out of my shell at work, but for whatever reason, I’ve never had much confidence in the workplace (in this workplace, specifically), so the lunch itself is causing me anxiety. We’ll see. He might end up saying, “Sorry, chica—if you want to move up, you’re gonna need to suck it up and get that PhD,” in which case I’m going to take a step back and do some serious self-evaluation. I’ve often thought about going back to get it, mainly because I’m surrounded by people with terminal degrees and I feel as though I haven’t quite achieved enough. However, if I do end up getting a PhD, I don’t know if I want it to be in my current field, or if I want something where I can actually work with people. My favorite jobs were those in which I’ve interacted with people constantly, even though those jobs were retail ones with meager paychecks and little growth opportunity. Often times, I feel I’m better suited for something like counseling or social work—a position where I’m working with people most of the time.
It’s funny, because it’s certainly not like I’m an extrovert in the true sense of the term. Personality tests have me right at the 50/50 mark, and certain traits take over in certain environments. When I was working in a restaurant or in customer service, I had no choice but to rely on my extroverted side, and I took pleasure and pride out of solving dilemmas, righting wrongs and making people happy. In my current job, I have my own office and interact with people on a very limited basis. Although I know I should escape the confines of these four walls to go talk to people, I have a difficult time because there’s no reason to do so, and I don’t want to seem like a nuisance or a bore. Because of those fears, I’ve grown increasingly introverted, and I’m at the point now where it’s going to be very difficult to break that shell and try to put myself out there. I’ve been here for a few years and I have a great track record, but unless I’ve worked specifically with people on teams, they just don’t know me. I don’t introduce myself to people. I don’t seek out public speaking opportunities. At meetings, I have an incredibly difficult time speaking up and asking questions, even if I’m mulling over a point in my head, and as a result I end up blending into the woodwork. The nice, quiet girl who gets her work done, but nobody really knows much else about her. I know I need to be more aggressive and assertive about getting placed on projects that will enhance and improve my skills, but I’m at a complete loss as to how exactly to do that.
So, we shall see. Hopefully it will be a fruitful lunch and hopeful I can begin acquiring some of the skills to make the most out of my career. And at the very least, it’s getting out of the office for lunch on a Friday, so there’s that.
Any tips for pushing through workplace shyness??