What would you do to find joy in your career?
Outgoing people just step out and take what they want. Shy people, on the other hand, have more questions, go slower and sometimes feel like they can’t take the risk.
Anna has been with her current company for close to 20 years. She keeps getting promoted, which is great. Now she is the big boss, GM of the office responsible for P&L and everything in the facility. It is a big job. She does it well. But she is not happy.
As a shy person, Anna does not have a flashy, command-and-control style. She approaches leadership as a relationship builder. She solicits feedback and makes everyone feel included. She knows everyone, the clients and the team, very well. She is comfortable. She is just not happy.
Anna wants something else. She does not know how to get what she wants. She is nervous outside of her comfort zone. She is a little afraid.
Shy people can let fear stop them sometimes in a way that outgoing people can’t understand. “Just get out there and claim what you want.”
Easier said than done.
It takes courage. And pain sometimes. How uncomfortable does a shy person have to be before taking action? Pretty fed up, I can tell you from personal experience.
So what is a shy person supposed to do to find joy? The same thing everyone else does. I think there are a few basic steps:
1) Know what you want
2) Make a plan
3) Execute the plan. Shy people might follow the same general steps. They might do it a little different, that’s all.
If that describes you, if you feel nervous about networking or taking what you want, then here are some tips for you as a shy person to find joy in doing what you want:
- Don’t second guess yourself. Sometimes shy people allow fear to control. Fear of what other people will say. Fear of taking a risk. Fear of failure. Instead of controlling your entire destiny, work on quieting that inner second guessing voice. Tell it to sit down and shut up for a while. Then you can think clearly about what you really want. Knowing what you want is the first step to finding joy.
- Set achievable goals. If you know that networking is important in your career change to find joy, be realistic about what you can reasonably do. Don’t set a goal of attending too many networking events if those events make your skin crawl. Set achievable goals like talking to 3 people you don’t know at a networking event. Then you can leave. Pushing yourself beyond your limits only allows fear to get control as you become more uncomfortable.
- Don’t put yourself in positions that make you feel fearful or out of control. There are plenty of ways to network that do not require whatever it is you might fear. Choose methods of career analysis and search that make sense for you.
- Find a support group. Find people to talk to who understand you and can boost you up when you are flagging or questioning.
- Get a coach. Partner with an expert who can help you in your journey to get what you want. You want a coach who will work with you, listen to you, and support you on your journey. Find someone who can help you organize your quest according to your needs, not just stick with a pre-determined schedule. Flexibility is key.
- Use techniques that make sense for you. No sense forcing yourself into networking situations (for example) that you know you won’t do well. There are plenty of ways for a shy person to comfortably network their way into a new role that brings them joy.