The first time I met a very popular figure was horrendous. I was frothing at the mouth, at loss of word and things to say, I kept trying to choose the right things to say and how to express myself but the words kept coming out wrong. And I know I’m not alone in this state of shyness and being introverted.
Have you ever gone to an interview and thereafter felt like beating yourself up? And I get a “yes”. I’m sure the feeling is mutual. That feeling that you could have been more outspoken, more expressive, more in tune with what was going on in the interview room by being bold. Or the feeling that you could have been more in control of a conversation that will lead to greater career opportunities or more job openings coming your way.
You are shy and introverted; you always seem to be at loss for words when you need the words most. And you are concerned, even worried that your career choice needs a certain level of being extroverted.
Before you get yourself worked up in anxiety over your personality; Let me show you the good things you possess, so you can focus on them:
Introverts think before they talk, they ruminate and chew on a matter before talking. This means that they are more level headed and are not prone to spewing and bragging. They weigh things in their minds and look at them well before they talk.
Introverts exude an air of peace and calmness that reflects in their environment and consequently, the people they work with. The calmness exuded by introverts makes working with them look less difficult than it would have looked like. In crises, introverts give off an air of peace that makes everyone around them become less anxious and on edge than they would have.
Introverts are usually people with depth. This is basically because they ruminate and churn things in their minds; they therefore see things in different perspectives. They like to dig deep into matters before making a finite judgment.
Introverts usually prefer writing to talking, they also read a lot. This therefore means that their affinity for research and resource is high.
So, how do you sell yourself seeing that you are such a shy person?
You may not be able to talk like a sales person, but you can leverage on your inner strengths and make sure they exude and give off your expertise at all times.
Know your audience very well: I don’t mean get personal and very intimate information about each person you want to meet. But, make sure you understand the kind of people you want to sell yourself to, what they are interested in, what makes them tick, what businesses they are involved in etc. Check up what are their business concerns etc. You have a specific industry you are targeting, learn what the jobs in that industry entail, understand the perimeters of work and career in that industry, get information about industries in close relation with that industry and expand your career, job, work condition and environment knowledge on those industries too. Research is therefore very essential.
Use your wealth of knowledge as your weapon against shyness: Now that you know so much about the industry, position yourself in your friend and family members’ mind as the go-to person on that industry and subject matter. Gradually, begin to talk to people outside your circle as you meet them, on the knowledge you have. For example, you know a lot about social media and you want to be positioned as someone who is vast in career fields related to social media. Let your conversations with people and problems create awareness in their minds that you know a lot about the subject matter. Pick up words and conversations in the line of that career and job, and talk about it.
After a while you’ll notice that your knowledge and depth in that industry/career path will give you some sort of pride which will in turn make you confident. This is because you are talking about what you love without selling it in the “in your face” manner. You are not making conversations revolve around you, you are making conversations revolve around how you can solve people’s problem through the knowledge you have on a particular field or fields.
Use other non-verbal platforms to sell yourself: Blog, be active on social media networks, get on the professional network platforms and build conversations around your business, job and career path.
To re-emphasize the aforementioned- Be an expert, become known as an expert and build relationships.
The key is to soak yourself in being knowledgeable and speaking about what you do, your career path and job will make you confident of yourself. Confidence in what you do and love breathes self assurance, opening you up to career and job opportunities.