It’s Shyness, Not Arrogance

Anonymous writes:
I am bashful but present a calm exterior to the world that is frequently misinterpreted
as arrogance. I swear if someone asks me one more time why I’m so quiet I will hurt
somebody. Anyway because I tend toward reticence and am not “perky” (but by
no means rude or unfriendly) I am consistently turned down for jobs. I cannot
become a perky outgoing person over night nor am I an actress but I certainly
need to eat. What can I do to increase the likelihood of getting a job?



The Career Doctor responds:
Job-hunting is always harder for introverts – from networking to interviewing so much
of job-hunting is focused on how well you can interact with people and make good
impressions – skills much better suited for extroverts.
And you’re right shy people can be easily seen as arrogant. In fact when I first
met my wife I was sure I would never have anything to do with her socially because
she appeared to me as someone who was arrogant and superior. Later of course I
discovered that she was simply a shy person around people she didn’t know.
The best advice I have for you is to find a way to channel some degree of extroversion
when you really need it such as in networking and interviewing situations. So much
of job-hunting deals with first impressions and while you can overcome negative first
impressions with a lot of effort it makes more sense to try and manage that first
impression. You don’t need to be “Ms. Perky” but you do need to appear friendly
and approachable.
You might consider working with a career coach or other professional who can
work with you in developing some simple exercises and running through some
mock interviews so that you become comfortable in these situations.
Finally I think you need to overcome this issue about being an actress. The
best job-hunters – the most successful job-hunters – know how to act in interviews.
Acting is not lying; acting is adjusting your job-hunting to fit the current situation.
If you decide to consider a career coach use the
Quintessential Careers Directory of Life and Career Coaches.

;

Anonymous writes:
I am bashful but present a calm exterior to the world that is frequently misinterpreted
as arrogance. I swear if someone asks me one more time why I’m so quiet I will hurt
somebody. Anyway because I tend toward reticence and am not “perky” (but by
no means rude or unfriendly) I am consistently turned down for jobs. I cannot
become a perky outgoing person over night nor am I an actress but I certainly
need to eat. What can I do to increase the likelihood of getting a job?



The Career Doctor responds:
Job-hunting is always harder for introverts – from networking to interviewing so much
of job-hunting is focused on how well you can interact with people and make good
impressions – skills much better suited for extroverts.
And you’re right shy people can be easily seen as arrogant. In fact when I first
met my wife I was sure I would never have anything to do with her socially because
she appeared to me as someone who was arrogant and superior. Later of course I
discovered that she was simply a shy person around people she didn’t know.
The best advice I have for you is to find a way to channel some degree of extroversion
when you really need it such as in networking and interviewing situations. So much
of job-hunting deals with first impressions and while you can overcome negative first
impressions with a lot of effort it makes more sense to try and manage that first
impression. You don’t need to be “Ms. Perky” but you do need to appear friendly
and approachable.
You might consider working with a career coach or other professional who can
work with you in developing some simple exercises and running through some
mock interviews so that you become comfortable in these situations.
Finally I think you need to overcome this issue about being an actress. The
best job-hunters – the most successful job-hunters – know how to act in interviews.
Acting is not lying; acting is adjusting your job-hunting to fit the current situation.
If you decide to consider a career coach use the
Quintessential Careers Directory of Life and Career Coaches.

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