It’s hard to get a job when you have social anxiety. You may stutter when you feel nervous or panicked answering questions in an interview. You may have room for improvement in public speaking, but that shouldn’t stop you from applying for jobs that interest you.
Joining a new team comes with expectations, and includes traveling to professional events to mingle with colleagues and potential partners. Whether it’s the holidays or happy hours, it can be daunting to attend work events when you have social anxiety.
Here are some expert tips on what to do to get your dream job when you have social anxiety.
Get to know your potential employer
It is important to get to know the culture of the company you are applying for. Before the interview, you may be able to find out if you will be expected to lead meetings, give presentations, or host webinars. If you suffer from severe social anxiety, you may not want to accept a position where you will frequently meet with co-workers outside of work.
“Look for flexibility and don’t be afraid to ask about preparation efforts. An inclusive workplace leaves room for people with different experiences,” says Wemi Opakunle, a career and life coach.
When you are invited to a first job interview, be sure to prepare questions for the person receiving you. Dig a little deeper and discover his path. Take a look on LinkedIn or search for his resume online. Make it clear that you took the time to get to know this person and this company.
Research the company and job thoroughly. Have you been in the press lately? Have you recently done any work that interests you? “It gives you the opportunity to have a conversation outside of the job description,” says Ms. Obakunle.
Prepare for interview questions
For people with social anxiety, preparation is important. You may feel less nervous during the interview if you know ahead of time what questions you will be asked.
You can find questions a company has asked in previous interviews for a job you’re applying for by doing a quick Google search. It turns out that often former candidates post the questions they were asked during interviews. You can also learn more about the company’s culture by browsing reviews.
The best way to find interview questions is to submit the company name to Google and write “interview questions” next to it.
“You just don’t find any interview question that might be general and unhelpful in helping you decide if the job is right for you,” Obagunle tells Forbes.
“Be clear about what you want to get out of the interview and prepare your questions accordingly,” explains the former recruiter.
Also, consult a mentor in your field about what kind of questions you should ask at the end of the interview. See a mental health professional if your anxiety about the hiring process becomes debilitating.
Organizing mock interviews
Practice interviewing with your teacher, former classmate, or family member. Don’t consume too much caffeine before an interview, as it can make you jittery. You can also find online exercise manuals and podcasts for professionals with social anxiety.
“The more people with social anxiety exercise, the better,” says Brock Schnittman, an ADHD coach with social anxiety.
I became more socially savvy after working in education for 18 years. This ADHD coach and influencer believes it’s important to practice for interviews, but be selective about who you train with.
They have to rely on people they trust and who will give them honest feedback, someone they won’t worry about, she says.
Talk to former employees
Feel free to contact a former employee of the company you are applying to. LinkedIn is a great way to network while remaining professional. If you can’t reach him directly on LinkedIn, send him an attention-grabbing email.
You can always make an appointment with a former employee. Be sure to ask him questions about interviews and job prospects.
It may feel like you’re cheating in the interview process, but it’s okay to use your network to find and keep a job.
You may feel anxious about contacting someone you don’t know. That’s okay: write the first email and read it to the therapist if you can. Then you can ask questions of the former employee of the company with a second look.
Have a communication strategy
If social contact is making you anxious, you can work out a plan with an anxiety therapist or coach. How can you reduce your anxiety when you are in a large group? How do you deal with new people? What do you say when you meet new people while you are unemployed?
Mental health professionals can answer all of these questions. To get started, try giving yourself mini social duties and reward yourself as you build professional relationships. People with social anxiety should not be afraid to put themselves forward. The less you isolate yourself, the easier it will be for you to interact with people from all walks of life.
“With this pandemic, a large number of people have developed social anxiety. If they are not going out and socializing, those anxious thoughts are still there,” she explains.
People with social anxiety need a communication strategy. If you isolate yourself, you are fueling your social anxiety. »
Translated article from the American magazine Forbes – Author: Maya Richard Craven
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