7Dec/090

Your own personal Stephen

by Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

One of my very best friends, I’ll call him Stephen, because his name is Stephen, is completely fearless. He can walk up to anyone and within minutes they’re like old friends. I used to say he could talk the knife from a serial killer. Problem is he would have talked him into a sharper knife just to help him out a little. He is open, completely affable and there isn’t a disingenuous bone in his long body. Me, on the other hand, I’ve always been rather shy, my worst nightmare used to walking into a room of strangers and it still gives me a bit of the heeb jeebs when I have to do it. But a long time ago I learned to channel Stephen. I just throw his cloak about my shoulders and well, shoulder on. I’ve learned how to talk to people I don’t know, make phone calls to strangers and be more myself at the same time. Don’t get me wrong; Stephen isn’t perfect, his car used to be a trash bin harboring more bacteria than your average housefly. He’s always late, more often than not he looks like he slept in his clothes and he can’t remember a punch line. But he’s given me the ability to be brave. So when the time comes to pitch yourself to a prospective contact, interviewer or just a person you’d like to get to know better channel your own personal Stephen. Use him to put the veneer of fearlessness about you and go forth and conquer.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t be yourself, not at all, not even a little. Especially when it comes to job interviews and, well, your actual life. What I’m saying is that there will always be people around you that you can learn from and if one of them teaches you to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations you’re more likely to make a positive impression. You can relax enough to engage in good conversation and make some new friends or important connections. You’ll also give off an air of confidence that will no doubt impress a prospective employer. So get out there, think about your Stephen and see what happens! You'll find the confidence you need and then it's all yours.

Want to learn more about overcoming job hunt shyness? Come to an AfterSchool Career Workshop day-long seminar and learn the secrets to a successful, productive and non-intimidating job search!

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