Starting a brand new job can be incredibly daunting. It would be great if we could all skip right to the part where we feel confident in our new role and have good working relationships with our colleagues – yet these things require effort. Fitting in with your new work environment and becoming confident in your role are the key ingredients to a happy work life.
If you are someone who is naturally shy, this just adds to the pressure of starting a new job. Being shy in the workplace can make you feel insecure, and can affect your career progress. So what can you do to overcome shyness in a new job?
1. Determine what makes you shy
Try to figure out what it is that actually makes you shy in your new role. Do you find someone intimidating? Are you lacking confidence in the role itself? Are you simply shy because it is a new role, or is it anxiety? Getting to the core of the problem will help you to understand why you are feeling this way and may lead to a solution.
Feeling uncomfortable and isolating yourself in a new role can lead to an unhappy work life. So if you feel this way, never be afraid to confide in someone you trust. You are never alone!
2. Ask questions
When you’re feeling shy, the very last thing you want is for the spotlight to be on you. This can hinder any desire to interact with and get to know your colleagues. However, if you take the focus off yourself and ask questions, it will show that you are genuinely interested in getting to know that person, all while taking the pressure off yourself. This will make it much easier to make connections with your colleagues.
3. Find common ground with your colleagues
This essentially leads on from the previous point – once you’ve got to know your colleagues a little better through asking questions, begin to find common ground with them. When you have something in common to talk about, this will make them seem much more approachable.
4. Plan after work activities
Team-building exercises are a fun and lighthearted way to get to know your colleagues. Whether it’s after work drinks or a fun group activity, it’s the perfect way to break the ice and get involved. Seeing your colleagues out of the workplace environment might also make them seem a lot less intimidating than they were before.
5. Give it time
Remember that it is completely normal to feel shy in a new job, and it will take time to get settled in and feel comfortable in your new surroundings with your new colleagues. Learn as you go along, take a few mental notes and keep an open mind. Settling into a new role will always demand patience and effort.
6. Be yourself
Keep in mind that out of the hundreds of candidates that applied for your position, you are the one who landed the role. Instead of wasting time feeling afraid, allow your personality, skills and qualities to shine because at the end of the day, that is why you are there.
Katy Mairs is the blog editor at student shipping company Unibaggage.com.
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