SA at Work Affecting Career/Future - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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SA at Work Affecting Career/Future

I got a new job about 7 months ago, which was a step forward both in terms of responsibility and social demands at work. Cross-functional work is vital to my job, and as such, requires constant social interaction.

I do not feel as if I have been successful in getting out of my comfort zone, still content to sit at my desk and keep my head down rather than networking and building relationships. I fear I have been at my current job long enough to earn an unfortunate reputation as the quiet guy who doesn't socialize.

Has anyone been in a similar situation, where they were able to address these perceptions (real or not) and be more social at work?

I'm starting to become very concerned that my SA and introvertedness has already painted me as someone who isn't worth promoting, developing or investing in as an employee.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 11:43 AM
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I worry about this a lot too. I'm often hiding behind my computer and sending emails instead of talking to coworkers face to face. It's hard for me to force myself to go talk to someone. I would love to get to a place where I have an unstructured chat with at least one person per workday.

My saving grace is meetings and committees. I find I'm much more comfortable in a structured, goal-oriented social interaction. I build up my network that way, and I think that's the reason I've made a good number of work allies. I don't feel like I have true work friends because of my avoidance of conversations, but I do think people have a good impression of me when we do talk. I had one coworker who ended up riding with me for 5 hours returning from a conference and we bonded a lot. We haven't had many conversations since then, but I can tell she still likes me because of that experience.

Being the quiet one at work isn't so bad; I think most people respect it and assume you are just a hard worker who doesn't have time for chitchat. There are plenty of chatty people they can distract themselves with if they want. I don't think you have to be extroverted to be seen as worthy of promotion. There are a lot of extroverts who are overconfident and then screw up their jobs because they don't do the actual work. And introverts have strengths too in leadership, like being thoughtful, careful, and empathic.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 07:02 AM
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I'm naturally introverted, so social interaction can be kind of draining. But I try to push myself, just to better my social skills. I find that our meetings and my regular interviewing of candidates is small, concise enough to feel comfortable. And I'm in control too. I think if you are making small, bite sized steps to increase your social capabilities, then you can at least be happy that progress is being made.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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Feel like I've been doing better lately, even the small interactions when I pass someone in the break room and say good morning.

We had a potluck today that felt like a setback, as I don't do well in social situations like that in a big group. I struggle to initiate conversations or even interject myself in current ones, and at times I perceived a few people talked to me out of pity. Whether true or not, who knows, but my mind thought that at least.

But for sure I'm taking solace in the fact that I have been more talkative in water-cooler type of interactions, as well as with my teammates joking around and all. So in that sense, yes it's progress, and now I have a bit more confidence to approach improving in situations with bigger groups.

Today was especially draining, I've basically locked myself in my room to recharge for the night.
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