How Being Shy Can Affect Your Career and What You Should Do to Change it


Studies have shown that being shy can have a serious impact on nearly every aspect of your life, including your career. Shyness can affect everything to do with your professional development and ultimately your chances of success. If you feel that being shy is preventing you from realising your career goals, then it’s clear you need to do something about it.

Here are some ways your shyness can affect your career:

  • It can make you unsure of which career path to follow.
  • Prevent you from being assertive enough to make important career decisions.
  • Make you more likely to refuse promotions.
  • Limit your ability to present yourself and sell your skills effectively at job interviews.
  • Limit your ability to network effectively.
  • Make you bypass career opportunities.

Since you don’t want this happening to you, check out the following tips to help you overcome or at least manage your shyness:

1. Get Talking

The more you talk, the more you learn. When you are out and surrounded by people, try to convince yourself to make that first step and go talk to them. Introduce yourself and ask them simple questions about themselves to get started with small talk. In the long run, this will help you improve your communication skills, help you revise the way you connect with other people and ultimately enhance your networking abilities. For now, just focus on making small steps so that you can get over your fears.

2. Fake it Until You Make It

An effective way of overcoming your shyness is faking it until you make it. Find out what it is that’s preventing you from speaking your mind, get to know your fears and face them. For example, if you don’t like presenting or talking in front of a group of people, go out there and do it. Turn your weakest points to your advantage by working on those things you are most afraid of doing.

There are many great remarks about ‘faking it until you make it’ and whether it is actually beneficial for you career. Many people choose a career that’s against their natural tendencies to help them develop. Check out the video above to listen to some interesting viewpoints on the subject.

3. Trust Yourself More

When you trust your instincts, there is no way you can go wrong. If you think you have something important to say just go for it. Stop caring about what others think of you as this is distracting you from doing your work effectively. The only thing that’s stopping you from doing that is you. So make it your goal to trust your own beliefs, values and decisions and to be yourself.

Check out this motivational video to help you understand how important trusting yourself is in your life and in relation to your career.

4. Boost Your Confidence

In order to become more extroverted, you need to first develop self-confidence. Luckily there are many excellent ways to do that which can also help you get to know yourself better. If you think the lack of confidence is preventing you from progressing career wise and getting more things done, here are some great ideas to help you out:

  1. Sign up for dancing classes.
  2. Start exercising.
  3. Join a cause or volunteer.
  4. Change your body posture.
  5. Dress nicely.
  6. Eliminate negative thoughts.
  7. Attend seminars on self-development.

The most important factor that can boost your confidence and self-worth is thinking positively. Only if you manage to change your way of thinking will you feel better about yourself and transmit this positive energy to those around you.

5. Expose Yourself to Social Situations

Your shyness can influence you to say no to party invites or going out with friends. Despite wanting to go with them, you prefer to lock yourself in a room and not risk the chance of encountering strangers and having to talk to them.

However, forcing yourself to do this is very beneficial for your personal wellbeing and your career! Whenever you have the opportunity to go out, don’t miss it! This will help you learn how to interact effectively with other people, as well as eliminate your insecurities and social anxiety.

6. Avoid Over-Analyzing Things

The most common mistake you are making is over-analyzing things in your head. This is not only time-consuming but also self-destructive since you are only putting limitations on yourself. You are thinking about what people said, why they said it, what it meant and you end up torturing yourself. Your fear of being embarrassed or doing something wrong puts you on the spot, and you are risking more than you imagine – even your chances for career advancement.

While being shy is not necessarily a weakness, sometimes it may be preventing you from showing that you are excellent at what you do. If you want to show you are an exceptional individual, you should step up following the tips above and take your career to the next level!

How else do you think being shy affects your career development? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.