Anxiety and Your Career

Don't Let Social Anxiety Ruin Your Career!

Don't Let Social Anxiety Ruin Your Career!

Social anxiety is a serious problem because it can easily affect you on many levels. Not only does it prevent you from having an active social life, but it can also stop you from reaching success on a professional level. 

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People with social anxiety are often afraid to ask for a raise, speak their mind or even give up the comfort of their stable job for a potentially better one. Slowly but surely, you end up stuck in a rut and nobody likes that. The saddest thing is that most people who end up in this situation are fully aware of their condition. Those who struggle with social anxiety usually hit a career dead-end because they’re completely terrified of failure and negative evaluation. Without further ado, here are four ways in which social anxiety can ruin your career. Don't let it!  

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1. You Miss out on Valuable Networking Opportunities

As we all know, social anxiety prevents us from having a healthy social interaction with our friends, colleagues and pretty much anyone else. The first thing we need to understand is that we cannot make it on our own. Humans are social creatures, meaning that our success and well-being rely heavily on our social interactions. If social anxiety prevents you from attending a meeting, conference or any other social event, you’ll lose valuable networking opportunities. It might be a job offer, a chance to promote your business or even the opportunity to learn something new.

It Gets Personal Too

On a strictly personal level, you simply cannot meet new friends or possible dates if you’re too afraid to show your face in public. Being able to socialize is just as important as having a good education. In fact, your social skills complement your mental abilities, making you more appealing to others. For example, employers are not just looking for someone who’s competent and hard-working, they also want a friendly individual who’s charismatic and open to conversation.    

2. You Reject Better Offers

A lot of people with social anxiety are extremely competent in their fields. Sooner or later, someone might notice them. Even more than that, they might receive better offers from employers who recognize their skills and abilities. When the phone rings and someone offers you a better job, are you ready to say YES. Sadly, most people who deal with social anxiety might not be ready to give up their old job for a new one.

First of all, the lack of adaptability makes it difficult for you to switch jobs. A fresh start means, getting used to new people, new places and new activities. Although it takes some effort on your part, just remember that a new job comes with better opportunities.

Fear of Change

Second of all, the fear of change might explain your hesitation. A new job involves a series of changes that people with social anxiety are not very fond of. They like to play it safe because this strategy eliminates the possibility of failure. Change is scary for everyone but this doesn’t mean that we should completely reject it. 

3. You Get Stuck in an Unpleasant Routine

As we mentioned earlier, people who struggle with social anxiety and terrified of change. In fact, they are the biggest fans of routine. It’s completely understandable, given the fact that routines bring a certain amount of stability into our lives. Sadly, it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes, we get stuck in bad routines because we’re too afraid to make a change. Social anxiety narrows your perspective, making you blind to other alternatives. On the one hand you’re too afraid to make a change, because you might fail, and on the other hand - you don’t want to give up the comfort of your routines. Ultimately, you get stuck in a dead-end job, with absolutely no perspective for a better future.  

4. You're Too Afraid to Ask for a Raise/Promotion

We know for a fact that people with social anxiety are afraid of confrontation. For them, any person with a higher social status is a potential danger. If you’re lucky enough to work in a company where the manager truly cares about his employees, you might get a promotion/raise without having to ask. Unfortunately, a lot of managers are more interested in profit, which means that they’ll give you a promotion/raise, only if you demand it. Why should you risk asking your boss for a promotion? It's simple - you have nothing to lose! There are two possible options here:

  1. You receive a promotion/raise;
  2. Your request is denied and things remain as they were.

If you want to learn how to politely ask your boss for a raise or a higher position in the company, you read our article about assertiveness. 

Full reference: 

(Dec 4, 2015). Anxiety and Your Career. Retrieved Dec 19, 2018 from Explorable.com: https://explorable.com/e/anxiety-and-your-career

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