Last week, I shared tips on how to deal with professional commitments when you have social anxiety.  This week, I wanted to dive a little deeper, especially if you’re looking to advance your career. While people often find job interviews to be a little nerve-wracking, you find them downright debilitating. I remember the first time I had to go through a group interview, I was so nervous and scared that they could all sense my anxiety. It can be really hard to advance in your career when you can’t handle things like interviews and job meetings. Here are some tips I’ve found helpful for advancing your career even with social anxiety.

Tips to Advance Your Career with Social Anxiety

Change Your Mindset

The first thing you need to do when you want to advance your career is to change your mindset. This can be challenging at first, but with practice and vigilance, you can make it happen. For me personally, I never want my anxiety to get the best of me where it prevents me from doing things I really want to do.

Although you won’t be able to cure your social anxiety, by changing your mindset and focusing on positive instead of negative feelings, you can handle work situations in small bursts. Focus on how you will feel after you’ve accomplished that thing that gives you so much anxiety. You’ll definitely feel relieved and maybe even proud that you were able to get through the task. Think about the positive impact of that job interview or work event, and it can really make a big difference in how you handle your career as a whole.

Show That You Are Confident

This is important whether you are going in for a job interview, meeting with your boss about a raise or promotion, or you have to speak at a future staff meeting. Even if you don’t feel confident, you should express it. Volunteer to lead a meeting or give a small presentation and just use these tips when it’s time to deliver.

Other people won’t know you have anxiety if you don’t let them see it. Knowing all they see is a strong, confident person can help you change your mindset and set you up for success, even if you are still feeling anxious and fearful on the inside.

Get Help When You Need It

You should never be afraid to ask for help, even when it comes to your job or career. If you have a staff meeting where you need to address a room full of people, and you just don’t think you can do it alone, ask if a co-worker can help. You don’t want them to take over, but stand up there with you, acting as your assistant. This can help you make the presentation, but feel a little less fearful about it.

Once, I volunteered to give a small presentation at an event for some of the key contributors to our event. I knew the topic, but I wasn’t an expert on it. I went to my Vice President and let her know I was speaking on the topic and asked her for the key points I should address in the situation. Having the key points helped me because then I could just focus and frame what I wanted to say.

Be Careful with Overthinking

Overthinking is an unfortunate side effect of social anxiety. You tend to think other people are staring at you, judging you, and talking about you. The truth is, most people don’t even know you are fearful around others. If you can stop overthinking, you can start feeling more confident and help to advance your career. Practice breathing before a professional commitment that gives you anxiety.

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