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careers/occupations for shy, quiet people who fear public speaking?


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Feb 26, 2008, 6:32pm   #1
french toast's Avatar
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Trying to brainstorm to help a friend who's feeling down because of shyness, anxiety, and general quietness in regards to its affect on having a future career.

Not too hard, right? Right, except the one condition is it cannot involve math or science (so no accounting, computer stuff, etc which was my first thought) of any variety.

Any ideas? Personal experiences? Thoughts?

Thanks for any help you have to offer.
Feb 26, 2008, 6:41pm   #2
tadpolenyc's Avatar
baahh, ram, ewe!
i don't know... it might be good for her to find a job where it requires her to interact with a lot of people. i used to be deathly shy when i was in middle school. my father forced me to get a summer job as a hostess/waitress just so that i would have no choice but to talk to people. i hated it at the time, but it really helped me develop my social skills. i can't say that i'm an extrovert now and love attention. i still feel awkward and don't always know what to say especially when i'm meeting someone new, but i am a whole lot better than i was at 13.

life is challenging, and the only way you survive is by embracing those obstacles. i sound like a cheesy motivational speaker, i know, but it's completely true. i mean, reading your post, it sounds like there are so many limitations (and that's just for finding a job!) and i can't imagine anyone being able to live like that. i would encourage her to get some sort of administrative assistant position in a medium-sized office. that way, she will have to talk to people, but not so much that it would overwhelm her. hopefully, she'll start to feel more comfortable around others. eventually, it will not only expand her skill set, but her social range too.
Feb 26, 2008, 6:52pm   #3
redney's Avatar
Lovin' Life!
What is this person's educational attainment and previous jobs? What does the person like to do?

A few things come to mind, and these are general fields/areas since I don't have further details:

--Clerical "back office" work, like filing. Ideas are in college/university admissions offices (TONS of paper, despite many applications are submitted online), libraries, medical offices/hospitals, etc.
--Library support, like classifying & shelving books and periodicals
--Night shift clerical or janitorial work

I found a downloadable book online called "Successful Careers for Shy People" - it's US$7.50 to download. http://www.e-library.us/Successful-C...ebooks3223.htm

Amazon.com also has a bunch of books on careers for shy people/introverts. Here's one called "200 Best Jobs for Introverts" http://www.amazon.com/Best-Jobs-Intr..._sim_b_title_4

A hard thing your friend may have to do is go through interviews. If you can coach or practice with him/her, it would probably really help!

Good luck to your friend!
Feb 26, 2008, 7:05pm   #4
french toast's Avatar
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Originally Posted by tadpolenyc
life is challenging, and the only way you survive is by embracing those obstacles. i sound like a cheesy motivational speaker, i know, but it's completely true. i mean, reading your post, it sounds like there are so many limitations (and that's just for finding a job!) and i can't imagine anyone being able to live like that.
I totally agree with you and think this is good advice. I've suggested this, and even threw out the idea of joining groups or possibly therapy sessions to work through the issues. She is adamant that she has "tried" in the past (part-time job working at a movie theater and as a busser in a cafe) and just has to accept that this is her life. It makes me really sad to see her limiting herself like this.

[quote=redney;5442087]What is this person's educational attainment and previous jobs? What does the person like to do?

She is in her second year of college because she felt pressure to attend, but does not have a clear idea what to study or where to go. She's only had part-time jobs (see above). As for her interests, she likes hiking/being outdoors, watches a ton of movies, bakes cookies and muffins and stuff, and we go to fitness classes together.

Thanks for the book recs, I'll forward them along. I appreciate the time you took to post.
Feb 26, 2008, 7:37pm   #5
redney's Avatar
Lovin' Life!
^^^Hi French Toast, hope the books and advice help your friend! The advice from Tadpolenyc and you for your friend to put herself in social situations to confront her fears is a great one! Perhaps she can take it slow - small "baby steps" - to help herself feel more comfortable around people

After hearing she likes to bake, what about a career in baking, desserts or cake design/decorating??

In high school I worked at a small family-run bakery in my hometown and the cake decorator there had serious skills! She made amazing designs on regular cakes (birthday, shower, etc.) but her best and most amazing work was to design and decorate gorgeous wedding cakes! Since it was detailed work, she worked alone in her own blocked off "room" in the back baking area, but she also had interaction with the other baking staff if she wanted.

She trained in a culinary school. Maybe your friend might be interested to think about this??

Good luck to her!
Feb 27, 2008, 12:09am   #6
T
Member
I too think that the way to go about this is to try convince her to come out of her shell, so to say. I used to be an extreme introvert too, up until I was 16. After this I switched schools and was forced to make new friends; I found it a great opportunity for me.

What I think your friend should maybe look into are smaller groups meant for people with problems with social situations etc., or simply a group of people who enjoy the things she does (movies, baking?). Maybe she could find one in her college? These kinds of small groups where no-one really knows the other are really great for developing social skills. I've been to a couple myself and I heartily recommend them!
Feb 28, 2008, 12:36am   #7
Zophie's Avatar
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I'm a court reporter. While I do have to interact with people, what I do for the most part is listen and I spend a good deal of time working at home.
Feb 28, 2008, 11:07am   #8
s
Happy Happy Joy Joy
Originally Posted by french toast
I totally agree with you and think this is good advice. I've suggested this, and even threw out the idea of joining groups or possibly therapy sessions to work through the issues. She is adamant that she has "tried" in the past (part-time job working at a movie theater and as a busser in a cafe) and just has to accept that this is her life. It makes me really sad to see her limiting herself like this.
I can totally understand where she is coming from. Honestly, for some of us, situations like that are much more anxiety provoking and it's not something you can will away. I never felt limited in my job choices (I had all of the miserable customer service jobs), but a lot of kinds of social interactions (large groups of people I didn't know, public speaking), scared the holy h#ll out of me. I ended up going to a therapist for something unrelated, but found therapy very helpful in addressing what I always thought was just "shyness." Medication (SSRIs) can also be helpful in managing anxiety. Best of luck to her.
Feb 28, 2008, 12:27pm   #9
randr21's Avatar
Watch "The Cove"
floral arranger or librarian...working with beautiful flowers or getting to read books sounds great to me, very calming.
Feb 28, 2008, 12:52pm   #10
tadpolenyc's Avatar
baahh, ram, ewe!
Originally Posted by stellamaried
I can totally understand where she is coming from. Honestly, for some of us, situations like that are much more anxiety provoking and it's not something you can will away. I never felt limited in my job choices (I had all of the miserable customer service jobs), but a lot of kinds of social interactions (large groups of people I didn't know, public speaking), scared the holy h#ll out of me.
i get anxious too. sometimes it feels paralyzing, but i do my best to fight it. i seriously believe that i might have a mild form of social anxiety disorder. i can recall days when i'd avoid going out alone or shopping by myself because i don't want to have to talk to people or even have them look at me. it makes me generally uncomfortable. i don't feel this way when i'm with a close friend or my boyfriend. i don't think it'll ever go away for me either. i've just come to realize that i'll never be charismatic or charming, but i hated how my extreme shyness has limited me in the past, so i guess i'm just doing everything i can now to try to beat it back so to speak.
Feb 28, 2008, 6:35pm   #11
MIB's Avatar
MIB
Birkin Addict
Perfect job for introverted people is on-line marketing( for the high end type of a job)and just a regular stock boy/girl in a warehouse for the lower end.Also security guard comes to mind. Or any thing internet related at home like processing rebates etc...
Feb 28, 2008, 6:57pm   #12
g
guccimamma
i have no suggestions french toast, but i love your screen name....my son named his favorite stuffed animal "French Toast"
Feb 28, 2008, 8:25pm   #13
bagnshoofetish's Avatar
Stomp & Chomp
data entry comes to mind.
Feb 28, 2008, 8:53pm   #14
g
Member
I have worked in the brokerage business. In the operations back office department it is a great job for people who want to be working on their own in a small group. I did this for awhile and it was a nice job. It was a very detailed oriented job. You had to make sure all the new account papers were correct, send copies to who ever needed them, make sure the right brokers got the papers they needed. It was a lot of paper work but it was interesting. It was also a business where they were happy to have good staff and treated you well.
I also worked as a sales assistant for brokers but that is a lot of communication with clients and brokers so one really needs to feel very comfortable talking to people all day long. The back office support might be something your friend would like.
I was also a buyers assistant for a wholesale import export firm and that was fun. It was doing all the paperwork for the 2 buyers in the department and I was on my own most of the time.

I myself can talk to anyone and enjoy people and have mostly worked dealing with clients, ect.... but I am very good at detailed work and enjoy the challenges of doing things on my own but doing them right and knowing I have done a great job. There really are a lot of jobs out there that give you a opportunity to work on your own but you can still be part of a group.
Some office jobs in hospitals are good. My one friend had a office job at a luxury hotel and she loved it.
One just has to think and you will be amazed at what is out there.
Jul 14, 2011, 9:25pm   #15
p
Member
She might have social anxiety disorder or social phobia. That's what I had. People always just said that I was shy but it was more than that. It was an irrational fear that negatively affects your friendships, work, school, and other areas of your life. I recieved therapy for it and although I'm not outgoing or extremely chatty, I'm still able to put myself out there and try to talk to people. I still would consider myself shy and prefer small groups but I'm not so scared of people that I wouldn't be able to handle a job that requires a little bit of social interaction.

hope this helps!!
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