Oh I am so in the same boat as you!
Once I get to know people I’m seen as rather outgoing and loud but when it comes to employment and people who I consider are in a position of authority all confidence goes completely out of the window.
Plus I am a terrible public speaker, I shake, stop breathing and in the worst moments I either swear or my eyes close!
So I totally know how frustrating it is to be shy, knowing that you can offer something valuble to a work place but can’t make people see it.
I am also the only one in the family who sufferes from this problem, my parents and brother are all in areas of work where they have to speak publically sometimes to large numbers of people. Its very frustrating.
I recently joined Toast Masters International its a world wide organization that helps people develop leadership skills and public speaking skills. I would recommend it, its only once a week and you work through the course material at your own pace.
There is also a lot to do with your internal dialogue too. Growing up I was told I wasn’t the most intelligent individual and my mother constantly told me I was wrong. So I learn’t to second guess myself and to always look to others and let them lead, even when I knew I was right and could offer a good opinion. Over time my internal dialogue came to strengthen what I had been shown and told by adults in my life, be it teachers or my mother.
I believed my opinion was not worthy and I believed that I should never try to lead in a discussion because I would inevitably make a mistake.
However, I suceeded in school and earned an MA. Emigrated to another country and am making a new and wonderful life with my Fiance. Now an adult I have to change those voices in my head.
Its going to take a while but I will do it because I know in my gut I will. And I believe anyone can do it too.
Think about why you feel this way when faced with employers and interviews etc get to the root of the problem, because there always is one and understanding that will help you over come it.
Think about Toast Masters International too its been helpful to me although I am only in the beginning stages of it. But most of all tell yourself daily;
I am smart and capable
My voice and opinion deserve to be heard
I am confident
That person on the other side of the desk is human too! With their own fears and issues.
Sounds cliche but trust me if you tell yourself something often enough you will believe it. Also look at what you have achieved in your life so far. These things do not have to be work related or academic they are things in your life you are proud of and that make you happy. These are important.
You will get there, just take it a day at a time. And believe in yourself.
Sorry for the essay. I tend to ramble on LOL!!