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    Hi everyone,

    Hope this doesn't seem like too much of a self-indulgent post - I just wondered whether anyone had experienced difficulty in work due to shyness / lack of self confidence?

    I had always been quite lucky in doing well academically (Cambridge First) and was very lucky to get on to a good graduate scheme (Civil Service Fast Stream), but I've been finding it really difficult to adjust due to shyness. I find it really difficult in meetings / group discussions with stakeholders to keep up and fight my corner even though I enjoy the written briefings / submissions side. I guess part of this is being new (I've only been working for 7 months and have just rotated to a new role), but it seems like most other people on the scheme have a lot self belief and confidence that I don't have (this was particularly clear at the induction where I felt really out of place and overwhelmed). Although I find the subject matter really interesting I'm not sure I'm the kind of go getting, leadership material, networking person they're looking for.

    I guess the problem is despite being a high achiever I'm still highly introverted - people tried to encourage me into academia but I never really liked the insularity of it (I know that sounds contradictory with what I've just said about myself!) Ideally I'd like to try to overcome the shyness though I'm not sure that I'm cut out to be a Fast Streamer - on the other hand I have no idea what else I'd do.

    Sorry this probably sounds a little grating to people who are going through more difficult problems though wanted to see if anyone else had experienced similar issues or has views (I was unemployed for a while after graduating so I have been a worse position before).
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    (Original post by SolomonBurke)
    Hi everyone,

    Hope this doesn't seem like too much of a self-indulgent post - I just wondered whether anyone had experienced difficulty in work due to shyness / lack of self confidence?

    I had always been quite lucky in doing well academically (Cambridge First) and was very lucky to get on to a good graduate scheme (Civil Service Fast Stream), but I've been finding it really difficult to adjust due to shyness. I find it really difficult in meetings / group discussions with stakeholders to keep up and fight my corner even though I enjoy the written briefings / submissions side. I guess part of this is being new (I've only been working for 7 months and have just rotated to a new role), but it seems like most other people on the scheme have a lot self belief and confidence that I don't have (this was particularly clear at the induction where I felt really out of place and overwhelmed). Although I find the subject matter really interesting I'm not sure I'm the kind of go getting, leadership material, networking person they're looking for.

    I guess the problem is despite being a high achiever I'm still highly introverted - people tried to encourage me into academia but I never really liked the insularity of it (I know that sounds contradictory with what I've just said about myself!) Ideally I'd like to try to overcome the shyness though I'm not sure that I'm cut out to be a Fast Streamer - on the other hand I have no idea what else I'd do.

    Sorry this probably sounds a little grating to people who are going through more difficult problems though wanted to see if anyone else had experienced similar issues or has views (I was unemployed for a while after graduating so I have been a worse position before).
    If the Civil Service thought you weren't cut out, they would never have taken you on! Sounds though like you could really benefit from drama classes.
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    (Original post by SolomonBurke)
    Hi everyone,

    Hope this doesn't seem like too much of a self-indulgent post - I just wondered whether anyone had experienced difficulty in work due to shyness / lack of self confidence?

    I had always been quite lucky in doing well academically (Cambridge First) and was very lucky to get on to a good graduate scheme (Civil Service Fast Stream), but I've been finding it really difficult to adjust due to shyness. I find it really difficult in meetings / group discussions with stakeholders to keep up and fight my corner even though I enjoy the written briefings / submissions side. I guess part of this is being new (I've only been working for 7 months and have just rotated to a new role), but it seems like most other people on the scheme have a lot self belief and confidence that I don't have (this was particularly clear at the induction where I felt really out of place and overwhelmed). Although I find the subject matter really interesting I'm not sure I'm the kind of go getting, leadership material, networking person they're looking for.

    I guess the problem is despite being a high achiever I'm still highly introverted - people tried to encourage me into academia but I never really liked the insularity of it (I know that sounds contradictory with what I've just said about myself!) Ideally I'd like to try to overcome the shyness though I'm not sure that I'm cut out to be a Fast Streamer - on the other hand I have no idea what else I'd do.

    Sorry this probably sounds a little grating to people who are going through more difficult problems though wanted to see if anyone else had experienced similar issues or has views (I was unemployed for a while after graduating so I have been a worse position before).


    Hey! I totally feel you! I found myself really overwhelmed in my previous internship. It felt like I was being super shy/ unconfident within a loud crowd, despite having some brilliant ideas (my manager's words) which I couldn't quite get across.

    First thing I'd say is that the workplace is quite a different environment from Cambridge, where I have found most people to be introverted/ thoughtful/ not so much in-your-face, and we all have to get over that fact, sooner or later.

    Also, we were told in one of the training sessions that an organisation needs all types of (Myers-Briggs) personalities to succeed, so the fact that you were chosen to be a fast streamer might not be despite your shyness/ introversion but because of it! There are so many different styles of management/ leadership, and you don't have to be the loudest person to be the best at it.

    I wouldn't try to 'overcome' your shyness/ try to be like others at work. [In my experience this only increases my stress and makes me even more shy...] I would try to do what comes naturally in every situation,but maybe take baby steps towards putting yourself out of your comfort zone, e.g. practice/ prepare to say a few words at the next meeting.

    This scheme is a really fantastic one and I would stick with it. You may even find your niche after doing a number of rotations. This is kind of the point of doing rotation- you are not supposed to like them all/ feel comfortable at every role.

    Best of luck with it all
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    I could have written your post myself! I am also a new Civil Service FastStreamer (although only started this month), and feel exactly the same.

    From what I have picked up so far:

    Don't be too hard on yourself. As has been said, you wouldn't have got through the application process if you weren't capable of being there. Remember also that being a FastStreamer does not mean you are expected to have all the right skills and experience there straight away, it means they think you have the potential to do well there.

    How's your line manager? My line manager is brilliantly supportive with my anxiety and lack of confidence, so together we're working on some strategies to work on communicating and developing confidence there. For me that means small goals, like practising eye contact skills, aiming to say one or two sentences in a team meeting, and looking at courses to help with communication (either through CSL or face-to-face, with expenses paid as a 'business need'). If you haven't already, look at some of the CSL communication or presentation skills courses. I didn't find them all that useful for the anxiety/shyness, but you might find differently. But please do talk to your line manager to help work out some goals to develop your confidence, don't be afraid to ask.

    Assuming you have some work objectives/CPD type stuff, is there anything you can think of as a specific target to try and improve those skills?
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    Yeah, shyness at work can hinder your productivity and overall performance. I was told in my performance review that my shyness was holding me back too. My manager said I needed more self-belief and confidence in the decisions that I chose to make. Unfortunately, since I work in FMCG and Logistics, shyness just doesn't cut it. I HAVE to be confident and loud. I am working with Ex-Military people and Logistics Managers who are all hard heads with strong personalities.

    I graduated with a 2:1 from LSE in History so I understand what you mean. It is something you will learn and gain more experience over time. Think about how being shy and therefore withholding information in a meeting could potentially impact the process of how a policy decision is being made. Then think about why you chose the Civil Service Fast Stream - was it not to learn about how policy decisions are being made in Govt deps? Watch and learn from your more experienced colleagues, imitate their actions in your own head and pretend you were doing the same thing but in your own words?
 
 
 
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