I read something today that said somewhere around sixty-five gazillion percent of job openings never go public but are hired from word of mouth or networking contacts. Seriously, it said sixty-five gazillion! Okay, okay, it didn’t say sixty-five gazillion…I don’t remember the actual percentage but, in the words of President Elect Donald Trump, it was HUGE! Apparently one must be extroverted to get ahead in this job market. So, it appears my introverted personality has me in quite a pickle these days.

Don’t get me wrong, I have my moments. Actually, a lot of people would find it hard to believe I am an introvert because I seem extroverted in certain situations. As a musician and public speaker, I have absolutely no problem standing on a stage and performing or speaking. I have performed in front of over 10,000 before and had no issue with it. Similarly, as a retail sales person I had no problem speaking to my customers, but for some reason, I have this mental block when it comes to introducing myself to people I don’t know in the real world. Even worse, I feel sleezy doing so with the ulterior motive of “using” them as stepping stones. Now, I know networking is not as selfish an action as I have painted it (I admit, I do have a flair for the dramatic). I know it is a give and take thing, but that is how my mind thinks of it.

The question is, how does an introverted personality get ahead in an extroverted job market?

I’ve been completely revamping my resume the past few days. I got this puppy looking good y’all! I mean it is eye catching and very well worded…because I am an AWESOME writer! (insert conceited smirky emoji here) The problem is if we live in a world where simply applying for a job doesn’t give you a snow balls chance in hell of getting an interview what good is it? It is becoming very evident to me that I must start networking…holy freaking crap!

Okay, so I figure baby steps are in order here and I am trying to utilize LinkedIn for that. I mean, you have to type in order to interact with people on LinkedIn and I am somewhat of a wordsmith so that is right up my alley! I tried sending thank yous to people who accepted an invitation to connect with me in hopes of striking up a conversation. The problem is some actually replied and then it happened…I drew a blank as to how to continue a conversation with them. It wass very akward and I wondered if they could feel my awkwardness through miles and miles of data lines between us. I just wanted to crawl under a rock…wake me up when the world changes!

The good thing is, I am no quitter and this ain’t my first rodeo with overcoming adversity. I am also smart enough to know just because my personality doesn’t naturally draw me toward something, doesn’t mean I can’t learn to do it. Besides, I really like pickles and so I might just eat that pickle for lunch, take a few breath mints, and go up to the next person I see and say, “Hey, I’m Lee”…then I will pray that they are talkative and continue the convers Haha!

Wish me luck!

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The Career Dummy

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