{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I have social anxiety and I feel like I am being punished because of that. I am not being promoted and was told to work on confidence even though my technical performance was outstanding. I wished I can just \"work on my confidence\" and boom. But it's not gonna happen like that. Diversity has been the hot topic these days. Why do we view shy people, introverts, socially anxious people as less capable? Should I accept that PA is not for me or can I do something to contribute?", "post_id": "5f63cfa1944f23002eee0abf", "reply_count": 26, "vote_count": 30, "bowl_id": "564a5cdb94887803001dd07c", "bowl_name": "Accounting" }

I have social anxiety and I feel like I am being punished because of that. I am not being promoted and was told to work on confidence even though my technical performance was outstanding. I wished I can just "work on my confidence" and boom. But it's not gonna happen like that. Diversity has been the hot topic these days. Why do we view shy people, introverts, socially anxious people as less capable? Should I accept that PA is not for me or can I do something to contribute?

likehelpful
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Can you lead a meeting? Can you interact with clients at appropriate level to achieve what you need? Can you coach people below you? Can you interact with team executives? If the answer to each is yes then you should be promoted to senior. Whether you are introvert or not.

likehelpful

This. I'm socially awkward. My main feedback is that I should be more confident and such. But it's more related to internal communication (speaking up in team calls, about ideas I have, volunteering, etc). Because as shy as I can be, when it comes to leading meetings, talking to the client and such, I can be outgoing and conversational. And it's not just me. I can think of a couple managers and sr managers I work with that are also quiet and reserved on a day to day basis with the team, but still have strong communication skills when they're with the partners and clients. I don't think you're expected to be the outgoing extrovert, but if you choose a client facing role, it's expected that you have good people and communication skills. I remember when I was recruiting, I saw socially awkward kids with perfect GPA's get rejected because they can't hold conversations or keep eye contact, but applied for client facing roles.

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I’m an introvert too so I completely understand what you mean. But at the same time I think that things like what EY1 mentioned are part of the job at B4 so if you can’t do these showing a certain level of confidence and comfort it’s more of a matter of not successfully performing expected responsibilities than being punished for being an introvert.

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I feel like people like to give bullshit feedback like that, and make introverts think that being an introvert is something they need to work on. 100% agree with EY1, working on being able to lead meetings, or getting info from clients etc is more practical for professional development. I am a manager now and can share that these things can be 1) prepared ahead of time, and 2) improved by practice. As you attend meetings, take note of what your M and SM are saying, a lot of phrases/sentences are repeated and you can use it for yourselves. I have a txt file full of people’s response and pivots when asked difficult questions.

likehelpful

Care to share? Haha

I have social anxiety too. Public accounting is great in that it forces me to do all the things I would normally avoid like public speaking, networking, leading meetings. Look up exposure therapy. Now you are teaming remotely - it is a lot easier than it would be in person. Use this as an opportunity to push yourself, you’re just talking to a screen. Pace around, play calming music, whatever it takes. You got this!

likehelpful

I have severe social anxiety - if not avoidant personality disorder. I can certainly empathize with how painful this news must be for you. My advice is to find a way to lead that is authentic to you. You simply can’t avoid coaching staff, speaking in meetings, and other similar job functions. However, you do not need to be the person that “everyone knows.” So, the real question would be: are you performing at the senior-level? When it comes to coaching staff and leading meetings - I know that I’m competent, and I’ve worked hard on my projects and to obtain my role - so, I show up and tell everyone what’s good. You should try to have that same mindset. I am very confident that you can overcome your struggles and succeed in public accounting if you choose to start believing in your ability to succeed. I would encourage you not to quit because there is nothing inherently wrong with you.

likeuplifting

As somebody with APD and/or SPD, this is inspiring. Preciate you EY6

I received this feedback my first year - establish a relationship with your client contacts. It’s when they start mentioning talking to you in a positive manner that your higher ups see being anxious and shy doesn’t keep you from doing your job! And with your technical skills you will go far :)

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I’ve heard in my performance reviews multiple times that I’m quiet... I just got promoted to manager so I don’t think it’s held me back (yet), but the feedback is honestly annoying bc ive been a firm instructor at trainings, presented on topics to clients, led client meetings etc. I don’t think whether or not I’m quiet has affected my performance in any way. I can suck it up when I need to and act in an extroverted way- I just can’t turn it on alllll the time. Meanwhile, there is a girl in my office who talks a ton, and gets no work done as a result. The managers also complain regularly about her. I think some people will just always nitpick over peoples personalities...

likehelpful

Talkativeness, or lack thereof, isn't a personality, though. It's a behavior. Too much or too little of a lot of different behaviors can be a problem. I'm an introvert, but I force myself to speak up, network, etc. etc. I need to be alone to re-charge my batteries afterwards, but I do it.

Lol diversity does not apply to shy people.

likefunny

Of course it does

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I am an introvert as well and often misunderstood. I have a difficult time networking in person. While extroverts are probably needing in-person interaction, I’ve been able to excel working remotely. My recommendation to you is to also use this remote opportunity to your benefit Speak up more and lead during Team Meetings. Also, get involved in professional networks. This will help you build the confidence to speak up. Best wishes to you.

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Agree. The more you push yourself to speak up the easier it will become. Though I am an introvert, I’ve gotten better over the years but this is something I still struggle with

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Shy people can succeed in PA. I did. It’s harder, you’ll have some people that just don’t “get” you, some people that think you’re just all about work (ie boring), and you’ll have to suck it up and go to SOME networking events, dinners etc but it’s all possible. Depending on what you do (I’m in technical accounting), it starts to become more about your subject matter knowledge and what you bring to the (client’s) table.

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I started taking propranolol, and it’s been a massive help. Obviously I’m not a doctor, but it’s something you might want to consider asking your doctor about.

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Have you ever had social anxiety? It can be extremely uncomfortable and debilitating not only at work but in their social lives as well. I think KPMG 1 is trying to give OP a recommendation. It’s not a mater of conforming to other people expectation it’s making OPs life more comfortable.

likeuplifting

I connect to people through work and I think it works for me. I don’t really care much for the social stuff. They drain me out and I found no purpose doing them anyway. Just do a good job and be helpful to people and you’ll be successful. No need to be an ass kisser or loud mouth to have a great career, PA or industry.

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